Fireball Contest May 22, 2024

Grid: untimed; Meta: 20 minutes 


Paul Coulter’s contest, “In a Pinch” — Conrad’s writeup

This month we are asked, What four-letter word is hinted at by this puzzle? There were six long horizontal entries, but not all of them were themers. I tried to find a common thread between them when I spotted potties inside of S(POTTIES)T, and remembered CANS (clued as Toilets, informally). That entry stuck out because I tentatively put in LOOS (probably because I was on a flight to London at the time). The clue for EMPLOYEE also stuck out to me (Person who gets bossed around). The hint of four in the title prompt helped me lock in the other three mapped theme entries:

FB Contest Solution – 05.27.2024

FB Contest Solution – 05.27.2024

  • CANS: [Toilets, informally] -> S(POTTIES)T
  • OVER: [Traversing] -> L(ACROSS)E
  • RESPIRES: [Breathes] -> S(INHALES)E
  • EMPLOYEE: [Person who gets bossed around]-> B(LACKEY)E

The first letters of the mapped entries spell CORE, our contest solution. Four of the long horizontal entries were step one themers, and two were step two. A bit unconventional, but it all worked. Solvers: please share your thoughts.


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