Fireball Contest — April 17, 2019

Puzzle: 10ish, Meta: A while  


Peter Gordon’s Fireball contest, “The Works” — Laura’s review

Fireball Contest - 4.17.19 - Solution

Fireball Contest – 4.17.19 – Solution

Let’s get right to this unusual 14 x 17 grid, shall we? Can it help us find the novelist who is the final answer to this puzzle?

  • [16a: Chuck Yeager and Brad Paisley, for example]: WEST VIRGINIANS
  • [24a: One whose imagination doesn’t always align with reality]: WISHFUL THINKER
  • [35a: Hot seats, so to speak]: ELECTRIC CHAIRS
  • [47a: South American amphibians with pouches]: MARSUPIAL FROGS
  • [58a: Palmist’s activity]: FORTUNE TELLING

Lots of rabbit holes and red herrings on this one — could the novelist also be 14 letters, and each entry hints at one of his/her/their works? Turns out, no — the title is a hint: THE Works, namely, works of literature/art/theater that begin with The. So we have:

The VIRGINIANS, a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray
The THINKER, a sculpture by Auguste Rodin
The CHAIRS, a play by Eugène Ionesco
The FROGS, a play by Aristophanes
The TELLING, a novel by Ursula K. LeGuin

Take the first letter of each author’s last name (or in one case, only name) and you get: TRIAL. Put a THE in front of that, and you get The Trial, a posthumously published novel by Franz Kafka, the novelist who is the final answer to the puzzle. I hadn’t heard of the Ionesco play, or (I admit) the LeGuin novel, and I imagine this meta would be quite hard to crack for many — so I’m giving this 3.5 Metaweeks on the Gaffney Scale.

I was scrolling through the tweeters on Saturday afternoon whilst taking a break from Seder prep, and lo:

Good thing nobody who solves crossword puzzles is on twitter!

Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. So let’s let [11d: Fictional cowbell player Frenkle]: GENE play us out.

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1 Response to Fireball Contest — April 17, 2019

  1. Matthew G. says:

    Another one for the Every-Fireball-Meta-Is-Either-a-Week-Zero-or-a-Week-Five-On-the-Gaffney-Scale File. Got exactly nowhere with this one!

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