Themeless Sixteen (#78)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 79!

Today is my sixteenth themeless, and I hope you enjoy the clue that you can probably guess was my main seed entry.

Lollapuzzoola is coming up in two weeks, so be sure to register for that and say hi to me! Also, my plans for after the tournament, Friday afternoon/evening, and Sunday noon are WIDE OPEN for me that weekend.

And, I do plan to write my Indie 500 wrap up soon, damn it.

All right, enjoy the puzzle!



Solution to Summer Lovin’ #74


Answer: [HERE]

Hey everyone! I didn’t get the review of the Indie 500 up for today, so it should be up within 24 hours.

Until then, here are the answers for the second Variety Edition published 3 weeks ago. Feel free to rummage through the answers and see what you got and didn’t got. At the end, this was just a side exercise to have fun. I’d like to imagine all of you solved it in a beach chair with the roar of the ocean in the background.

The randomly picked winner of this meta suite is Anita Hollister and Steve Watt, which I’ll be sending something to the for their valiant effort. I’ll let all of you know what it is when I come up with it.

Thanks to all the people who took a gander at it, and I hope that you had fun with the puzzles, no matter your personal progress.

I’ll see you soon for an Indie 500 recap, and a themeless comes out next Sunday!


We Got One! (#77)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 77! Enjoy this week’s puzzle, as it did take a while to clue, for reasons that’ll hopefully become obvious.

I didn’t get the answer key for Summer Lovin’ typed up yet, so everyone’s got another week to work on the meta suite. Next week I’m taking a week off, and instead I’ll have solutions to the meta suite as well as my write up of the Indie 500, which I still haven’t done yet, and I have to assume the at-home division is closed.

Oh, and be sure to check out last week’s puzzle if you haven’t yet. In reflection, it maybe in my top 3 I’ve written for the site.

Thanks everyone, and have fun!


Match Game (#76)

Note: This puzzle is best enjoyed as a PDF. That being said…
[No solution for now]


Hey everyone, and welcome to Match Game 76! Ok, so although this week is not a meta week, there is a final answer to this puzzle. When you think you have it, feel free to email me at cking.gow(at), but there is no prize for getting it.

Also, my Variety Edition is still live, and next week is the deadline! Feel free to email me for any hints you may want or need, and I hope to get you through it!

And also, I have booked my flight for Lollapuzzoola 9! I am very, very excited for it. However, while I’ve booked my flight, I have not gotten a room. If you would like a roommate for that weekend, PLEASE email me, and I would love to defray some costs with you for the weekend. You as the crossword community are amazing.

Anyway, we had a meta from last week, so let’s look at that:

The answer for this meta was a well-known trio, and there were only three theme entries:

56A – [PART 3 (you have to change a letter for this one)] = JADEN SMITH DEBUT

A little knowhow or research will tell you that Mikey’s breakfast from commercials was Life cereal, Lady Liberty stands in New York’s harbor, and Jaden Smith’s first big role was in one of his father’s movies, The Pursuit of Happyness. Thus, by changing a letter in the movie name, that famous trio would be LIFE, LIBERTY, and THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Nothing too hard for your week of the Fourth.

Altogether, 51 (one for each state plus Puerto Rico) readers submitted those unalienable rights. Congrats to those who got it! This week’s randomly selected winner was Justin Weinbaum. He 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, and David Stein in a future section of the site. Congrats Justin!

That’s all I’ve got for now. Thanks everyone, and enjoy!


Meta: Party Like It’s 1776 (#75)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 75! I hope all of you are having a great Fourth weekend, and I hope you plan on eating some great American foods in the next few days.

Just a reminder that last week’s Variety Edition is still live, and you’ve got two more weeks to work on it! We already have some people who have submitted a correct final answer, and now that I’ve got Internet again, I’ll be able to address errata and emails.

Before we discuss my biggest crossword development, let’s take care of some usual Chris Words business. It’s time for a new crossword, and since this week’s puzzle ends with a 5 or 0, it’s time for a meta.

For this fifteenth meta, I’m looking for a well-known trio. When you think you have it, email me at cking.gow(at) with your answer. I’ll accept answers all the way to midnight ET Saturday, July 9th.

By the way, this meta is a Week 1 MGWCC. I figured you all deserved it.

As I’m sure you probably know, I had the absolute honor to be the fourth member of Matt Gaffney’s Guest Constructors Month. Matt assigned me Week 4, knowing I Holiday2-solutionhad a penchant for intricate and elaborate metas, and I’m glad I didn’t disappoint.

This puzzle originally didn’t have the days-of-the-week sequence that it ended up having, and instead had seven clues with a (2) or (5) at theend, so that you had to arrange them in the designated order. As you can tell, some of the words made it to the better puzzle, but some didn’t. The challenge was to find someone you don’t see everyday, with CAROLER as the final answer. After much thought, I realized that a solver could theoretically just plug the words into the Ginsberg database and find that word, so I knew I needed a different method, which is the one involving Sunday through Friday sequentially.

I want to make it clear that I really wanted to have each day of the week, but it just couldn’t be done. Note that I used this Wikipedia page as a good barometer for any holidays. Solvers over at Crossword Fiend suggested the possible observances of Holy Saturday, Derby Day, and Armed Forces Day. While I am very familiar with each of those days, I just didn’t think those three days meet BOTH qualifications of being widely celebrated and in the public conscience. I felt way better picking both Labor and Presidents Day rather than a day most people probably wouldn’t have known. Holy Saturday is the closest to being best known, but I’ve already got two religious days, and I didn’t want half my themers to be based on Holy Week.

But still, 116 folks (and maybe a viewer like you) got it, and it was slightly easier I guess than last week. I wrote a Week 4 puzzle, and it turns out Jeff wrote a Week 3 puzzle that could have been a Week 5! Still, the numbers don’t like, and I think both of our puzzles were pretty normal for their slot.

As a lover of metas (which explains those five puzzle hunts I’ve written), it was a great honor being a pick for Week 4. And no matter what some might think, I’m extraordinarily proud of my entry. Haters, as they say, gonna hate.

Good luck with my meta this week, and I surely hope it’ll be easier than CANDLES.

Happy nonmoving Fourth!