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Discovery Times, Starbucks Tackle Times Crossword

2/13/2006 9:37 AM Eastern

You can forgive those looking to get a leg up on “The Ultimate Coffeehouse Crossword Challenge” for asking, “I’ll have the answer to six across with my mocha latte grande.”

In its first-ever television collaboration, Starbucks Corp. is teaming up with Discovery Times Channel -- a joint venture between Discovery Communications Inc. and The New York Times Co. -- on a contest in which the coffee chain will offer one champion puzzler java for life, according to network officials.

Beginning Feb. 19 and running for six Sundays, the contest will invite puzzlers, or “cruciverbalists,” to compete in specially created crossword puzzles from Will Shortz, the newspaper’s puzzle potentate. They will only be found in Starbuck’s in-store copies of the newspaper.

The final puzzle in the series kicks off a virtual treasure hunt, with one champion puzzler winning Starbucks coffee for life.

The contest is being supported by 30-second Starbuck promo spots on Discovery Channel, as well as 15-second vignettes that will air on Sundays and provide puzzle clues.

The New York Times will feature ads supporting the challenge’s launch, as well as others that will run throughout its March 26 promotional period. In-store, Starbucks outlets will display signage touting the challenge.

September