Dream Catcher (#96)

Note: This puzzle has an additional step not featured on the PDF below. The answer to this puzzle and the instructions for the additional step are found below the cover photo. For sake of the puzzle, do NOT look at the solution or additional step until after solving the puzzle.

If you’re able to determine the final step of the puzzle without clicking the link, well done.



Answer Grid
Additional Step

Hey everyone, welcome to Week 96! Hope you enjoy today’s puzzle. I probably won’t be able to write one for the next little while, but this one should bide your time.

We had a meta last week, so let’s talk about it.

The answer to this puzzle was a 20th century year, and there was five long answers that seemed to stick out:

17A – [Piece of information that can devastate a listener when dropped] = TRUTH BOMBNew198-solution
24A – [Metaphorical shape that probably just uses two line segments] = LOVE TRIANGLE
53A – [Online dating service with an aquatic logo] = PLENTYOFFISH
65A – [Friendship symbol that is passed] = PEACE PIPE

Along with
39A – [British agency that closely monitors the households of underage wizards and witches] = MINISTRY OF MAGIC, from the Harry Potter books

Hopefully you brushed up on your English lit, or you typed some of these key answers into Google, as the first word of each of the four theme answers [Truth, Love, Plenty, and Peace] can succeed the phrase “Ministry of” to make the name of a major agency in the fictional world featured in George Orwell’s 1984. The idea of spying on citizens is shown in the Ministry of Magic clue, as The Trace totally does this.

Also, as bonus fill, the top row of this puzzle is CAIN, ALEC, and SHEMP. Those three overlook the entire puzzle, as they can all be described as big brother.


Altogether, 42 readers submitted the right answer. Congrats to those who got it! This week’s randomly selected winner was Tim Harrod. 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, David Stein, Justin Weinbaum, Tyler Hinman, Kathy Johnescu, and Regina Cassidy in a future section of the site. Congrats Tim!

Enjoy the puzzle!



Puzzle Predictions for the Indie 500 2017


Hey everyone! A reminder that there’s currently a couple days left to solve the current meta Watchmen. New puzzle on Sunday, and I hear it’s a good one. After that, not sure when #97 will come out, because work and trips, but it’ll come soon enough.

However, as tradition dictates, I am the certified prognosticator for the puzzles of the puzzles of the Indie 500. This year’s theme is time, but who knows what that means. This slate of folks are some amazing constructors, but I know there are some people who check out concert listing before going to the concert, so that’s why I am here. I have successfully predicted 100% of the puzzles up to this point, and I’m here to help you out once more.

The Indie 503 puzzles, in their website order:

Andy Kravis – As much as Andy loves to write crosswords, I think he may love to write warm-up puzzles even more. His Puzzle #141 was his contribution for a warm-up puzzle for the 2017 ACPT, and his Puzzle #1 was a warm-up for the 2013 ACPT. I forgot who wrote the warm-up last year, but the inaugural Indie 500 was by Neville. So, in honor of his love of the warm-up puzzle, Andy will write 2 puzzles: an easy warm-up puzzle titled “Hope You Remembered!” with some theme about the past or something, followed by a Puzzle 1 also titled “Hope You Remembered!” which is just the same grid as the first one, but with no clues. A memory test for the ages. I hope those theme answers will be super memorable.

Angela Olson Halsted – Angela is a huge fan of the non-best NL East team, Washington Nationals. And you may think that there’s not enough baseball crosswords out there. I can’t think of the last time I solved a baseball crossword. Well, Angela will not help you out this time. Angela’s puzzle will be dedicated to a non Big 4 sport. Will it be curling? Will it be the discus? Will it be cricket? Are you ready for some football? Well it won’t come up, so don’t worry about it.

Erik Agard – Anybody that knows Erik knows he has crossword idols. It just happens that in the last few weeks, one of his idols wrote a puzzle that’ll be remembered for a long time. But you know Erik, he likes to step up his game. And thus, Erik’s puzzle will be a puzzle that features only six letters in the fill. The current record of seven is hard to beat, but I’ll look forward to solving a puzzle with just the letters R,S,T,L,N,E. Erik couldn’t be more proud.

Neville Fogarty – You know, I’m sure Neville’s thought about it for a while, but I honestly believe this event he’ll finally get to the Pokemon Go crossword everyone’s been waiting for. Neville was known for his Pokemon references on his old site, and its very possible we’ll have an interactive element similar to the cell phones or red light / green light seen at LPZ. Make a grid that looks like the Pokemon Go interface, and you’ve got an instant classic.

Tracy Bennett – Tracy makes her Indie 500 debut this year! Thrice seen in the NYT, Tracy is no spring chicken to crossword writing, or chickens of any other season. Seeing her previous work, I think Tracy’s puzzle will involve wordplay. Anagrams, puns, rhyming words, rebus squares, it’s all fair game with Tracy! Wordplay often tends to be really difficult, so I’m hoping it’s not too difficult! Really looking forward to being proven right.

Paolo Pasco – One of the rising stars in the crossworld word, Paolo is here to kick your butt and chew gum. And the Indie 500 is all out of gum but good on pie. Paolo is here to one-up everyone, and his contribution will be a 51×51 crossword. You think Longo’s 50×50 was good? Wait until you see Paolo’s. You’ll plop down DOUBLE DOUBLE TOIL AND TROUBLE FIRE BURN AND CAULDRON BUBBLE crossing NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE and you’ll be on your way. Now you may think “Won’t this take a while to grade?”. In a way. The time on the clock will only be 45 minutes, but it’s a test to see how much you can get done in that time. I’m sure there will be some metric to determine how much of the grid you get done, but the it’ll be a race to get 50%.

Allegra Kuney – Remember how I correctly predicted Sam’s ERNEST HEMINGWAY tribute puzzle last year? Well, Allegra cites her love of dumplings in her Indie 500 bio, so it’s clear she loves food. And in a moment that I’m sure Erik will hate himself for not including in a certain publication, Allegra’s puzzle will feature seed entries like ENGLISH MUFFIN, FRENCH TOAST, DANISH PASTRY, and SPANISH OMELET (with a potential IRISH COFFEE tack-on if you make the grid 14 columns wide). Off the top of my head, the puzzle might be called “Continental Breakfast”. I’m sure it’ll make all of us hungry…for American pie!

Now, as you may have noticed, there are 7 people, but only 6 puzzles. Whichever of these 7 are pairing up for one puzzle, just mix the themes seen above together to get their actual theme. I really want to see the 51×51 RSTLNE puzzle.

And if for some unknown reason I’m wrong, 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.

Oh, I’ve got my music already picked:

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 12.02.05 PM

Look forward to seeing you there! Solve the current meta! New puzzle on Sunday!


Meta: Watchmen (#95)



Hey everyone, welcome to Week 95!

New puzzle coming to you on a Friday, slightly trying to ride to Gaffney wave, but also to not avoid posting on Easter. And since this week ends with a 5 or 0, let’s have a meta:

For this nineteenth meta, I’m looking for a 20th century year. 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 late Saturday, April 22nd.

Shout out to Neville Fogarty and Mike Nothnagel who authored the clues for 37-Down and 28-Across respectively.

Have a good weekend everyone, and I’ll be back with a new puzzle soon enough. Also, get ready for my third annual prediction of the Indie 500 puzzles, where I have so far been guessing with a 100% accuracy rate.

Be sure to send me your answer!