The deadline for last week’s AVCX Contest Puzzle from Francis Heaney has passed – let’s check in on what was going on there.
As with any AV Contest puzzle, I didn’t time myself on this one and just let myself enjoy the solve. This one was a little tricky to initially crack, but one I got one of the theme entries, the rest fell fast and it was only a couple minutes later that I had the meta.
Each of the theme answers has a rebus square clued elsewhere in the grid as “tunnel contents”
- 17A: Be conscientiously meticulous — GOT(OGRE)ATLENGTHS
- 52D: Tunnel contents — FIONA (Fiona is an ogre played by Cameron Diaz in the Shrek films)
- 31A: “The Iron Man” was one for his entire career — BALTIM(ORE O)RIOLE
- 38A: Tunnel contents — COOKIE
- 45A: Tyler Perry movie based on a work by Ntozake Shange — FOR CO(LORE)D GIRLS
- 37A: Tunnel contents — LEGEND
- 62A: City satirized by a Carrie Brownstein show — Each answer contains the name of one of the PORTLAN(D ORE)GON
- 4A: Tunnel contents — GUSTAVE (Gustave Dore is a French artist and printmaker)
Now you examine each of those tunnels and take a look at what’s left after you extract all the ORE to find the final answer:
The answer is GOLD! This is pretty straightforward, and I liked the extraction mechanism on the final bit a lot.
Lots of fun fill even with the constraints on this grid. ANOSMIA probably isn’t a fun condition to live with (since it’s the “inability to perceive scents”), but it’s a nice set of letters, and GALOSHES, SAN DIMAS, AMBIENT (with a requisite ENO next door) and Emeril LAGASSE are all nice additions to the across fill. The downs are pretty good too – MITZI Gaynor, SOPWITH, SKYY VODKA, AGE RANGES, etc.