54. Total Mixup


Good morning/afternoon/night, blogosphere! (Nobody says that.) It's time for the second season of...

Great graphic! (That we reused from last year.)

The premise is simple: Each Saturday for 16 weeks, at around 1 PM ET, we'll have a meta for your solving pleasure! Difficulties will, in general, increase as the month progresses, more or less. Deadline for each puzzle is by the time the next one gets released (so a week turn-around).

You can submit your guesses on the standard Crosshare site as usual. Points include:

100 for solving a puzzle before nudges are released (likely Thursday)
50 for solving a puzzle with nudges
1 for every person you "beat" on the leaderboard, in terms of time
-5 for every incorrect guess
-1000 for every time you rejoice in my being sad that the Cubs are losing (like one of my students did last week)

Top 10 on the leaderboard at the end of the summer get loot! Now onto the puzzles!


1. Puzzle #53 recap

Puzzle #52 answer: JOKER

Correct entries: 42

Writeup is here

The shortest possible explanation: "Remove all letters in PILE from the five longest across entries. Reclue these entries and take these new entries' initial letters to spell JOKER."


2. Puzzle #54 is likely a Level 3 or 3.5, depending on what you see, to kick off this summer. Thanks to Peter and Tamara for test-solving!

Thanks for your support, and may all your solves be beautiful!

Mikey G

The answer to the meta is a 6-letter word.