For a Dollar (#114)

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A1ggL-sgcgL

Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 114!

1) Hope you enjoy the puzzle. Took a while for some theme stuff to theme, but damn it, it finally did.

2) Be sure to help donate to The Inkubator, a bimonthly email crossword venue written by women, and headed by Tracy Bennett and Laura Braunstein. It’s going to be great. Looking forward to it.

Thanks everyone!

Chris

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Themeless Twenty-Three (#113)

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cri_000000159124

Hey everyone, and welcome to Week #113!

Today’s puzzle is one I’ve had in the shortlist for a while, but finally decided to publish it here. Hopefully you find a little piece of you somewhere in the puzzle. This puzzle is like a mirror to society, and a mirror to your soul.

Feel free to solve it, and post your time on Twitter.

Enjoy!

Chris

Pressed For Answers (#112.2)

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Meta Solution for “Opening Remarks”

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Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 112.2!

Today’s puzzle is one that has a perfect place here on an indie site, and one you probably wouldn’t see in the newspaper. Hope you enjoy it!

Two main things I want to say:

1) I have now found full time work, as I am now the assistant to the graduate advisor in the Languages department at USC. My streak of being a Gamecock continues. I’m very excited for the opportunity.

2) Please keep everyone in the Carolinas in mind this weekend. Looking at projections for Florence, Columbia should see rain and wind, but hopefully not as much as the North Carolina coast is getting. I am doing what I need to make sure I stay safe.

Hope to have more puzzles for you soon, but in the meantime, feel free to follow me on Twitter. I have plenty of takes about crosswords there.

Enjoy the puzzle!

Chris

Meta: Opening Remarks (#112.1)

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the-united-states-of-america-map

Hey everyone!

Sorry it’s been a while, but I’ve missed you a lot.

I hope to have more puzzles here in the very near future, but I thought you all should at least get something to bide you. This was a puzzle I worked on this summer, but finally got around to finishing. Even though this puzzle does not end with 0 or 5, it is still a meta puzzle.

The meta answer is a three-word, twelve-letter phrase first seen in rap music that would complete the theme. Send your responses to cking.gow(at)gmail.com.

No contest, but a nice thing you can work on, and it gives you the chance to send me some correspondence. Hope you enjoy the puzzle.

I won’t be at LPZ11, but I hope everyone that goes has a fantastic time. Oh to be in New York.

Hope all is well with you, and talk to you soon!

Chris

Puzzle Predictions for the Indie 500 2018

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Hey everyone!

Tomorrow is the Indie 500 tournament, the indiest crossword tournament this nation has to offer, and I will be in DC later today! Very excited to see everyone once again, and I’m gearing to bringing home some more hardware.

As longtime followers of this blog know, and I have correctly predicted every puzzle used in the Indie 500 tournament, and this year, I plan to do the same.

You have less than 24 hours to prep, but here you go, the puzzles used in the Indie 504, in co-organizer alphabetical order.

Andy Kravis – I don’t fully understand it, but there’s a new Spelling Bee feature on the NYT app, led by friend-of-the-show Sam Ezersky. My money is that Andy has been working with Sam for a special, Saturday-edition of Spelling Bee, and you are going to have 15 minutes to find as many words as you can. Words With Friends may be a thing you should consult right now.

Angela Olson Halsted – This year’s theme for the tournament is fashion, and I think Angela was inspired when she went to ACPT 2018 to bring back one of its most popular features. You know how there’s people dressed like pencils/crosswords/wackiness at each tournament? Angela’s puzzle will be worn by her. Not sure how we’ll all be able to read the clues and entries, but she snagged one of those costumes from Connecticut and it will be the centerpiece of the puzzle.

Erik Agard – The reigning ACPT champ, and champion in life. A humanitarian and abecedarian, Erik has been involved with a number of positive crossword movements in the last year. So, it should come to no surprise that his puzzle will be in the form of a charity suite. For $10 or more to one of the listed charities (or one of your choice), this Indie 500 puzzle will be progressive and probably feature a Thursday theme with a Saturday difficulty. With the success of Puzzles for Progress, Queer Qrosswords, and Women of Letters, I’m hoping for something like “Across the Planet”, an environmental-based puzzle set. Have you seen how much plastic is in the ocean?

Neville Fogarty – Keeping with the theme of the tournament, I think Neville’s puzzle will do with hats. Not sure what exactly. Puzzles written on hats, hats in the grid, hats made of black boxes in the grid, but Neville’s always been keen to hats, and I think that reflects today.

Peter Broda – Peter will round out Saturday’s tournament by being a collab with a famous celebrity. We’ve seen these puzzles all year, and now Peter brings his best to the tournament. Since he’s from Canada, I hope he picked a Canadian to partner with for this year’s puzzle. God, a Broda-Reynolds puzzle might be the greatest thing ever.

These five did not list who they were teaming up with to write their puzzle, so Anna, Laura, Lily, and Sophia, I’m sorry I couldn’t predict yours. I’ll say that either you abetted these folks by letting them get away with the theme I predicted, or worse, you came up with it yourselves. Either way, you are just as responsible.

And if for some unknown reason I’m wrong about my predictions, I look forward to seeing the puzzles and hanging out with the folks that make them. I’m really looking forward to being there, and I’m sure it’ll be a bunch of fun.

Good luck this weekend! See you all soon!

Chris

Rock Group (#112)

[Actual Spoiler Alert] – Today’s puzzle is centered around the recent film “Avengers: Infinity War”, and this puzzle actually contains spoilers for that movie. If you have not seen the movie yet and are planning to soon, I’d suggest to not solve this puzzle until you’ve seen it. If you’ve seen the movie OR aren’t worried about seeing it, please enjoy this puzzle. Even if you have no knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I think this puzzle is still very enjoyable, and there’s a ton of non-plot fill that should tickle fancies. Proceed at your own pace.

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71GKlFaoWkL._SL1440_

Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 112!

Not much to say here (sans the spoiler alert), except that there is a new charity crossword suite, Women of Letters. Edited by Patti Varol, if you donate $10 or more to one of the charities dedicated to women featured on the site, you receive a set of 18 puzzles! I have received my packet, and I have enjoyed the puzzles immensely. Support a good cause!

Next puzzle should be a themeless, not sure when it’ll come out. In the meantime, why don’t you follow me on Twitter? I recently had a tweet that was liked by Peter Sagal, so you know I mean business.

Enjoy!

Chris

Ride Into the Danger Zone (#111)

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Danger Zone 2

Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 111!

Before I go into the meta answer, I hope you enjoy today’s 31×11 crossword. I’ve been sitting on this for a while, and ironing it out for a while, but I think the final result is nice, like a exhibition piece. I hope you learn something new from it!

Now to go over the answer:

I told you that brother has tessered, and now I don’t know where he is, and the puzzle’s answer is where he went.

110-solution

The puzzle featured four clues labeled [Clue #1] to [Clue #4], which were SILENTCLOWN, HARDLYRACY, LOSEENERGY, and QBTEBOWETAL, while the central answer gave us the theme.

39-A [2018 Disney film whose title serves as a hint for solving this puzzle] = A WRINKLE IN TIME

While you did not have to see the film to enjoy the film, I certainly would recommend seeing it.

Hopefully looking at the different clues and noticing you needed to wrinkle time, you saw that each of the clues was referring to a word that is one letter away from the word TIME.

Silent clown = MIME
Hardly racy = TAME
Lose energy = TIRE
QB Tebow, et al. = TIMS

The four words edit each letter of the word time: Mime, tAme, tiRe, timS, and with that, you discover that brother has not tessered to a distant planet, but rather to or neighbor MARS, our answer. He reported that Mars is pretty cold, and there’s not much to do.

mars_surface

A few notes about the puzzle:
1) Apparently, it’s really hard to come up with a good clue for TAME that is 10 letters long and does not end with an E.
2) A few of you all submitted how odd the phrase QBTEBOWETAL looked, which make me happy. While I am perfectly happy with the phrase I picked, I also figured out I could have made the word CEOCOOKETAL, but the inclusion of Qs, Bs, and Ws was fine with me. Are there any more examples of 11-letter phrases that include a surname, a job description, and a reference to there being multiple ones? Feel free to let me know.
3) As I highlighted in the above grid, turns out the puzzle itself was on Mars, as all four corners of the planet were labeled.

Altogether, 122 readers submitted the right answer. This is, by far, the most number of correct submissions for a Chris Words puzzle, and I couldn’t be more excited that all of you submitted. If you were a first time solver, I sincerely hope you continuing solving the puzzles, it being a meta or not! Congrats to those who got it! This week’s randomly selected winner was Anna-Marie Ruoff. She will join Jon Delfin, John L. Wilson, Jim Quinlan, Eric Maddy, Andy Keller, David Cole, Roger Barkan, Patricia Miga, Erik Agard, Charles Montpetit, Steve Blais, Mike Ruslander, Matthew Breen, David Stein, Justin Weinbaum, Tyler Hinman, Kathy Johnescu, Regina Cassidy, Tim Harrod, Laura Mendyke in a future section of the site. Congrats Anna-Marie!

Enjoy the puzzle everyone! Hope to have #112 soon!

Chris