NOTE: For the sake of solvers who may have missed last week's contest, the solution is on a separate page (see the tabs above). The write-up below gives nothing away about the puzzle or meta answer.
Week 2 Wrap-up
So week 2 may have actually been easier than week 1 for most solvers. I'm going purely off of solvers' comments, since the numbers don't really tell me anything. The correct : incorrect ratio was slightly (but not much) higher this time, but the sample size is pretty small in both cases (it's late and I don't really feel like doing stats, so let's just assume that the difference is not significant). Also, I noticed that a number of solvers that submitted answers for week 1 did not submit for week 2, while a number of new solvers showed up after week 1, so our populations are different (and certainly not randomly sampled - last week most came from crosswordfiend, while this week most came from MGWCC). To hell with the stats, let's get to the winner:
56 solvers out of 59 submitted correct answers this week, but only one of them can win. By random selection, this week's winner is Peter Gwinn. Congrats, Peter.
A huge thanks to Matt Gaffney for directing a lot of new solvers my way. Throughout the past week I had the pleasure of chatting with a number of puzzlers whom I had never met before as their answers rolled in. Y'all come back now!
Miscellaneous Xword News
I've just joined the team of "Litzers" for the Pre-Shortzian Puzzle Project. The goal is to digitize every NYT puzzle since the dawn of time (February 15, 1942, in this case). Currently, every puzzle from the Shortz era (beginning in Nov of '93) is available in digital form for analysis and perusal at XWord Info, but the best we've got are PDFs for the considerable pre-Shortzian catalog. The project was started back in '99 by Barry Haldiman and fizzled out after a number of years, but has just recently been revived by David Steinberg. If you'd like to get involved, hit up the site and drop David a line.
This Week's Puzzle
So I've decided to swap around weeks 3 and 4. The main reason is that I felt I needed to revamp the week 3 puzzle this weekend, and haven't had time to finish it yet. Plus, considering it's Canada Day long weekend here, the title of this puzzle made it too appropriate to not run it. This means that you'll notice a significant increase in difficulty from the last puzzle (which seems to have been too easy for a week 2 anyway). Don't worry, though, the next one will be tricky as well; no more Mr. Nice Constructor.
Meta Contest Overview: There will be four metas in total, one each week. Each week, one winner will be randomly chosen from the list of solvers with the correct answer to the previous week's puzzle. They will win the opportunity to suggest an entry and/or clue for a future Cross Nerd puzzle, and will bring honour to their family and their country. At the end of the four weeks, any solvers that answered all four metas correctly will be entered into a draw to win untold riches, most likely in the form of a puzzle book or two (haven't decided yet, but seriously probably something around a $25 value).
Instructions: This week's contest answer is a brand of alcohol. This is week 3, but this puzzle was originally conceived as week 4, so it's a bit of a toughie. Send an e-mail with the answer in the subject line to peter.bananarchy[at symbol goes here]gmail[dot]com by 11:59pm CST on Sunday, July 8.
More words, crossed and otherwise, next Tuesday.
Puzzle: Take the Day Off and Get Stoned
Download the PDF file here and the PUZ file here, or solve or download the Across Lite puzzle and/or software from the embedded app below.