December 24, 2014 - "Big Draw" - Elizabeth C. Gorski, edited by Ben Tausig
Difficulty ● ● ◐ ○ ○
The 52nd puzzle of 2014 is, in fact, two puzzles. We are extremely fortunate to offer you a guest 21x21 holiday puzzle from one of my crossword heros, Elizabeth Gorski. I solved a holiday puzzle by Liz in 2003 that inspired me to begin constructing, so I'm honored to edit her work! Her puzzle, "Big Draw," is 2.5/5 in difficulty.
BE SURE TO READ THE FOLLOWING NOTE BEFORE SOLVING LIZ'S PUZZLE:
"A certain item relevant to today's date can precede the second word of each of this puzzle's thematic answers. Complete the puzzle, then connect the circled squares alphabetically to reveal a visual rendering of the item."
Of course, there are many ways of observing the holidays; solve Elizabeth's puzzle alongside Ben Tausig's 15x15, also attached, to find one alternative. Ben's puzzle is entitled "Why Is This Night Different?," and is 2/5 in difficulty.
Meanwhile, our ETA for the second AVCX meta suite is December 27th. The suite is comprised of six puzzles, of all different varieties (not a standard crossword to be found!). Once you've solved them all, try to find the final meta answer that ties them together. There will be prizes for some of those who do, natch! Hold tight until this weekend, but feel free to start getting excited now -- there's some great work in there. The authors are Francis Heaney, Caleb Madison, Brendan Emmett Quigley, Byron Walden, Tyler Hinman, and myself.
Finally, thank you for being a subscriber! We hope you enjoy the weekly puzzles and that the extra stuff is fun, too. Oh, and with time dwindling for last-minute presents, don't forget that an AVCX subscription is a great gift, among other reasons, because it gets delivered immediately!
Ben and the AVCX crew [avxwords.com, @AVCXWord]