Title: “Boxing Day”
Prompt: The meta for this puzzle is the 2021 mega-meta, an old pop standard.
Answer: “Don’t Fence Me In” by Cole Porter
Season 10 is in the books! Congrats again to Pete for a decade of these delightful creations, and I’ll be blogging them again as Year 11 begins in January.
Short on time, so let’s get right to it. “Right” being an operative word here, since 24 clues contain the word top, bottom, left, or right. More specifically, one each of left-right-top-bottom clues have answers that encircle letters in the grid.
Let’s look at the first one to get the idea:
1-A: [What you might get when you climb to the top] = FAME
17-A: [Bottom ___] = LINE
1-D: [Something often left hanging] = FILE. Not sure I get this one but could be just me.
4-D: [Those with the right to vote] = ELECTORATE
Color in those four entries, and you’ll see that they encircle the letters DO in the upper-left corner of the grid. Do it five more times and you’ll also encircle NT, FE, NC, EME, and IN, which spell out our contest answer.
Very fun! I got it quickly, but with 173 on the board (plus another 56 who had already sussed the mega-meta out during the year), we’ve got 229 right answers, so this was no gimme.
Congrats again to Pete on decade of MMMM. This was a fine coda for a brilliant decade of contest crosswords, and I look forward to starting right back up again in the new year. Thanks, Pete! 4.85 stars for a typically novel and clever concept.