Fireball Contest April 24, 2024

Grid: untimed; Meta: 10 minutes 


Freddie Cheng’s contest, “Find Him!” — Conrad’s writeup

This month we are asked, What U.S. state or Canadian province is the answer to the question posed by this puzzle? 1a/1d provided additional guidance: WHERES WALDO, clued as “With 1-Down, question posed by this puzzle.” Freddie also provided MARTIN HANDFORD, clued as “With 11-Down, creator of the 1-Across/1-Down series of books.” Plus INBLACK, clued as “How Goths often dress, and a hint to answering this puzzle’s question.”

FB Contest Solution – 04.28.2024

FB Contest Solution – 04.28.2024

So we were looking for Waldo hiding in 5 black squares. There were two areas of five adjacent black squares, and one was shaped like Utah. I looked for Waldo in Utah, and there he was:

Down entries:

  • SAM(WAL)TON: Big name in warehouse clubs
  • OUT(DO)ORS: Unlike someone in the closet

The across entries also worked:

  • SHO(W)TIME: HBO rival
  • RED(AD)AIR: Name in the subtitle of the firefighter biography “An American Hero”
  • SAD(LO)KING: Teary-eyed

That confirms UTAH as our contest solution. Impressive feat of construction by Freddie. I thought Waldo was hidden in the Utah-shaped black squares, but wasn’t sure if anyone could pull that off cleanly. Freddie certainly did. Utah was guessable, and he could have upped the difficulty by omitting INBLACK, but metas come in all shapes and sizes. I enjoyed it. Solvers: please share your thoughts.



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3 Responses to Fireball Contest April 24, 2024

  1. Mark Vinci says:

    Hello All,
    At the the bottom of this puzzle is says
    “What U.S. State or Canadian province is the answer to the question posed by this puzzle?”
    I understand how to get to Utah but….how does the Canadian province fit in?
    Mark Vinci

  2. Mark Vinci says:

    Thanks Jonesy!!
    I’m guessing because it said “or”, It was just a red herring!!
    Thanks again.

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