The Edmond Sun

November 30, 2012

Jean Stacy cracks Prizeweek Puzzle

Edmond Sun reader takes home $6,125 for solving puzzle

Lisa Shearer
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — To our readers:

For almost 230 weeks, readers of The Edmond Sun took their best shot at the Prizeweek Puzzle. The puzzle, a take on the traditional crossword with clues to guessing the right word choice, was an all-or-nothing proposition. In order to win, all of the clues must be answered correctly. For each week with no winner declared, the prize pot increased by $25.

So for almost a full five years, there has not been a winner declared in The Sun’s Prizeweek Puzzle. The prize money ballooned up to $6,125.

That’s a tidy little sum. And it tantalized many.

Readers have cried foul as the weeks dragged into years. Let me assure you, dear readers, that those who practice the art of puzzling are a passionate lot. Many have called the office. Some have accused the newspaper staff of things not fit to print. Some tried to reason with us and ask us the questions, wondering what answer we would have given. Some were so maddened by the lack of a winning week that they called to vent their ire and then hung up fuming. To those readers, we’re sorry that the Prizeweek Puzzle was such a source of frustration. It frustrated us, too, that no one was winning.

Then came the puzzle of Nov. 24, 2012.

Jean Stacy is a two-time Edmond resident. She and her husband John raised their children here in the 1980s and 1990s. Then they did a short, six-year stint back in their native state of Illinois. When it came time to retire, Jean was adamant that she wanted to move back “home” to Edmond. That move was almost six years ago, and since her return, Jean has faithfully grappled with The Sun’s Prizeweek Puzzle. Her only breaks from the devious puzzle were on family vacations when they left town.

And now, Jean Stacy can lay claim to an honor only given twice before — she is the new winner of The Sun’s Prizeweek Puzzle and she takes home the $6,125 prize just in time for the holidays.

“I still can’t believe it,” Jean said Friday.

A recent cancer survivor, Jean attributes her breakthrough win to years of studying the answers, thinking outside of the box, faithful effort, some calls upon the Holy Spirit for help and some lady luck. She admits to often breaking out her dictionary and looking for old or alternative meanings to words in her efforts to solve the riddles.

And through the years, Jean said some weeks she asked herself if she really wanted to spend the effort at a puzzle that seemed unbreakable. “My kids would say ‘Are you still working that puzzle?’”

She persevered, though, with this thought: “As you get older, you still have to exercise your brain.”

And Jean exercised her brain right up to the winning set of answers. She hasn’t fully decided how to spend her winnings, but she thinks an extra trip to see her daughter and her family in California will be part of her plans.

As to those who seek to claim the next Prizeweek Puzzle prize, Jean had these words of wisdom: “Sometimes you just gotta get lucky and just stick with it.”

The Edmond Sun staff gives its heartfelt congratulations to Jean Stacy. We wish those continuing the pursuit for puzzle perfection the best of luck. With the Dec. 1, 2012, edition of the newspaper, the puzzle prize pot starts over at $25. Happy puzzling!