Sunday, August 6, 2017

PUZZLE #5: All Night Long (CONTEST)

SOLUTION to last week's puzzle

Welcome back, solvers!

We’re back with a new puzzle— and it’s a meta contest! The next two paragraphs are gonna be a rundown of metas, so if you're already familiar with them, you can just skip ahead. For the uninitiated, meta crosswords are basically puzzles within puzzles. They solve like regular crosswords, but there's a hidden extra layer that you have to discover for yourself, which typically leads to a final bonus word or phrase. Matt Gaffney’s Weekly Crossword Contest and Pete Muller’s Muller Monthly Music Meta are two excellent regular sources for these, and I highly recommend clicking through and browsing through the last few months of puzzles to get a feel for what metas tend to ask of the solver.

The meta element can be anywhere from easy (like this puzzle, where the solver had to see that the three longest entries ended with LATHER, RINSE, and REPEAT, thus telegraphing the meta answer SHAMPOO) to nigh-impossible (like this puzzle, where the solver had to see that each of eight starred entries contained an anagram of one word of a two-word country name, and that for each unused word in the country names there was an entry somewhere in the grid that was exactly one letter off, and that the changed letters can be arranged to spell meta answer SRI LANKA). I'm hoping this meta will be somewhere in between those two examples in terms of difficulty.

So, onto today's puzzle. When you have the correct answer, send it to pascopuzzles [at] gmail [dot] com. One randomly-selected solver will win this week's prize, a free copy of a forthcoming puzzle project I'm working on, which I'll send on its release date. Plus, they'll get to suggest any word for me to use in a future puzzle (within reason, of course). The submission deadline's 11:59 pm PST on Saturday August 12, 2017, so be sure to get your answers in before then.

Meta crosswords typically have some kind of prompt to lead you off, so here goes:
Full disclosure: this crossword was a total last-minute effort-- in fact, I was up from yesterday night until now just so I could get it done. Now, (a) I'm impossibly tired, and (b) since I just finished the puzzle, I haven't been able to get it test-solved like usual. So, you're getting the raw, uncorrected version. Provided you look past that, you should be able to find the eight-letter meta answer

Best of luck!

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