MGWCC #464 — Friday, April 21st, 2017 — “What Has Come Between Us?”

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 a four-letter mode of transportation, and our six theme entries (four obvious by length, the other two to be discovered later) turned out to be:

17-A [Dancer’s boss] = SANTA CLAUS
25-A [Snoopy’s hero, with “the”] = RED BARON. Clue later corrected to [Snoopy’s archnemesis] via e-mail after the fact. First but not last Americana fail on this puzzle!
32-A [Marathoner who won gold at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics (and has won the Boston Marathon eight times)] = JEAN DRISCOLL. Pic below.
41-A America’s Cup winner on the cover of Time Magazine in February of 1987 = DENNIS CONNER
49-A [Battle of the Trebia victor, 218 BC] = HANNIBAL
62-A [He’s won the Indianapolis 500 three times (one fewer than his brother Al)] = BOBBY UNSER

Each of these six is associated with a type of transportation: Santa has his sleigh (S), the Red Baron his airplane (A), Jean Driscoll is a famous wheelchair (W) athlete, Dennis Conner helmed a yacht (Y), Hannibal his Alps-crossing elephants (E), and Bobby Unser a racecar (R). The initials of those six spell SAWYER, which, with a nudge from the title, leads you to Tom Sawyer, famous for his contest answer RAFT rides down the Mississippi.

Or is he? While Tom does show up on rafts in Twain’s books, Huck Finn is the iconic rafter, which I don’t think actually derailed any solvers but did cause some where’s-my-meta-click confusion that landed somewhere between irritating and quite frustrating. So while the meta might have been technically correct, Huck Finn’s superior raftiness is definitely a blot. Meta answers should click more strongly than that.

David W. writes:

Coincidentally, I got to see Jean Driscoll last weekend:


This week’s winner, whose name was chosen at random from among the 301 correct entries received, is Cheryl Braunstein of Washington, D.C. In addition to a MGWCC pen, pencil, and notepad set, Cheryl will also receive a 1-year subscription to Matt Gaffney’s Daily Crossword.


NOTE: Because I’m sending this week’s puzzle out later, the deadline for MGWCC #464 is Tuesday, April 25th at 3 PM ET.

This week’s contest answer is a familiar phrase of three words totaling 19 letters.

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

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