MGWCC #324 — Friday, August 15th, 2014 — “You Can Take That to the Bank”



I was channeling Pete Muller last week: we were looking for a musical instrument in a mini (13×13) grid, and the theme entries were:

15-A [1980 Grammy winner for Record of the Year*] = SAILING, by Christopher Cross

21-A [1913 symphony named for a Shakespeare character*] = FALSTAFF, by Edward Elgar

31-A [1997 hit off the album “Firecracker”*] = I DO, by Lisa Loeb

36-A [1968 song banned from many country music stations*] = FIST CITY, by Loretta Lynn

45-A [1983 song off “Bark at the Moon”*] = SO TIRED, by Ozzy Osbourne

Notice the doubly-initialed singers of those songs, and you’ve got the meta: they spell out CELLO, found by 440 solvers.

Jesse Lansner asks:

You couldn’t fit Yo Yo into the grid somewhere?

michaelrab says:

I was actually eating Jell-O when I solved this.

is getting the hang of it:

Two in a row! Broke my previous record of one in a row.

Amy Reynaldo
almost found an alternate answer:

At first I overlooked the central answer and had CELO and my first thought was CeeLo Green. He’s instrumental.

nojodas_mod submitted:

CELLO…is it me you’re looking for?

And finally, Jaroban says:

I managed to suppress the music nerd in me enough to not answer Violoncello. You’re welcome.

This week’s winner, whose name was chosen randomly from the 440 correct entries received, is Jason Mueller of Lincoln, Mo. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Jason will also receive a copy of Doug Peterson’s new book, Lickety-Split Crosswords. Next week’s winner will receive the same.


Longtime meta-solver Jonathon Brown received a fake MGWCC puzzle last week. With my name on the byline! I’m outraged. Here’s what happened:

Ken and I have been solving “the Gaffney” together for a few months and around 1 o’clock in the afternoon he asked me if I wanted to solve the new puzzle that just came out. I said sure and sat down at the computer with him. The puzzle was already pulled up in Across Lite and he informed me that we were looking for a musical instrument. However, little did I know that the puzzle that was open in Across Lite (that bore your name in the byline) was one that Ken had constructed himself over the past few months.

We began solving it together and he conveniently offered up an answer to a clue here and there so I would not catch on to the fact that he was the true author of the puzzle. The three theme answers were a cipher that needed to be unlocked using the hint in another answer. Once the entire puzzle was solved, I set out to decode the message hidden in puzzle. It read as follows: “Jonathon M. Brown, my partner, my love, will you marry me?” I immediately said yes and tears of joy and happiness ensued!

I have attached the puzzle and solution as well as a picture of the happy couple (me on the left, Ken on the right)! I hope you don’t mind Ken using your name on the puzzle as a decoy! I’ve gotten much joy from solving the Gaffney over the years (even though I can never seem to win the contest, haha!) but who knew that the “Gaffney Puzzle” of last Friday would make me the happiest man in the world.

He Said Yes-page-001


That might be the coolest thing that’s happened in MGWCC history. Nicely done, Ken and Jonathon!


Meant to run this two weeks ago, but forgot: Peter Gordon was on a laptop- and printer-less vacation for MGWCC #321, but that didn’t stop him. He got the clues off his iPhone and did this:



This week’s contest answer is a well-known magazine.
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.

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 (2,289 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 324

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

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