Greetings, Quickbeam here.

To celebrate Green Books’ 4th Anniversary with suitable bookish pomp and circumstance, I wanted to do something unique. I promised you a hellish test of your wit. Esteemed Tolkien scholar Bill Welden provided us with a remarkable, brain-mushing, utterly nasty Tolkien-themed Cryptic Crossword. Our friends at Houghton Mifflin and Sideshow/WETA donated lovely prizes for the contestants.

The final outcome?

Blood, sweat, and tears from all those brave souls who entered — several rough nights in front of the java Crossword grid, wondering how Fate could be so cruel — and ultimately many loud complaints when I failed to announce the contest winners this past Friday! Oops, my bad.

We are happy that MANY Tolkien brainiacs entered our contest with a fully-completed grid; but only a very few of them were 100% correct! Of the eligible entries in the “winner’s pool” we have picked 3 final winners. Their names and prizes are as follows:

** 1st prize **
Marilynn Mae Miller from Minneapolis, MN
Winning: Hardcover LOTR 3-volume edition illustrated by Alan Lee from Houghton Mifflin Publishers

** 2nd prize **
Jeanine Renne and Chuck Williamson from Salem, OR
Winning: Frodo statue from Sideshow/WETA Collectibles

** 3rd prize **
Peter Dodson from Sydney, Australia
Winning: Special T-shirt collection from including the now famous “Don’t Make Me Get My Ring!” design (completely sold out at all TORN convention appearances)

All those still puzzle-weary and faint of heart, take note! We have now posted the COMPLETE SOLUTION to the Cryptic Crossword. The link can be found on the regular crossword page, which will permanently stay in Green Books even though the contest is now over. But no cheating for those of you who haven’t even tried solving it!

Many thanks to the nefarious Bill Welden for providing us with such a splendid headache! 😉

And also thanks to you folks out there, our wonderful readership, for a whopping 4 years of exploring the WORDS and WORLDS of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Much too hasty,