Games Online Contest #44

This contest closed on March 31, 2014. A new contest will appear soon.
Here was the original challenge:


5 First Prizes: A one-year subscription to GAMES

Mystery Cross 4

As in our Online Contests 12, 19, and 28, the object of this contest is to fill in the grid below, one letter per square, to form a complete set of 12 related items reading across and down, plus a description of the items reading first across and then down in the shaded (yellow) squares. Each item is a single word; the description is a five-word phrase with spaces between the words removed. This description is the answer to the contest.

The letters to be used appear below the grid, divided into two groups: letters in the 17 squares (both white and yellow) where across and down words cross, and letters in the squares (both white and yellow) that are only part of one word.

Letters in Squares Where Words Cross

AAACEGHIMRRSSUUVZ

Letters in Other Squares

AAAAAAAAAAABBBCCDEEEEEEEEEEFGGGIIIIIIILLLLL
MNNNNNNOOOOOOOPPRRRRRSTTTTUUUUUUVYYY

To enter this contest, first read the detailed rules below, then proceed to the contest entry form below and fill in the required information. In the answer space, enter the phrase that reads across and down in the shaded squares. The contest deadline is March 31, 2014. Five correct entries chosen at random will each win a one-year subscription to GAMES. Limit: One entry per e-mail address.

The Solution

The answer to the contest was SOVEREIGN STATES OF SOUTH AMERICA, as shown in this completed grid:


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