MGWCC #335 — Friday, October 31st, 2014 — “Costume Changes”



Six symbols emerged from last week’s grid: the at symbol (@), the Greek letter tau (τ), a star (*), the Japanese yen (¥), the number one (1) and the ampersand (&). Graphic at right stolen from Joon. Thanks, buddy!

Each had its own square, and worked for one of its entries, while seeming to be ignored altogether on the other. For example, 7-D is (AT)ELIER clued as [Artist’s studio] where the AT rebus plays normally, but the cross is 1-A [Religious wounding] for STIGMA?, where the @ is not needed and the square can be left blank.


8-D is [ place] for RES(TAU)RANT, but the TAU rebus square is not needed for 20-A [Find a location for] which is SIT?E, or “site.”

24-A is [Get a jump on the day] for (STAR)T EARLY, but the * is not needed for 24-D [Basement bar, in Germany] which is ?KELLER.

26-A is [Busybody] for (YEN)TA, but the YEN is not needed for 12-D [Possessing a certain facial feature] for BROW?ED.

63-A is [Time to make a baby, maybe] for H(ONE)YMOON, but the 1 is not needed for 39-D [Mike Trout or Albert Pujols] for ANGEL? (they are both players on the Los Angeles Angels).

48-D is [Kind of pony] for SHETL(AND), but the & is not needed for 66-A [Structure for genes] which is ?STRAND.

So what’s going on here? Each of those six crossers that don’t appear to need their rebus also work if you reverse the rebus square. So STIGMA answers [Religious wounding] but so does STIGMA(TA), with the @ reversed. Same with:

* [Find a location for] is SITE, but also SIT(UAT)E, with the tau backwards.

* [Basement bar, in Germany] is a KELLER, but also a (RATS)KELLER, with the star backwards.

* [Possessing a certain facial feature] is BROWED, but also BROW(N-EY)ED, with the yen backwards.

* [Mike Trout or Albert Pujols] is an ANGEL, but also an ANGEL(ENO), with the one backwards.

* [Structure for genes] is a STRAND, but also a (DNA) STRAND, with the and backwards.

Now that you’ve turned those six around, it’s easier to see the six-letter word relevant to this puzzle’s theme. In grid order from top to bottom:


So TURNED it was, found by 219 solvers.

This week’s winner, whose name was chosen randomly from that group, is Chris Coverdale of Melbourne, Australia. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, Chris will also receive a signed copy of my new book Pocket Posh Easy Crosswords.


You’ve been invited to a Halloween party tonight — but extreme danger lurks about! One of the five guests you’ll meet is not what they appear. Though presenting as a normal human being, this guest is actually a supernatural, evil beast that seeks to slake their bloodlust by inflicting unspeakable harm on you and the others there. Can you warn your host in time? This week’s contest answer is the secretly evil guest, and what kind of beast they really are.

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 (2,332 members now!) here. Or you can download the .puz file (you may have to right-click the link and save to your Downloads folder).


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

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