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…
…GONE and HEIGHT!
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