SQUEEZED IN THE MIDDLE 8
It's been a long while since I had a contest on this blog, so I'm going to do another Contest Puzzle! The prize for winning this contest is a signed copy of the February 2017 issue of GAMES Magazine that I got published in! There will only be one winner for this contest, though if at least ten people solve this puzzle, I'll give out a second copy to another winner! If you don't want to enter this contest, you can still solve this puzzle and opt out of the contest. Now with the contest rules out of the way, let's get to the directions for solving this thing!
For this puzzle, you're going to sandwich together words (entered in the white rectangles) by surrounding it with a letter on each side, one at the beginning and one at the end, making a new word in the process. Once you're done, the extra letters you've added in the "crust" (the brown squares) will spell out a two-word phrase. In the example above, the words URN, RAT, and OVER become BURNT, IRATE, and GOVERN, and the letters in the brown squares, reading down, spell out BIG TEN. However, to make things trickier, the "Wholes" will be in no particular order, so it's up to you to figure out which one of the "Centers" it matches up with!
Once you've filled out everything, the letters in the brown squares, reading down, will spell out this week's FINAL ANSWER: a #1 album from the 1960s
1) Most common English word
2) I Can _____ Cheezburger?
3) Pretty peculiar
4) Commander or captain, e.g.
5) Dirty Jobs host Mike
6) Bon _____ (indie rock band)
7) Left-hand page
8) Column's opposite
* Three's a _____ (controversial game show)
* Small shovel for gardening
* Basketball Hall of Famer Allen
* On the rocks, like a relationship
* Former talk show host Geraldo
* _____ Apso (dog breed)
* Grumpy (and aptly-named) Donkey Kong Country character
* Fred's wife in I Love Lucy
Once you think you know what the FINAL ANSWER is, send it to either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (though I'm more likely to check the second one) and I'll put your name on a solvers list once I post the answers in about two weeks. You can also use those email addresses to give me some comments and feedback (or get a hint from me in exchange for a "hint star", more details for that are on the sidebar to the right) or send me the answer to last week's puzzle, if you haven't already figured it out. If you have a printer and want to solve this puzzle on paper, just head below the break for a version you can print out!