Remember last week’s AV Club contest puzzle?
Erik Agard’s American Values Club contest crossword, “You Snooze, You Lose”
I liked the concept behind last week’s AV Club crossword contest, even if it felt a little more like something you’d see at a puzzle hunt than your standard meta crossword. Working with someone who started the puzzle before you, it was all about solving the remaining clues and checking their work to make corrections.
I ended up using two puzzles side by side, so I could keep track of what was my handwriting, and what was already written in the grid. I also used a sharpie to keep track of any changes – see the screenshot of the puzzle. To find “what you need to finish this puzzle”, as suggested in 64A, it wasn’t about RESOLUTION, as your previous solver suggested, but RESOLUTION – finding the 11 places where even though their answer was wrong, their letter in a square was correct. Highlighting these squares and reading from left to right, top to bottom, gives the advice to RISE EARLIER if you want to avoid this situation again. For all the work that went into this week’s puzzle (both on the constructing and solving sides), that answer was a little disappointing – when reading what I was supposed to be looking for before starting the puzzle, I figured it’d be a message to wake up earlier, and that was basically it.
Since the entire puzzle is themed around the concept of correcting this other solver’s mistakes, there’s not a good way to single out themed clues, but here’s some of the nicer clues throughout the puzzle:
- 28A: Their apparel may be 100% off — NATURISTS
- 57A: Long-tusked marine animal — NARWHAL (This clue stumped me for far longer than it should have in the lower left corner)
- 1D: Brie of Room — LARSON (completely deserved her Oscar last night. The grid’s existing entry of CHEESE got a giggle from me)
- 40D: TLC hit about guys with no game — NO SCRUBS (For a brief moment when solving this clue I was terrified that a sequel to The Pickup Artist was airing on TLC)
- 66D: “Angela’s Ashes” sequel — TIS
Some solid fill on this one (especially given the constraint). A fun concept overall, but this felt a little let down by a meta that was almost guessable before you started the puzzle