Meta Answer for Puzzle #62: Shots Fired

Good evening, solvers!

…and Happy Pi Day, of course! Well, it’s almost over now, at least in my timezone. Went to class, worked seven hours, had some group lab report meeting come up, hit the gym, and ah. Now I can finally settle down and write this thing up. Let’s cut to the chase before this constructor passes out on the keyboard!

Two weeks ago, I asked you to provide me two common English words that were missing from the puzzle. The solution is pictured below:


While this grid itself does not bear the 10×10 shaded area contained in the top-left in the puzzle PDF, we can still see here that embedded in the grid is a board representation of the classic game Battleship. We have HIT and MISS rebuses all over the 10×10 section, with the four-hit BATTLESHIP being sunk in the grid’s center.

Aside from the “hits” and “misses” scattered throughout the grid, we also have a handful of symmetric entries that appear to relate to Battleship guesses: [Unsuccessful guess] clued the entries A-FOUR (20A), C-SIX (25A), and G-TWO (66A), and [Successful guess] clued the entries H-SEVEN (43A), H-TEN (50A), and H-NINE (58A). Sure enough, these guesses are far from arbitrary; they match up with the coordinates of several of the HIT and MISS rebuses in this puzzle’s grid.

So how does this tie into the meta answer? What is “missing” from this puzzle? Several solvers noticed that not all of the HIT and MISS rebus coordinates were accounted for in the fill (e.g., A-FOUR): those of one HIT rebus square and one MISS rebus square went unspecified. If you look at where they are plotted in terms of a Battleship guess, you will notice that the remaining MISS square lies in G-ONE, and the remaining HIT square in H-EIGHT. Wait a minute…if you had to enter these into a puzzle as additional fill, they would appear as…


Et voila! The answers to this puzzle’s meta element are GONE and HEIGHT, which could appear as crossword entries to represent the coordinates of the lone HIT and MISS rebus squares not accounted for by the puzzle’s surrounding fill. A good deal of solvers were close, submitting “hit” and “miss” as the two common English words, but this just wasn’t enough to justify a full understanding of this puzzle’s meta, especially when these words were not “missing” from the puzzle in any sense. Don’t worry, though…it was intended to be quite a trap!

However, 51 solvers managed to send in correct responses, and the winner–selected at random–is Doug Peterson, the crossword constructing extraordinaire himself! Doug will receive a Grid Kid-signed copy of the comically awful 2012 film “Battleship.” 🙂 Get the popcorn ready, Doug, and congratulations!

Thanks for playing, all, and I really appreciate some of the lovely comments I received in your responses as a whole. Despite my lapses here and there in my indie constructing, I truly appreciate the multitude of you that still continues to support my puzzling endeavors. Stay tuned for more meta madness!


The Grid Kid

Puzzle #63: Freestyle on Steroids (collaboration with Tim Croce)

Puzzle #63: “Freestyle on Steroids”

Difficulty: This one goes to 11

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF     Last Week’s Solution


Good evening, solvers!

It’s 6 PM on a Friday…why would I possibly write a post now? Well, I just finished collaborating on a new freestyle with Tim Croce of Club 72, and we’re sharing it on our sites at the exact same time! Tim has emerged as one of the my personal favorite themeless constructors; his work takes so many different forms, yet it shines in his signature style. Through our initial conversations, Tim and I figured out that we had so many must-use seed entries in common, which was pretty awesome. In fact, I had to put a few grids of my own on the back burner, since Tim kept beating me to the punch on debuting several sparkly entries in his work! Aside from the fill itself, Tim writes clues that compete with the Klahns and the Agards out there in the crossworld: they’re insane. Interesting bits of trivia. Devious wordplay. A good indie edge. What’s more, I learned through this collaboration that just about every single clue he puts in his puzzles is original…crazy, right?! Talk about setting the bar high…

Anyway, I could go on and on about how incredible Tim is as a constructor and a friend, but I wanna leave you to solve what we’ve created. I’d like to think that this puzzle is similar to a strong mixed drink: we’ve amplified the effects of each of our constructing specialties through the collaborative effort. Perhaps I’m more of a Natty Ice six-pack to Tim’s handle of Everclear…but that’s another story! Let us know what you think…and, barring extreme negative response, we’ll be back with more down the stretch!

(One last thing: Thanks to all who submitted meta answers for Puzzle #62: Shots Fired. The grid solution is attached above, and I’ll provide a writeup on Monday as well as reveal the prize winner! See ya then.)


The Grid Kid

Clearing the Air

Hey, all–

In my haste, I think I omitted some important details related to my meta Puzzle #62. They should have been updated on the original post by now, but after receiving several related email responses, I still may not have resolved everything. This is especially true to those of you who are subscribed to my site and only see what I write on the first go-round. Anyway, let’s do this by the bullets:

  • There should be no PUZ file–only a PDF, which can be downloaded here. I believe that my original post may have included an Across Lite link, but that was nixed for reasons I’ll explain when my next puzzle is released. Also, the PDF link is included again here since it was glitchy for a select few, though I think I may have fixed the problem.
  • If you think you’ve solved the meta, email me your answer at, or use the Contact form on my site. Please, please, please don’t comment anything so as not to reveal an answer to other solvers! If you did already, no need to email me now, and don’t feel bad in the slightest–no one saw a thing because I never approved any comment for public display, and like I said, I could’ve explained things a LOT better.
  • Meta answers are due to me Friday, March 11 @ 12 PM EST.
  • Finally, wanted to state that I made a cluing error for 41-Across; it should read [Conductor ” ” “] rather than [Composer ” ” “]. This is in no way related to the meta–the solver in me just hates making these kind of mistakes!

Thanks, everyone, and sorry for all the confusion!


The Grid Kid

Puzzle #62: Shots Fired

Puzzle #62: “Shots Fired”

Difficulty: My metas are never meant to be a struggle

Downloads:    PDF Only     Last Week Eon’s Solution

Update @ 3:25 PM: Extending the deadline all the way to the following Friday, 3/11, at noon. This will extend the opportunity to those of you that only check my site on Mondays. Capeesh? Also, thanks to Evan Birnholz for spotting a clue error at 41-Across: It should read [Conductor whose name ” ” “] rather than [Composer ” ” “]. My apologies; this is in no way related to the meta!

Happy Wednesday, puzzlers!

For the 1000000th time: *it’s alive*! I’m excited to be back on the grind; crosswording has been on the back burner as of late (including solving, sad to say), except for biweekly puzzles that I’ve been making for the Devarai Crossword App, my normal CavDaily campaign, and a pack of minis that I made for Joel Fagliano over at the NYT. However, especially with the ACPT in sight, I’m here to stay now. So let’s get cracking on today’s puzzle!

This meta puzzle has actually been in the works for was only now that I was able to complete it smoothly and to the degree I wanted (I’ll elaborate on this next week when I have a full writeup). Note how there’s only a PDF…I apologize to you Across Lite users, but it’s probably better this way.  The theme itself can honestly stand alone, and I’m not even sure how original it is, but I figured the meta element would at least be a bit of a twist! This week’s meta answers are two common English words that are missing from this puzzle. Vague, I know, but…just solve and maybe you’ll see! All answers should be emailed to (or you may use the Contact page on my site). Due by next Monday, 3/7, at noon…I will select a winner at random for a nifty prize. I look forward to hearing from many of you then–if there’s anybody left still reading my no-longer-abandoned site 🙂


The Grid Kid