AV Club Contest – Wednesday, May 16, 2018

untimed (Ben) 



The deadline for last week’s AVCX Contest Puzzle from Francis Heaney has passed – let’s check in on what was going on there.

Last week’s AVCX puzzle, “Power Grid”, was 3.5/5 on the difficulty scale and had an unusual 15×17 size. I wasn’t timing myself as I solved it yesterday, but the grid fell pretty quickly, with maybe an additional minute needed to catch the meta.  The instructions provided with the puzzle asked for us to find “a fictional group” suggested by the theme answers.  Those answers:

  • 17A: Trait of the driven — BURNING AMBITION
  • 27A: Hogwarts hiree nicknamed “Mad-Eye” — ALASTOR MOODY
  • 35A: Complete precision — ZERO GUESS WORK
  • 44A: Joan was one on “Mad Men” — OFFICE MANAGER
  • 54A: Decadent but smelly dessert — DURIAN GELATO
  • 67A: “Call me sometime!” — DON’T BE A STRANGER

Each answer contains the name of one of the X-MEN, the solution to this meta.

So, I like this meta – it’s fairly simple, and a nice “starter” meta for someone who’s new to the whole concept and wanting to know what that means.  I’m a little underwhelmed with some of these theme answers, though – I understand they’re in service of the theme, but ZERO GUESS WORK and DURIAN GELATO both feel a little green paint-y.  Everything else feels like a straightforward phrase, and those feel just out of the realm of something that pops up in normal chatter to stick out.

Everything else was pretty solid – I expect no less from Francis’ AVCX puzzles.  How’d you find this one?  Any fill that stymied you?

3.75/5 stars.

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1 Response to AV Club Contest – Wednesday, May 16, 2018

  1. Ellen Nichols says:

    Based on the title, POWER Grid, I started looking for the Power Rangers. Saw RED, and ANGEL Falls, and cobbled together ZE-ONIZER. Did a lot of “research” with Dr. Goo, but couldn’t find more, so started over. Despite ZERO familiarity with X-Men, sussed it out with Dr. Goo.
    I sorta know the original Power Rangers from my son’s childhood. Sat through the movie and actually fell asleep (working Mom). Now I’ve started that terrible ear worm again.

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