Solutions are due for this week’s AVCX contest puzzle. Here’s how things work.
Paolo Pasco’s American Values Club contest crossword, “Girl, Interrupted”
In the instructions for this week’s puzzle, it said the meta solution to the puzzle is a name. Given the title “Girl, Interrupted”, I expected it to be a girl’s name, but that ends up playing into the theme clues:
- 22A: Gambler’s run — LUCKY STREAK
- 24A: Cafeteria option for college students — MEAL PLAN
- 36A: Blackboard note next to something important — DON’T ERASE
- 42A: Flower in some wedding bouquets — BABY’S BREATH
- 60A: Rat Pack member — JOEY BISHOP
- 80A: “The Desert Fox” — ERWIN ROMMEL
- 85A: Beatles album with a Volkwagen Beetle on its cover — ABBEY ROAD
- 100A: Spot checker? — LEASH LAW
- 102A: Planetary surface material collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover — MARTIAN SOIL
On their own, there doesn’t appear to be much connection between these answers, but go back to the title of the puzzle and you’ll find that each entry contains a girl’s name that’s been interrupted:
All the interrupting letters, in order, spell the final meta answer, KANYE WEST. I racked my brain to try and see if there was some connection between the women’s names and Mr. West, but couldn’t find one. If there was one, and you found it, put it in the comments!
Other fill notes:
- 35A: Site with homemade Taylor Swift prayer candles (what a time to be alive!) — ETSY (They also have things like prints of each Smiths album as a series of paperback books. You’re welcome)
- 49A: Opera ___ — SERIA (it’s a specific type of opera! That I was completely unfamiliar with)
- 76A: One who might never do the dishes or pay rent and oh my god is that an old sock in the fridge?? — ROOMIE (way to capture my mindset about my outgoing roommate, Paolo. Here’s to the next one being better.)
- 111A: One-named R&B artist who sang “You Gotta Be” — DESREE (I have seen multiple greatest hits compilations for Des’ree, who, as far as I am aware, only really had the one major hit.)
- 28D: 2007 Eddie Murphy comedy that musician Brian Wilson has called his favorite film — NORBIT (Music Legends: They’re Just Like Us In That Sometimes They Like Terrible Movies)
- 49D: Be absolutely flawless, like Beyonce at any given moment #queen — SLAY (“Foundation” came up in my iTunes’ playlist while solving the puzzle and I had to pause and just jam to that when it played. Such is the power of Beyonce.)
- 64D: “You cannot police me, so get off my ___” (lyric in Janelle Monae’s “Yoga”) — AREOLA (this song, above, is a jam.)
- 94D: “Careless Whisper” band — WHAM (this song, below, is also a jam.)
4.5/5 stars. Great guest puzzle, Paolo. This was fun and the meta was clear.
The connection has to do with an incident at the 2009 Video Music Awards:
And in your write-up, I see Paolo had put some clues referencing two of the women involved, Beyonce and Taylor Swift. Wonder if there are others…
Nice puzzle Paolo.
West interrupted Swift’s acceptance speech for her Best Female Video award at the 2009 VMAs, stating that Beyonce should have won the award.
As soon as I got the meta, all I had in my head was “Imma let you finish,” which was what West said to swift.
Yep, I’m officially kicking myself on this one. IMMA LET YOU FINISH was even a codephrase I needed to enter into ClueKeeper during a puzzle hunt this weekend! No excuses.
yeah, i don’t know how you missed that. i guess you could just call it a blank space in your pop culture knowledge? ;)
*listens to “Shake It Off”*
Paolo, Imma let you finish, but Matt Gaffney had one of the greatest metas of all time.
POY contender imo. so simple, so satisfying.
It’s a pretty great themeless before you get the meta too.
It took me at least five minutes after solving the meta to get the joke. And then I burst out laughing. This morning I described the theme to my wife–who knows nothing of crosswords, but much more of pop culture than I do–and she thought it was the funniest thing she’d heard in weeks.
Great puzzle, Paolo.
Not sure if it was intended or not, but I saw KANYE as another instance of the theme answers, with “N” interrupting KAYE, a not extremely common but valid female name.
Impossible to wring the post-pubescent star gazing from this one. Ugh.
I know, right? Why can’t the crossword feature more opera singers and vaudeville stars from days gone by?
Pop culture slogs are what they are: slogs.