TWO AV Club contests in a month? What luck. Here’s the writeup on last week’s puzzle now that the deadline has closed.
First, the instructions for this one, per Francis:
Seven characters are in costume. If you sneak backstage, maybe you can get a peek at their real identities.
With a title like “That’s My Cue!”, it’s easy to figure out what’s going on with the theme:
- 19A: Floor cover built to withstand enormous NBA Hall-of-Famer O’Neal? — SHAQ CARPET
- 21A: Results of Basinger’s Mensa test, put to music? — KIM IQ SUNG
- 32A: Index entry in a book of cooking-related psychological disorders (see also: “grilling, obsessed with”)? — BAR-B-Q BENTON
- 44A/48A: Hair salon job that entails eyebrow removal at most? — BURQA/SHAVE
- 62A: Enormous press conferences? — GIANT Q AND AS
- 72A: Reason you didn’t get any presents last Christmas? — SANTA QUIT
- 76A: “I heard your ‘@!#*?!’ loud and clear; will remain at the arcade for now”? — ROGER QBERT
All of these, of course, have a Q in place of another letter to translate a noun phrase into something a little wackier. To solve the meta, all that was required was to put the correct letter back in that Q’s place:
- SHAG CARPET
- KIM IL-SUNG
- BARBI BENTON
- BERMA SHAVE
- GIANT PANDAS
- SANTA SUIT
- ROGER EBERT
Giving us GLIMPSE, the final answer (and what definitely feels in alignment with the “peek” we’re supposed to get for solving this fully.
I thought this had some really well-done fill and was a nice entry-level meta that (hopefully) everyone could enjoy. Nicely done, Francis!