Explanation for Meta #20

No new puzzle this week, mostly because the USC Puzzle Hunt is a behemoth. I always enjoy working on it each year, but man it takes a lot of hours to just admin throughout the week. Besides the actual puzzles themselves, we’ve put on an opening show, a recreation of a game show, a cornhole tournament, a scavenger hunt, and a movie night.

However, there was a metapuzzle last week, and its time to show how this metapuzzle works!


We’re looking for a part of the human body, and this puzzle had five clues just named “Part 1” through “Part 5”.

Solving the crossword leads to those five clues being:


Keen crossword solvers should recognize that [Melville work] is a pretty basic clue for OMOO, and [Fencing sword] is a standard clue for EPEE. Seeing those two words, it could be assumed that each of these phrases must clue a word that fits the ABAA scheme.

Lettuce type = BIBB
Melville work = OMOO
Georgian senator = NUNN
Fencing sword = EPEE
Be fresh with = SASS

With the title of the puzzle being “We Are The 75%”, you should look at the letter that appears 3 out of 4 times. Those five letters spell out BONES, this meta’s answer.

So, the phrasing “a part of the human body” confused a number of solvers. The phrase “a part of the human body” was picked since I didn’t want to give the plural hint away. Some solvers even question “Are bones a part of the human body?”. I certainly think so, and I think the phrase “Bones are a part of the human body” makes perfect sense.

Everyone who submitted an answer saw that BONES was spelled out, but some people even overthought the meta. A couple of people submitted EAR, since ears notably contain 3 bones. I accepted this as well, since those people did mention having the “BONES” part first.

Thirty-four correct answers came in for the fourth meta, and Eric Maddy was the randomly selected winner. He will join Jon Delfin, John L. Wilson, and Jim Quinlan in a future section of the site.

Thanks everyone. We’ll be back next week with a new puzzle.


Meta: We Are The 75% (#20)

Week 20! Since it ends with 5 or 0, it’s time for a meta!

For this fourth meta of the blog, I’m looking for a part of the human body. 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.

The picture above has nothing to do with the crossword, but are a part of a puzzle used last year in the USC Puzzle Hunt! Kickoff begins tomorrow, so if you still haven’t found a team, now is your chance!

Thanks everyone, and enjoy!

The Good Eleven (#19)


Welcome to Week 19 everyone! The theme of this puzzle was inspired as Puzzle #11 was coming up, but I decided to put a bookmark in it and to come back to it later. Also, it gave me a reason to use the Schoolhouse Rock title.

Next week is Week #20, which means another meta puzzle is on its way. Also, a week from today is the kickoff to the USC Puzzle Hunt! As of right now, 24 teams have registered, and it looks like we already have a great field. Be sure to get some of your puzzle friends, sign up a team, and enjoy some puzzles mostly written by yours truly!


Themeless Four (#18)

Welcome to Week 18, and welcome to Themeless Four! This puzzle should please people of all ages, so hopefully you’ll find something you like tucked away somewhere in the grid.

For this post, I want to make a plug for the USC Puzzle Hunt, which is a puzzle contest I run here at the University of South Carolina. The event will start Monday February 16th, and will be five fun days of puzzles. I’ve enjoyed putting on the Hunt for three years now, and I’m very excited to put on this year’s. I know you are a puzzle person, so be sure to at least check out the website and some of the old puzzles

Registration can be found at the link provided, and if you have any questions, please email me at uscpuzzlehunt@gmail.com, where any questions can be answered.

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