YOU ARE 'WYNNERS,' ONE AND ALL
Hail, ye Conquistadors of the Crossword! Two hundred and seventy-four of you crossed swords with Merl Reagle, a puzzle constructor known for his ingenious and devilish word play, and 274 planted the flag of victory in the sandy heart of our contest. You mailed in from every corner of Timesland and beyond. Here's to you, Patrick Hinely of Lexington, Va., whose stamp traveled the farthest. And a special thank you to the dozen or so entrants from Sun City Center. May I assume that all is forgiven over the Diamond Jim story?
Because of your uniform excellence we had no choice but to toss all the entries in a pile. (Weird the way they coalesced into such a familiar shape. See photo, left.). We plucked 10 winners at random. They are, in no particular order: Mark Lee of Riverview; Meg Duvall of St. Petersburg; Julia Reeves of St. Petersburg; Maurice O'Neill of Mango; Carolyn Kryston of Palm Harbor; Rilla Abrell of Tampa; Michael Gonyea of Clearwater; Marjorie Wilkinson of St. Petersburg; Mike McElmurry of Parrish; and Karen Edwards of Holiday.
We promised you prizes. Here they are: Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought It Down, by Bill DeYoung; Homegrown in Florida, a collection of essays by Florida-born writers edited by William McKeen; Son of Destruction, by Kit Reed, a mystery novel set in Fort Jude, Fla., involving spontaneous human combustion; Salvaging the Real Florida: Lost and Found in the State of Dreams, by Bill Belleville, more essays about our lovely and amazing state; and Sunshine Paradise: A History of Florida Tourism, by Tracy J. Revels. Merl has provided three copies of his most recent crossword collection — fittingly dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Arthur Wynne's creation. Lastly, we have two $25 gift certificates to Inkwood Books and Haslam's book store. First-come, first-served. Just call me at (727)893-8770 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.