MGWCC #479 — Friday, August 4th, 2017 — “Spice World”

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:


Solvers were tasked last week with finding a word describing MGWCC solvers, and my five intended steps for success were:

1) Notice that there are five pairs of reversible words in the grid: DEER/REED, DECAF/FACED, TOPED/DEPOT, LOOP/POOL, and REVILED/DELIVER
2) Notice that the clue numbers of those pairs are also reversible: 15/51, 16/61, 25/52, 26/62, 45/54
3) Nudged by that revelation, look to the clues and notice that each of those clue pairs contains another pair of reversible words: Ton/not, Rail/liar, Ate/eta, Meet/teem, Saw/was
4) Notice that the first letter of each numerically first pair spells TRAMS
5) In a final reversal, reverse TRAMS to contest answer SMART!

I realized while constructing that step 2) above was skippable, but couldn’t find a way around this (since both the reversible pairs and their reversible clue #s both convey they same info, i.e. their clue #s). I was hoping that step 2) would nudge solvers towards the clues, and anecdotally it appears that many and maybe most solvers indeed used the nudge. So that’s good.

CraigMazin writes:

Man, do I feel TRAMS.

Golem says:

Aw, shucks.

Abide demands:

Ready for my DRAWER

Landmark solve for jrukitzky:

First week four for me ever I think.

David Stein says:

I was hoping for obsessive or quirky

And finally, Kettlebadger writes:

The irony if I got this wrong…

You didn’t. You’re super-trams.

This week’s winner, whose name was chosen at random from among the 224 correct entries received, is S.B. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil, and notepad set, S.B. will also receive a one-year subscription to Matt Gaffney’s Daily Crossword.


Congratulations to the following July MGWCC winners, whose names were chosen at random from among the 150 people who sent in the correct contest answer to each of last month’s four challenges (NETFLIX, HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN, I’M STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU, SMART). Each will also receive a MGWCC pen, pencil, and notepad set:

Ethan Budin — Deerfield, Ill.

Bennett Engel — Willow Grove, Penna.

Chuck Glew — Chicago, Ill.

Andrew Karas — Jamaica Plain, Mass.

Bill Katz — San Rafael, Calif.

Rich Novo — Andover, Mass.


Dan Seidman — Watertown, Mass.

Alex Sisti — Whitesboro, N.Y.

Coreen Steinbach — Pompey, N.Y.

Congratulations to our ten winners, and to everyone who went 4-for-4 in July.


This week’s contest answer is a spice.

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

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