Puzzle #75: It’s Crazy (How the Time Goes On): A Meta Suite (Puzzle 1/7)

Puzzle #75: “It’s Crazy (How the Time Goes On): A Meta Suite (Puzzle 1/7)”

Difficulty: Idk

Downloads:     PUZ     PDF     Last Fortnight’s Solution

 

Good afternoon, solvers!

Thank you for your patience–the first day of a week-long meta suite has finally arrived! I’m so appreciative of the many solvers that reached out to me upon Monday’s announcement of this challenge…it seriously means so much to feel that the work I publish is both exciting and in high demand. I will say, I’ve never done anything quite like this before, though hopefully it lives up to the hype! Let’s go over the basics, then, shall we?

For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a meta puzzle is a style of crossword that bears another layer/element–a “meta” answer–often suggested by the puzzle’s theme. For example, if I present a puzzle with the entries SNAP JUDGMENTS/CRACKLE FINISH/POP PSYCHOLOGY, and then state in the instructions that I’m looking for a breakfast cereal, you could look at the first word of each of the answers above and determine “Rice Krispies” to be the meta answer. Make sense?

That being said, the meta solution I’ve created for this week will be a LOT harder to grok than the above. But that’s the fun of the challenge! And even so, with the exception of the final (seventh) puzzle in the suite, each of my upcoming puzzles is meant to stand alone. That is, the independent nature of a puzzle’s theme/fill/etc. can be enjoyed by one who isn’t solving a meta at all!

TL;DR? Ready to move on? Here’s a bullet-point summary.

  • Seven puzzles, one per day.
  • Each puzzle contains a unique, stand-alone theme, except for Puzzle 7/7 (next Wednesday).
  • There is only one meta that will involve the entire week’s worth of puzzles, rather than an individual meta answer to be determined each day.

The meta answer to this week’s puzzle set is an entry in a standard crossword grid. WHAAAAT??? For those of you thinking, “That makes absolutely no sense,” fear not…it’s meant to be that way. You’ll know the meta answer when you see it…hehehe.

If you think you know the meta answer, please send an email to zerskyxwords@gmail.com with your solution in the subject line. This contest will close 9/12/2016 @ 12 PM EDT, so please submit before then! After the deadline, I will select one correct answer at random to receive a prize from yours truly. Oh, and as an added incentive to send something in, I will put your name into my prize pool TWENTY times if you can somehow, *somehow,* figure out the meta answer before Puzzle 7/7 is published next Wednesday 🙂

Happy solving, and good luck to everyone–I look forward to your submissions!

Sincerely,

The Grid Kid

 

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Puzzle #74: Freestyle 24

Puzzle #74: “Freestyle 24”

Difficulty: Normal AKA Hard

Downloads:     PUZ     PDF     Last Week’s Solution

 

Good evening, puzzlers!

This might be the quickest I’ve ever posted a new puzzle in relation to the previous offering, with less than four days elapsed since Puzzle #73’s release. However, it’s still pretty late on a Monday, so I’m sure many of you won’t get to this until at least tomorrow. Why? Part of this was because I wanted to allow solvers that hadn’t seen my blog in a week to try Puzzle #73 first…the other part, as I’m sure you’ll guess, was me taking my sweet-ass time with the cluing of this grid. I’d had the fill completed for a while, and was actually strongly considering sending it off to the NYT…but entries like 8A, 31D, and 63A ultimately had me thinking it was best suited for the indie world. So I hope you enjoy it here! If I may say, the clue/answer combo at 2D may be one of my all-time favorites–it was the seed entry, after all.

Sincerely,

The Grid Kid

Puzzle #73: Skyfall

Puzzle #73: “Skyfall”

Difficulty: One of the hardest puzzles I will ever put on this blog. I think.

Downloads:     PUZ     PDF     Last Week’s Solution

 

Good…morning? Evening? Puzzlers?

I’m in the wee hours typing this post, and on a Thursday night/Friday morning…so what’s going on? Well, I’ll have you know that this week’s delay was entirely intentional–in a manner for you to discover! However, as you may note from the blurb above, this one is H-A-R-D. I actually had to scale a bunch of the clues back to even Monday-level difficulty, because this puzzle is a tough nut to crack, at least in my analysis. Then again, I don’t employ test solvers other than, uh, myself mimicking various skill levels, so I could’ve missed the mark big time here. Here’s hoping for an enjoyable solve–as always, I appreciate your feedback. Oh, and I apologize profusely for a few answers in this puzzle…this was about the cleanest I could get after many, many iterations!

(Side note: I also apologize profusely for the WHORE HOUSE cluing angle used last week. I figured it be better to go “current event-y” over “gross pun” or “stale, factual clue,” but yeah, now that I look back, it was still pretty tasteless. I mean no disrespect to Lamar Odom or anything like that…hell, I grew up in a Lakers household, so I loved watching the guy!)

Sincerely,

The Grid Kid

Puzzle #72: Backing Down From Getting Things Done

Puzzle #72: “Backing Down From Getting Things Done”

Difficulty: Pretty tough. Lots of oddball clues.

Downloads:     PUZ     PDF     Last Week’s Solution

 

Good afternoon, solvers!

For starters, I just want to say that I’m just getting around to looking at a bunch of unread email; if you’ve been waiting on a response from me, I sincerely apologize! I do truly appreciate each and every time someone reaches out to me directly, and I’m doing a terrible job at conveying that. I look to have everything tied up by tonight, but I sure don’t want to rush any responses…quality over quantity, y’know.

On to what we’ve got here. I actually had this puzzle’s theme (and all its answers) locked in for a while now…but it took forever to find a grid to house them all successfully. And when that finally worked out, the fills I was generating were horrendous to my standards. So this is a great example of a puzzle that sat on the back burner for good bit, then finally made a resurgence to the top of my archives! Hope you appreciate the result; it took a LOT of tweaking to iron out!

I’m also just gonna say that, FWIW, 5-Down is one of my all-time favorite answers I’ve used in an indie puzzle… [laughs maniacally]

Sincerely,

The Grid Kid

Puzzle #71: He’s Back!

Puzzle #71: “He’s Back!”

Difficulty: Beginner–seriously

Downloads:     PUZ     PDF     Last Week’s Solution

 

UPDATE: I’m not gonna bother changing the puzzle links, but I realized my clue for 3-Down is slightly off…I meant to refer to the answers, not the clues 🙂

 

Good afternoon, puzzlers!

Hope your summer days are not as brutal as it is here right now: scorching heat during the day, heavy claps of thunder during the wee hours of the night, and high humidity across the board. Whew! Of course, I now have to wear these “adult clothes”–y’know, dress shirts and khakis–on a daily basis, which is simply unfamiliar to this neophyte and all the more unwelcome in these weather conditions. But, hey, if that’s the worst thing I’m complaining about these days, then life’s treating me pretty well.

Today’s puzzle is a bit different, because it’s actually not meant to be a brain buster! In fact, I’m targeting solvers that are newer to the indie world with this one…so if you know anyone that’s interested in solving more than what the mainstream outlets produce, then direct him/her over here! The theme is simple, the fill is generally familiar, and the cluing is light…but there’s just enough indie pizzazz sprinkled around for the puzzle to have an overall Grid Kid indie feel. I hope you enjoy it, and if so, gimme a good rating along with a Facebook/Twitter share!

Sincerely,

The Grid Kid

Puzzle #70: Freestyle 23

Puzzle #70: “Freestyle 23”

Difficulty: Easy-ish, though skews kinda young

Downloads:     PUZ     PDF     Last Week’s Solution

 

Hello, puzzlers!

Got another freestyle here for this week, with smooth fill just about all around, at least compared to Puzzle #69. This was actually one of my puzzles that was initially accepted by Buzzfeed, but returned after freelance constructing was discontinued 😦 Oh well, it sure has a home here now on this site! Enjoy!

Sincerely,

The Grid Kid