Did you buy Patrick Blindauer’s inaugural puzzle suite a year ago? He funded that one through Kickstarter.com supporters and it was a lot of fun… except for the part where I just plain couldn’t figure out what direction to go for the meta answer. The individual puzzles were all fun, but I crashed and burned when it came time for the endgame. (Editorial correction: No, wait, Kickstarter was two PB2 suites ago, and the “Holiday”-themed puzzles’ meta was not killer-hard. The “Summer”-themed puzzle suite Patrick ran through his site last year was killer-hard.)
Now that his puzzle-suite business has been properly kick-started, Patrick’s selling his second set of crosswords-with-a-meta-answer, “Musical Puzzlefest,” through his own website. He promises that the final answer will not be as difficult to suss out this time. (Yay!) And there are multiple prizes! “Two solvers will be awarded $100 Barnes & Noble gift cards, one solver will get a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card, and 10 runners-up will receive a copy of my latest book: Easy Breezy Crosswords,” Patrick writes.
To join the fun, head to the Shop page on Patrick’s website and order your puzzle set for $9.95. Contest puzzles will be sent out December 15, and we’ll have a full two months to wrestle with them before the contest ends. So if you’re no speed demon, fear not: there’s no prize for finishing first.
I missed out — what was so difficult about the previous one?
I don’t remember the specifics, Henry. That’s on account of not understanding in the slightest what the specifics were. While half the people cracked the first suite’s meta, a mere 13 people figured out the second suite’s meta. I think Evad was one of them—he’s better at metas than I am. I think Patrick’s aiming for a difficulty level closer to the first one. You should drop $9.99 on the still-available Summer suite, Henry—nearly impossible puzzles are up your alley, no?
My take wasn’t that the meta was necessarily difficult — I had the meta and knew exactly what to do. What I _didn’t_ have was an answer to puzzle 8, and there was no real way to backsolve around it.
Yes, the hardest thing to solve wasn’t so much the meta itself [spoiler removed], but the gimmick to solve puzzle 8, [more spoiler removed].
I’m in the same boat as Evad and Tabstop, puzzle #8 was the killer. I hope Patrick doesn’t over-compensate and make it too easy. Something like a Matt Gaffney 3.75 out of 4th week of the month.
Actually, tabstop, people did backsolve the meta without an answer. One person solved it without *two* answers, which I thought would be impossible.
I was in a similar boat for the summer puzzlefest—I figured out how the meta worked, but I couldn’t quite solve puzzle #6 (Record Keeping). I didn’t have any trouble with #8.
I backsolved, thinking [spoiler removed] would probably be the answer. Don’t want to do that again.
Folks, Patrick is still hoping to sell some copies of his summer puzzlefest, so I’ve removed spoilers from my comments and others.
“You should drop $9.99 on the still-available Summer suite, Henry—nearly impossible puzzles are up your alley, no?”
Yes, but if it’s all crosswords, I’m not gonna enjoy it.
@HH: I think one’s a diagramless. Does that help?
@Evad: Thanks for the spoiler cleanup.
Yep, apologies for spoiling. It’s a great puzzlefest (despite a tough meta) so still well worth the price of admission.
@Amy: Not really, As a solver, I prefer math & logic. For that matter, also as a constructor — I hate looking things up.
pauer: “Actually, tabstop, people did backsolve the meta without an answer. One person solved it without *two* answers, which I thought would be impossible.”
Wow. I can certainly see how you get into the right area without one answer, but picking the right answer out of the [spoiler redacted] [spoiler redacted] is [expletive deleted] amazing.