#NoLimits (#17)

Welcome back, and welcome to Week 17!

The theme of this crossword comes from an advertising campaign at the University of South Carolina. Hopefully you won’t sweat it too much. Apparently, one of the themers is a phrase somehow unique to USC, but that should stop you.

Anyway, as seen in last week’s post, this has been an exciting week for me. Last weekend, I had the great fortune of taking a trip up to MIT, and I was able to participate in the MIT Mystery Hunt.

GreatDomeMITI got to Cambridge on Thursday afternoon, and was able to walk around the campus and see the campus finally up close. But, Friday afternoon came soon enough.

This year’s theme was “20,000 Puzzles Under the Sea”, and team Luck, I Am Your Father hit the ground running. If you want actual play-by-play analysis of what our team did, I direct you to fellow teammate devjoe’s posts.


The weekend was the most amazing puzzling experience I’ve ever had. I’ve loved the Hunt for so long, and now I was finally there in person to play it. And I was so gracious to play on a team of some of the best solvers in the country. The puzzles during the Hunt were great, and I enjoyed all the activities we had. Sure, the Atlantis meta was a trick, but the puzzles were really fun. Even this word search we received at 3am Sunday morning.


But, at 5:02am Sunday morning, we won the whole damn thing. I genuinely could not believe that our team had won the Mystery Hunt. Surreal doesn’t even begin to touch it. I couldn’t be any more gracious if we had finished the Hunt, but sure enough our team got the coin first (which looked like this):


That Sunday, I slept from 6:30am to 3:30pm. What a sleep it was. I vaguely remember having to tell a hotel maid that we were alright when she came in at 1 or so.

The trip was amazing, and now Team Luck is already working on picking a theme for the 2016 Hunt. And somehow or another, I have a say on what it’ll be! And I’ll get to write puzzles for the 2016 Hunt! Such exciting times we live in.

Well, as one way to wrap up this post, I’d like to let you know that the USC Puzzle Hunt, an puzzle event I write for, is now open for registration! If you like puzzles (and since you read through an entire blogpost about puzzles), then be sure to grab a few friends and sign up. Starts February 16th, and should be a lot of fun.

Thanks everyone, and I’ll see you next week. Enjoy!


MIT Mystery Hunt 2015: Sea For Victory

Hey everyone. So, I don’t have a puzzle this week. This entire last week as been a circus as I get ready to go to Boston for the MIT Mystery Hunt. And then this weekend has been insane as I’m up through the night working on puzzles. This all did pay off, as at 5:05am Sunday morning, my team Luck I Am Your Father found the coin.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 6.32.23 AM

I’m typing this from my hotel room here in Boston around 6:30am Sunday, and I truly can’t believe everything that has occurred over the last few days. Not only was attending an MIT Mystery Hunt was the greatest puzzling experience in my life, but I was able to play for the winning team in my first onsite appearance. I’ll figure out more of my emotions after I get some sleep in.

There will be a puzzle next week, and I’m sure I’ll have more to say about this weekend. Sorry for the lack of puzzle on my part. It’s just been a rough week. And by rough, I mean 140+ puzzles in 36 hours.


The Duck Konundrum (#16)

This is Chris, from another Chris Words post in Columbia. And we’re up to our meta puzzle explanation. I got an email from one of the solvers of this puzzle who loved the puzzle, but still had a lot of questions. He writes:

Dear Chris,
Another great puzzle, but I just could come up with who you were looking for. I’m sure when you post the answer, it’ll make so much sense, but until then, I’m just going to keep kicking myself. Keep it up!

Well, here’s your meta puzzle explanation.


We’re looking for someone we lost in 2014, and this clue has four starred answers:

17A – *What keeps Oral Roberts University going? = TULSA PULSE
62A – *Adventure for a spelunker inside a really gunky cave? = SLIMY CLIMB
11D – *Payraise that Homer Simpson would surely agree to? = DONUT BONUS
28D – *Possible entrée at a themed Liverpool pub? = RINGO WINGS

The title is “Core Demographic”, which points to that these four answers consist of 10 letters, specifically two 5-letter words, and the center three letters of each word is the same (TULSA PULSE, SLIMY CLIMB, DONUT BONUS, RINGO WINGS).

So, the person who we lost is someone whose name follows this same pattern, which points to CASEY KASEM, this meta’s answer. Something that no one mentioned in any of the correct responses was the fact that the clue for 40D [Gyroscopic toy] is TOP. If you did catch this, well done!

Twenty (!) correct answers came in for the third meta, and Jim Quinlan was the randomly selected winner. He will join Jon Delfin and John L. Wilson in a future section of the site.

I’m only a few days away to heading up to Cambridge to play in the MIT Mystery Hunt! Longtime followers of the Hunt will recognize the name of this puzzle as a name of a long-running puzzle type in the Hunt, all engineered by logic master Dan Katz. Well, today’s puzzle won’t be that hard. My puzzle is just a bunch of duck puns.

I’m not exactly sure if I’ll be posting a puzzle new week, or a post about puzzles, but I will have something published next week. The future is exciting.

Enjoy the puzzle, and wish me luck!

Meta: Core Demographic (#15)



Welcome to Week 14, and happy 2015! I hope you had a great holiday season, and I hope that 2015 will be a great year for us all. To celebrate the new year, of course I’m going to post a picture of Back to the Future II, the greatest film ever set in this year. Then again, at the end of this year, there will be other films set in this year, but I’m positive this will stay the top 2015 film.

And, I’m back from my week off. So now its time for a meta puzzle.

For this third meta of the blog, I’m looking for someone we lost in 2014. When you think you have it, email me at cking.gow(at)gmail.com with your answer. I’ll accept answers all the way to noon ET on Saturday.

This week, I head back to USC to get ready for a new semester. Besides things like graduating, lots of actual fun things for me. I’ll be in MIT in less than two weeks for the MIT Mystery Hunt, and I’m also busy writing for the USC Puzzle Hunt, which should start in mid-February. Lots of puzzles all the time. That’s the life for me.

Be sure to send in an answer, and there will be a new puzzle next week. Enjoy!