Initial Changes (#116)


Note: Puzzles were updated on 12:48pm Sunday, due to major misspelling. Thanks to Jenna LaFleur for letting me know.


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 116! Today’s puzzle is a nice and pleasant crossword. Feel free to solve it downs only, and throw it up on Twitch. Is it asymmetric? Does it matter? It’s fun! I hope you enjoy it.

Let’s go over the answer to #115, and it appears I haven’t written a meta recap since April 2018. Jesus. Let’s get into this.

For the puzzle, I noted I was looking for a creature, and this puzzle had four clues that featured an *asterisk as well as [bracketed numbers]

18-Across {*Swiss, in other words [6] } = EMMENTALER CHEESEPNG115sol

23-Across {*Professional who studies exits [2] } = HIGHWAY ENGINEER

54-Across {*Carpenter’s bottleful [10] } = WOODWORKING GLUE

59-Across {*Czech tennis player and former world No. 1 who lost to Angelique Kerber in the 2016 US Open finals [9] } = KAROLINA PLISKOVA

A few long answers, but circles were left in 18-Across, and those letters spelled out MEECHEE. If you had no idea what that word meant, hopefully you Googled it, and discovered it is the name of a character from the 2018 animated film Smallfoot, about abominable snowmen living in Nepal. While the movie I think did fine, it might be best known for a meme titled “Zendaya is Meechee“, with a fantastically catchy song.

It turns out, the other three entries also contain the name of an abominable snowman from the movie. GWANGI in HIGHWAY ENGINEER, DORGLE in WOODWORKING GLUE, and KOLKA in KAROLINA PLISKOVA.

The [numbers] in each of the clues come in here. The [10] isn’t very useful for DORGLE, but if you use the voice actor names, it works out. After all, Zendaya is Meechee.

Meechee = ZENDAYA [6] = Y
Gwangi = LEBRON JAMES [2] = E
Dorgle = DANNY DEVITO [10] = T
Kolka = GINA RODRIGUEZ [9] = I

Those letters spell YETI, which is the appropriate creature that is this puzzle’s answer. I had this idea for the puzzle back when the meme was super trendy, but hey, nothing wrong with a puzzle about a 2018 movie. That’s what the last meta was about too.

Altogether, 47 readers submitted the right answer. Coming back after a long absence might do that, so thank you regular viewers who check their inboxes. Congrats to those who got it! This week’s randomly selected winner was Grayson Holmes. 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, Regina Cassidy, Tim Harrod, Laura Mendyke, and Anna-Marie Ruoff in a future section of the site. Congrats Grayson!

New puzzle soon. Hope you’ve got a great week ahead!



Meta: Cooler Temperatures (#115)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 115!

So, after a couple of months, I’m back with the meta. No time like the present. But hey, let’s go ahead and take care of the instructions.

For this twenty-third meta, I’m looking for a creature. When you think you have it, email me at with your answer by February 10th.

Shouldn’t be too hard of a meta for you, and if you need help, Google can point you the rest of the way.

I’ve been doing well, and I hope you have too. Job is rolling right along, and I’m still doing puzzle and trivia things. A week ago, I was at the 2019 MIT Mystery Hunt, and I plan to have a review post on this site in the next week or so. I’m hosting two gigs of trivia in Columbia, so if you ever need questions, feel free to hit me up.

In 2018, this site got less puzzles than it did in 2017. There were 15 on CW in 2017, and only 13 in 2018. Granted, some of them were all-time greats like Wash Your Mouth Out and Rock Group, but still, a dearth.

I think a great way to increase my puzzle writing for 2019 is to do collaborations with you fine people. If you’ve got a puzzle idea, and would like to see it published somewhere, feel free to get a hold of me, and we can make it happen here. Longtime constructor, and first time wannabe, I’m here to make it happen.

But don’t worry, I’m still very in tune with the puzzle people, and anyone who follows me on Twitter can see that.

I’ll be back soon with more puzzle stuff, but until then, enjoy the meta!


A&Q (#114.1)

Solve Online with PuzzleMe


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 114.1!

A nice 13×13 quote puzzle today, but I’m glad to finally use it in a puzzle. Today’s puzzle is a tribute to my friend Erik Agard, who recently went on the TV and did a very cool thing that I sincerely hope I get a chance at one day. Great job Erik. You were so close to securing a high-profile Indie 500 contestant.

Hope to have another puzzle before you know it!



Pressed For Answers (#112.2)

Solve Online with PuzzleMe
Meta Solution for “Opening Remarks”


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!


Meta: Opening Remarks (#112.1)



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)

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!