AV Club Crossword – 24 February 2016

And another meta, “YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE“, this time from AVCX. Subscribe and solve.

AV meta

“You Snooze, You Lose”

Constructor: Erik Agard

Difficulty: 4/5

Theme: Meta puzzle. A bunch of squares are already filled in, and the e-mail that accompanies this puzzle explains:

Oh no! Someone got to the morning paper before you, and they already started the crossword. Oh well, I guess you’ll just have to try and ignore their–seriously? THAT’S their answer for 1-Down? Good grief. Did they get anything right? The meta solution is a two-word phrase, eleven letters in total, that tells you what you might need to do to avoid this situation in the future.

We’ll take this in two steps. The actual puzzle solution, pictured above, has a very simple initials theme:

  • 16A: REAL ESTATE – *Flats and such
  • 38A: RENEWABLE ENERGY – *It can be collected from the sun
  • 18D: RADIO EDIT – *Hit cleanup?
  • 24D: RUB ELBOWS – *Mingle at a party
  • 64A: RESOLUTION – What you need to find in order to finish this puzzle

So they’re all R.E. phrases, and you need to find an R.E. SOLUTION to finish the puzzle.

All of the answers that are provided are wrong, of course…

AV raw

…but some of the individual letters turn out to be right. When you put them together, they spell out rise earlier, another R.E. phrase, which is the meta solution.

Lena: I don’t know what y’all did, but I didn’t fully read the e-mail before opening the .puz and when I saw the partially-filled in grid my eyes shot heavenward and I hit “erase all.” Good little adrenalin rush there, and a clever way to set up the meta. Didn’t BuzzFeed have a .puz that opened with answers filled in, but by accident?

Ben: I think that happened to us a couple of times! I always read the e-mail from Ben Tausig before opening the file, so I knew what to expect.

Lena: I solved this one in bed, post-sleeping pill, and wrote all my answers next to the clues; I didn’t know what to do with them yet. As my twilight descended I started writing them into the grid, all tiny– and I noticed the letters that were the same as the “wrong” letters. I circled them and passed out.

Ben: I ended up just downloading two copies of the grid and comparing the original with my solved version. There are some very funny “wrong” answers here, incidentally — CHEESE for 1D: Brie of “Room”, HARD for 14A: Like some exams, ICE for 33D: “Vanilla ___” (Cruise/Cruz movie of 2001) and GEN’RAL for 49D: GM part were my favourites. It took me a while to figure out why 69A: “The ___ Project” was entered as WHICH, but I think it’s a reference to “The Blair Witch Project”.

Lena: That’s the smart way to do it! Haha, yeah– 53A: Lumpy stocking stuffer for FEET was my favorite. Also 47D: “Boo-___!” (celebratory cry) for WEE is fun– I want to meet the person who woke up early and got to the puzzle first.

Ben: By the way, speaking of 1D, the correct Brie there is LARSEN, but I was thinking of ALISON Brie for the longest time, so that corner just wouldn’t come together. It was the last thing I solved, in fact.

Lena: This obviously quite an easy meta– the answer spelled out in order, requiring only that you notice the doubled-up letters– but as someone who doesn’t have much luck with metas it’s always fun to crack one.

Ben: Yeah, I enjoyed it. I overthought it at first, thinking that SECRET CODE (the wrong answer to the revealer) was more significant than it was. This is one of those times I wished I was solving on paper, because it would have been fun to circle the duplicate letters like you did. The base puzzle is pretty straightforward, but still fun, and the R.E. thing provided a nice “click” moment.

Lena: Although the clues were definitely straightforward by and large, there were some classic e.a. satisfying stumpers. 13A: Ain’t the way the teacher tells you to say it (ARE NOT) may be my favorite clue of 2016. I didn’t know that NATURISTS are just fancy-sounding nudists, but that clue, 28A: Their apparel may be 100% off, sure knocked my socks– ugh sorry.

Ben: There isn’t much of note here outside of the meta, but it was really cool (and also the only meta I solved this weekend — missed on the Fireball, and finally just guessed on the Gaffney). Also, I love any excuse to embed the video for NO SCRUBS.

1 comment
  1. e.a. said:

    thanks for (re)solving and (re)viewing! gotta shoutout tausig, who is the real author of lena’s favorite clue this year

    Liked by 1 person

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