I'm up! This week's puzzle is from your editor, and titled "Make-up Game," at 4/5 in difficulty. The idea for the theme came to me the other evening, while Jaden Smith and I were hoverboarding along the beach in Barbados. He is so erudite, and a true muse to me as a cruciverbalist, as I am to him as an amateur astrophysicist.
Anyway, congratulations to the 340 correct entrants to last week's meta contest! Erik Agard's puzzle set a new record for AVCX contest responses. Solvers Nate Cardin and Eric Johnston were randomly selected to receive a free six-month subscription extension. For this contest, we added an extra prize for everyone who solved the meta correctly--a 3-month trial subscription to send to anyone you like. You should receive a coupon by today with instruction on how to use it, if you choose to.
I won't spoil the solution in this space if you're still working on the puzzle, but you can see the solution and meta explained at CrosswordFiend, as always.
Ben and the AVCX crew [avxwords.com, @AVCXWord]