MGWCC #383 — Friday, October 2nd, 2015 — “Leadoff Hitters”

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:



194 solvers figured out September’s Week 4 puzzle, which is very high. I was a week behind all month on difficulty, it seemed; a record 174 solvers had a perfect month.

The title was “That’s a Stretch,” and the key thing to notice was that all 15 rows in the puzzle had an entry that could add a letter and still make sense (marginally, in some cases). They were:

[His poetry was infused with many classical references] is POE or PO(P)E.
[Tear asunder] is END or (R)END.
[Put all your cards on the table] is CHOSE SIDES or CHO(O)SE SIDES. [Finished a mountain hike] is RESTED or (C)RESTED.
[They make gamblers excited] is ACES or (R)ACES.
[Summertime sight] is GARDEN HOSE or GARDEN HO(U)SE. Big stretch!
[Life ___ (delicious candy)] is SAVER or SAVER(S).
[Right where I’m pointing] is HERE or (T)HERE.
[Frequent crossword word that creeps you out?] is ERIE or (E)ERIE. Big stretch.
[Fun with your co-workers] is LUNCH PARTY or L(A)UNCH PARTY.
[German 101 word] is EIN or (N)EIN.
[Working on some eggs] is EATING or (B)EATING.
[They keep the human heart alive] is PACEMAKERS or P(E)ACEMAKERS.
[Bob Dylan title word] is LAY or LA(D)Y.
[Big proper name in the oil industry, perhaps] AUDI or (SAUDI). Big stretch.

Take those 15 added letters and you’ve spelled meta answer PROCRUSTEAN BEDS, which this crossword is one of since it’s a 14×15 grid that stretches out, one letter per line, to fit the 15×15 norm. Yes things got a little ugly up there, but I’m sure Procrustes’ bed was far grosser than this grid.

Eduardo writes:

Thank goodness I solved today’s Fireball Crossword before I tackled the Gaffney.

Because, in a strange coincidence, PROCRUSTES appeared as the answer to 60-A in Peter Gordon’s Fireball themeless from last week, released just hours by MGWCC #382 came out. It was nicely clued as [Bad guy to go to bed with?].

This week’s winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 194 correct entries received, is P.A. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set, P.A. will also receive a subscription to Joon Pahk’s new variety crossword site, Outside the Box Puzzles.


The following 10 winners were randomly selected from the 174 solvers who sent in the correct contest answer to each of September’s four puzzles (PEOPLE PERSON, AMAZON, ALBERTO GONZALES, PROCRUSTEAN BEDS). Each will receive a MGWCC pen, pencil and notepad set:


Jeff Chen — Seattle, Wash.

Anne Erdmann — Champaign, Ill.

Peter Gwinn — Chicago, Ill.

Jacqueline Huey — Jacksonville, Fla.

Richard Kalustian — Tacoma, Wash.

Jeff Louie — Cambridge, Mass.

Michael Morse — Kensington, Md.

Mark O’Kain — Philadelphia, Penna.

Amy S. — New York City, N.Y.

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


The Wall Street Journal Crossword Contest puzzle #3 is up — “The Inner City” written by me. Deadline is Sunday night at midnight!


This week’s contest answer is a Major League Baseball team that’s in this year’s postseason.

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:

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

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