BEQ contest puzzle from 4/5/12

BEQ untimed 

Here’s a quick write-up of Brendan’s contest puzzle from last week, now that he’s posted the answer to the meta. I can get most of the metas for Matt Gaffney’s Weekly Crossword Contest, but this one stymied me.

BEQ contest puzzle, 4/4/12 "Convertible"

In Brendan’s answer grid, you can see what happens when you “pull the top down” in the convertible placed at the middle of the puzzle: ARI slides down into KIMONO and covers up the MON, turning the 6 into KIA RIO. Those two answers kind of look like a car, too. Long front with KI, body of the car with MON, top/windows in ARI, trunk in O.

I went slightly less  literal in my approach, viewing each word in the grid as a potential candidate in which one might pull the first letter (“top”) to the end of the word (“down”), although I was eyeballing the Across answers for this treatment too. I came up with the fusty old crosswordese car, the REO, lurking in ORE this way. I don’t know if Brendan intended that as a red herring right there next to the near-twin RIO trick, but it seems dastardly. In any case, even though I won nothing, I’m glad the answer didn’t play on a super-boring crossword answer being transformed into another super-boring crossword answer. Brendan’s too clever to stoop to that, right?

Looking to the crossword itself, I like WRONG MOVE. And I always like seeing KD LANG in the grid (especially since she prefers lowercase letters but has a voice that cries out for ALL CAPS). I could swear some commenter this week singled out KD LANG as an example of horrible/obscure fill but I can’t find it.

Were you one of the lucky/clever 36 people who submitted the correct answer? If you submitted a wrong answer, what did you try?

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13 Responses to BEQ contest puzzle from 4/5/12

  1. Jeffrey says:

    I correctly figured out what to do but never could find the answer.

  2. Matt says:

    I submitted Trans Am, but that was (mostly) a random guess since I was getting no traction. Thought maybe TRAM had something to do with it, but couldn’t figure out why NSA would be on “top”, i.e., outside the grid.

    Maybe the NSA is watching the grid!

  3. Aaron Brandes says:

    I have a KIA RONDO, tried pulling down the “A”, while thinking of other KIA models, but missed the RIO

  4. Howard B says:

    Same here as Jeffrey. I am not a car person, and car themes kill me. I knew it would be a two-word car likely with a small enough name to fit somewhere in the grid (likely using a turn or overlap). Without the helpful pic from BEQ’s site, I had no idea that a Kia Rio existed. Yep, I’m that bad with car brands :).

  5. Paul Coulter says:

    Without much optimism, I submitted K coupe, from the down entries coup ekeby. This was an 80s class of car, though admittedly not the name of a particular model.

  6. *David* says:

    I has the right logic but got stuck up in the NE corner with that WIIU and TRANS section absorbing my brain. I figured that the area that was able to have the meta was pretty restricted due to the theme fill which frustrated me on not finding it quickly. I put away the puzzle until last night and the meta popped out within five minutes. I gave the puzzle to my eldest as a memento since his name is ARI.

  7. Squonk says:

    The list of cars that BEQ linked to on Monday really helped me get this one. I went through the list looking for short car names, and KIA RIO jumped out.

  8. Erik says:

    what Squonk said. you’d think a giant list of cars wouldn’t be any help at all, but weirdly, after staring at it for days to no avail, i got it right away with the help of the list.

  9. jefe says:

    Aw crap, I forgot the two-word answer constraint. I very confidently submitted MITSUBISHI, because if you pull the top of the grid down (crease along the diagonals, and join the top two corners), the resulting triangular shape and the grid’s black squares very strongly resemble the Mitsubishi logo.

  10. Jim Hilger says:

    Pitifully, I tried pulling the top six rows of the grid down a line, yielding 2 black squares followed by COUP+E, in column 5. So my submission was BLACK COUPE. Made some sense, considering the car picture on his blog that day. Booby prize.

  11. Jan says:

    I had an idea of what to do, but couldn’t find it either.

  12. Don Byas says:

    Got this one quickly.
    Pulling the top down made me think of the alcohol on the row above in last year’s “RAISE YOUR SPIRITS” puzzle.

  13. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Right, @Don—Brendan is the leading practitioner of stacking answers in the service of a theme.

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