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Showing posts from January, 2021

Puzzle 56 - Themeless #42 (with Brooke Husic)

Quick note - I am going to extend the deadline on the meta contest to Sunday, February 7th at 8 PM Pacific Time. I may have made it too hard, but I know a few people are close!

Anyways - very delighted to bring you a collaboration with the inimitable Brooke Husic (who dropped a killer puz yesterday)! This is our first published full collab, where we both do some of the grid & some of the clues (this beaut was a grid/clue split). Certainly won't be the last!

  • Big thank you to Will Nediger for test-solving!
  • Make sure you check out Malaika Handa's 7xwords and sign up if you haven't! I have today's puzzle and Brooke has tomorrow's!




Puzzle 55 - Meta Shed

Quick backstory - was planning on getting this tested this week (thanks Paolo for agreeing to test anyways though) and running a themeless yesterday, but realized part of the themeless grid needs to be reworked. So polished this up and am releasing my first ever meta suite w/ no testing whatsoever. YOLO baby.


Meta basics:

A meta crossword is a themed crossword with an additional, hidden answer for the solver to find. A meta suite (which this is) is a series of meta crosswords (each with their own hidden answer), and in addition, an extra hidden answer for the puzzle suite as a whole. I really don't want to even inadvertently spoil how the suite works, so if you're still not sure, both Matt Gaffney's writeups and the WSJ have good explanations & examples.


Two correct entries will be randomly selected, and each will win a year Aries Puzzles bundle subscription (both the weekly Freestyle and Rows Gardens). I bought one subscription as a prize and Andrew very generously donated one as well. His puzzles come highly, highly recommended - they are consistently very clever, elegant, and challenging. If you don't win the drawing, I encourage you to purchase a subscription anyways. And if you do win but are already an Aries subscriber, we'll find an alternate prize.

I will publish a list of all people to get the correct answer and prize winners on the 28th (you may opt out of this on the Google form, no pressure & no worries).

I am wildly guessing here, but think the suite as a whole will play medium to medium-hard in difficulty. Like 3.5/5 or so.

Answer Submission & Guidelines:

Deadline: 8:00 PM Pacific Time on Wednesday, January 27th. Sunday, February 7th.

You can submit your solution using the Google Form here (edit: fixed link). The solution is seven letters long.

I don't really know what cheating is, nor do I have any energy to deal with it. I think we all can agree in 95% of cases, and use your best judgement if it's a grey area. I really don't want to hear about it. You're welcome to solve in a group (one submission for the group if you do this please). You're welcome to Google, chat with friends about it, etc. You're welcome to get a little nudge from someone else who has already solved the suite. You're not welcome to just copy someone else's answer, or just give it away if you've already solved.


The Meta Shed solution is 7 letters long. Submit your solution here (edit: fixed link).

Meta Shed 1: Tiller - The solution is 3 letters long - PUZ - PDF - Online

Meta Shed 2: Lawn Mower - The solution is 4 letters long - PUZ - PDF - Online

Meta Shed 3: Chainsaw - The solution is 5 letters long - PUZ - PDF - Online

Puzzle 54 - Themeless #41

Note: The 1/18 puzzle will go up on the 19th. Sorry bout that!

If you're wondering "What can I do about white supremacists storming DC? How can I help flip my state senate/representative/city councilor/whatever like Stacey Abrams?" - you, yes you, can take tangible action! Right now! This very second! Wherever you live, there are folks organizing and laying the political groundwork so that flips like Georgia can happen. There are groups dedicated to fighting white nationalism and fascism. They need more volunteers and more money. If you can (and I know not everyone can), help them out. If you'd like me to pick an organization - check out the Western States Center. The Northwest sadly has a long history of violent white supremacy and the WSC has been organizing and fighting back for decades.

Onto the puzzle. This one came about as an offshoot of a different, half-filled puzzle. I kept trying to make the 39-Across/43-Across stack there, but couldn't get it to happen. So, pulled those two entries as seeds for this one and voila! Enjoy!