MGWCC #256 — Friday, April 26th, 2013 — “Diamond Girl”




Was your mind boggled last week, as 1-across and 61-across suggested? Instructions asked for a 17-letter word, and there were just three hints: 1) BOGGLES / THE MIND up top and down below, clued ominously as [What a good metapuzzle does]; 2) The title, “Shake It Up”; and 3), a single, curious rebus square of QU in the southwest.

Could it mean a Boggle-like search for a 17-letter word? A Boggle board is 4×4, and there are 4×4 blocks all over this grid. So which one to choose?

Since a Boggle board is only 4×4 squares, the only way to make a 17-letter word is to use the Qu, which helpfully appear on the same cube in the game (see above photo; you know how many times I had to shake that thing until this board showed up?). That narrows the search down to the SW corner, where a little trial-and-error (or hunting for Latinate roots) yields the monster play INCONSEQUENTIALLY, which was last week’s meta answer.

DIS asks:

I had a hunch the Qu die was part of it. How long did it take you to work that out?

I had some help. My original idea was to situate the 4×4 box in a corner, but some poking around led me to two conclusions: 1) it was going to be much easier to fit the 4×4 in some non-corner part of the grid, and 2) even relaxing that constraint, this was going to be much easier with computer assistance.

So I asked Alex Boisvert if he would write a little magic code to see if this could be done. He graciously obliged and sent along a few possible-looking 4×4 boxes; we couldn’t make anything work in a corner, and even the solution we found required half the grid to absorb.

This week’s winner, whose name was chosen at random from the 342 correct entries received, is N.P.


The 2013 Year of Puzzles has started over at Puzzazz. The inaugural free puzzle is a double spiral by Parker Lewis called “Dawn in Seattle”.

MGWCC winners this week and next will receive a copy of Puzzazz’s 2013 YoP, which you can buy here.


This week’s contest answer is a Best Actress winner who should be in this grid, but isn’t.
Submit your answer in the form on the left sidebar by Tuesday at noon ET. Note: the submissions form disappears from the site promptly at noon on Tuesday.

UPDATE, 4/26, 3:40 PM ET: The last eight down clues got cut off on the printable .png file. This isn’t part of the meta (as you can see by checking the .puz and the .pdf, which has all the clues), just a technical glitch. Please refer to the .pdf or the .puz for those eight missing clues — thanks and sorry!) UPDATE #2, 4:10 PM: .png is now fixed! Sorry for the hassle.

To print the puzzle out, click on the image below and hit “print” on your browser. To solve using Across Lite either solve on the applet below or download the free software here, then join the Google Group (2,034 members now!) here.


Solve well, and be not led astray by words intended to deceive.

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