MGWCC #503 — Friday, January 19th, 2018 — “Watch Those Crossings”

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of January 2015 MGWCC is a subscribers-only crossword. The cost is $26 per year, and you can subscribe (or get a free trial month first) here:


We were looking for an NFL team last week. The salient feature of the grid was the appearance of the letter string LOSS sixteen (!) times in the grid, which could only mean contest answer the CLEVELAND BROWNS, who went 0-16 this past season. Actually it could also have meant the 2008 Detroit Lions, the only other team to achieve this remarkable feat (the 19 solvers who submitted the Lions were given full credit).

This week’s winner, whose name was chosen at random from among the 606 correct entries received, is Michael Mathews of San Francisco, Calif. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil, and notepad set, Michael will also receive a 1-year subscription to Matt Gaffney’s Daily Crossword.


Season 7 of the Muller Monthly Music Meta has begun! I went 11-for-13 last year and am aiming to redeem myself in 2018 with a 13-0 clean sweep. Pete Muller’s contest is free, fun, and every meta is, as you might’ve guessed, based on all things related to music. Get the first puzzle of the season here; deadline to enter is this Sunday at 11 PM ET. Highly recommended.


In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil, and notepad set, prizewinners this week and next will also receive a 1-year subscription to Peter Gordon’s Fireball Newsflash Crosswords. Highly recommended.


At long last, it’s time to announce our 2017 MGWCC Yearly Prizewinners!

Drum roll, please…


Congratulations to our 2017 Bronze Medalists, each of whom correctly solved 48 or 49 of last year’s 52 metas. Each of these 23 stellar solvers will receive a 2017 MGWCC “Aha! The Light Went on for Me” flashlight pen:

Deepak Bal — Montclair, N.J.

Steve Blais — Windsor, Ont.

Rich Bragg — Los Altos, Calif.

Jared Dashoff — Washington, D.C.

Todd Dashoff — Philadelphia, Penna.

Neville Fogarty — Newport News, Va.

Sean Forbes — Crest Hill, Ill.

George Herz — Sharon, Mass.

Robert Hutchinson — Valdosta, Ga.

Joshua Kosman — San Francisco, Calif.

Andy Kravis — Brooklyn, N.Y.

Brian Kulman — Los Gatos, Calif.

Jeff Louie — Providence, R.I.

Paul Melamud — Milford, N.J.

Katie Miller — Houston, Tex.

Mark Navarrete — Quezon City, Philippines

Kyle O. — West Chester, O.

Joon Pahk — Somerville, Mass.

Jill Palmer — Leverett, Mass.

Alex Sisti — Whitesboro, N.Y.

Scott Weiss — Walkersville, Md.

Jimmy Williams — Elgin, Ill.

John L. Wilson — Shoreview, Minn.

Well done, Bronzers!


Congratulations to our 2017 Silver Medalists, each of whom correctly solved 50 or 51 of last year’s 52 metas. In addition to the flashlight pen, each of these 25 meta magicians will also receive a super-classy MGWCC drink tumbler. We did coffee mugs last year but this year it’s tumblers! Exciting.

Peter Abide — Biloxi, Miss.

Thomas Baxter — Hamilton, Ont.

Matt Breen — Madison, Wisc.

Joe Fendel — Berkeley, Calif.

Steve Gadd — Falls Church, Va.

Katie Hamill — Arlington, Mass.

Kathy Kranke Hankescu — Alameda, Calif.

Brent Holman — San Francisco, Calif.

Carl Holzman — Chicago, Ill.

Dave Hunley — Wakefield, R.I.

Bob Johnson — Carmel, Ind.

Julian Lim — Singapore, Singapore

Patricia Miga — Colleyville, Tex.

Scout Mitchell — Bellingham, Wash.

Giovanni Pagano — Newark, Del.

Rich Pardoe — Houston, Tex.

Brett Rose — Chicago, Ill.

Marcia Rose — Milwaukee, Wisc.

Paul Rundle — Davis, Calif.

Al Sanders — Loveland, Colo.

Jason Shapiro — New York City, N.Y.

David Stein — Takoma Park, Md.

Dave Sullivan — Panton, Vt.

Seth Tribble — New York City, N.Y.

Peter Washington — Chico, Calif.

Bravo, Silver solvers!


And finally…Congratulations to our 2017 Gold Medalists, each of whom correctly solved all 52 of last year’s 52 metas. Truly remarkable! In addition to the flashlight pen and tumbler, each of these 22 unstumpables will also receive a ridiculously classy MGWCC padfolio. Even cooler than last year’s! Padfolios for the win!!

Evan Birnholz — Philadelphia, Penna.

Nate Cardin — Studio City, Calif.

Jeff Chen — Seattle, Wash.

Meg Duvall — St. Petersburg, Fla.

Jon Forsythe — Chicago, Ill.

Peter Gordon — Great Neck, N.Y.

Summer Herrick — Seattle, Wash.

Ben Jones — Yorktown, N.Y.

Jeffrey Harris — Nashville, Tenn.

Jeremy Horwitz — San Francisco, Calif.

Jeremiahs Johnson — Lafayette, Calif.

Brian Kell — Pittsburgh, Penna.

Andy Keller — Apple Valley, Minn.

James Lynch & Carmen Kilpatrick — Providence, R.I.

Jonathan McCue — Los Altos, Calif.

Eric Prestemon — Woodside, Calif.

Anna-Marie Ruoff — Altadena, Calif.

Dan Seidman — Watertown, Mass.

Jesse Simons — Somerville, Mass.

Maggie Wittlin — Lincoln, Nebr.

C.W. — Dillon, Colo.

Doug Zongker — Mountain View, Calif.

Congratulations, Goldies! I didn’t get you in 2017, but I’ll try again in 2018.

Congratulations to all our winners, and to everyone who participated in 2017! This is fun, isn’t it? Let’s keep going:


This week’s contest answer is any pair of countries you might visit when making a certain crossing (several answers are possible).

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

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