MGWCC #326 — Friday, August 29th, 2014 — “I Beg Your Part Ten!”

UPDATE, 8/29, 12:40 PM: I stupidly uploaded an incorrect version of today’s puzzle at noon. Only one clue has changed, but please use the version that’s on the site now instead of the one that went up at noon. Thanks and sorry!

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS:

mgwcc325solu

Strange instructions last week: solvers were asked to look for what I hope you’ll do to this meta. The five theme entries seemed clear, and they were:

17-A [Make things happen] = SEIZE THE DAY

26-A [Your typical Starbucks order] = VENTI LATTE. Which is one letter from (and etymologically unrelated to) the word ventilate, a fact which for many solvers became a red herring.

39-A [Popular but super-creepy Christmas present] = ELF ON THE SHELF. My wife loves ours but it creeps the hell out of me. Always staring.

54-A [Where you win with five stones in a row] = PENTE BOARD.

63-A [Tart spread] = QUINCE JELLY. Scrabbly.

You need two insights to solve this meta: first, that the first word of each theme entry is a number in a foreign language. Seize is French for sixteen, Venti is Italian for twenty (the root of the Starbucks size, since it’s 20 ounces), ELF is German for eleven, Pente is Greek for five (pentathlon, pentagon, etc.), and quince, two syllables, is Spanish for fifteen.

The second insight, which proved to be more of a stumbling block than I had anticipated, is using those numbers to extract the meta answer. It’s obvious in retrospect: just take the grid squares with those numbers, in numerical order, and they spell out meta answer DIG IT, which I hope you did, and which can also be read as DIGIT, fittingly for a number-based meta.

But many solvers reported taking those numbered grid squares by their order in the grid, which yielded ITIDG, which is easy to dismiss as unanagrammable at first glance, before moving on to other attempts. In the end, 220 solvers dug it successfully.

Lisa from Queens says:

And my parents thought I was wasting my time with all those language electives.

CoyoteCreed writes:

I thought I was onto something when I saw 11-across was a German word.

Pete Mitchell suggests an alternate theme entry idea:

Of course, DOZE is 12 in Portuguese. Just saying…

Re 28-D, Eduardo points out:

Shouldn’t a Rolls roller be a tyre? :-)

jeremiahsjohnson writes:

Like the FBI and the CIA And the BBC, BB King And Doris Day, Matt Busby

He means this song:

mrbreen says:

Which I did! Looking forward to the Once puns on Friday.

bhensley obliges:

Once again an excellent meta!

And finally, Tilly and Dave write:

Funny coincidence: this week we started solving the early MGWCC puzzles. We were working on #006, “Can You Dig It?”, but set it aside to do this week’s puzzle!

This week’s winner, whose name was chosen randomly from the 220 correct entries received, is Ed Davisson of San Francsico, Calif. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Ed will also receive a signed copy of my new book Munchkin Crosswords #2.

TIP JAR WEEK TOTAL:

Pretty much everything has come in from Tip Jar Week by now, and the grand total is a shade over $11,300. This represents about a 3% increase over last year’s haul.

Thanks very much to everyone who kicked in!


FOGARTY’S 100th:

Belated congratulations to Neville Fogarty, who posted his 100th website puzzle earlier this month. Bravo!

MARK THESE WORDS:

Mark Halpin‘s Labor Day Puzzle Extravaganza goes live tomorrow. According to the author there will be: “Among other things: a cryptic, a Something Different crossword, some Siamese things, and various other griddy fun.”

Sounds intriguing, and it’s free (but hit his tip jar if you like it).

THIS WEEK’S INSTRUCTIONS:

To solve this week’s meta, write a clue for 1-Across that completes this puzzle’s theme. Submit your answer in the form on the left sidebar by Tuesday at noon ET. Note: the submissions form disappears from the site promptly at noon on Tuesday.

UPDATE, 8/29, 12:40 PM: I stupidly uploaded an incorrect version of today’s puzzle at noon. Only one clue has changed, but please use the version that’s on the site now instead of the one that went up at noon. Thanks and sorry!

To print the puzzle out, click on the image below and hit “print” on your browser. To solve using Across Lite either solve on the applet below or download the free software here, then join the Google Group (2,298 members now!) here. Or you can download the .puz file (you may have to right-click the link and save to your Downloads folder).

mgwcc 326

Solve well, and be not led astray by words intended to deceive.

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