We have a guest puzzle this week, our second from themeless wizard Kameron Austin Collins. It's called "AVCX Themeless #4," and it's rated 4.5/5, about halfway between a Friday and a Saturday in difficulty. Response to previous themeless puzzles has been very strong, so here ya go. It happens to be, in one test-solver's words, "crunchy."
Our thanks to the 71 solvers who successfully completed and sent in the meta solution to Francis Heaney's puzzle last week. (Solution attached for those who want/need) Our winner, selected randomly, is Deborah Gordon of Sacramento, California. We also asked for images of your completed grids; thanks to those who shared theirs. It would be hard to top our winner, which came from Zach Burns. He solved the puzzle beautifully, then folded the paper into the shape of the puzzle's theme and sent us a video of it in action. He graciously agreed to share this video with all of you; see the attachment for a demonstration. (Spoiler alert for those who haven't finished) Both Deborah and Zach win a 3-month subscription extension. Thanks to all who played!
Finally, we rarely mention tips, because you already pay for the AVCX, for which we're enduringly grateful. But some people ask about it, and this is sort of the time of year for such things. So for those interested in tipping the fine members of the AVCX team, you can make a contribution here. All tips will be divvied up equally, but if you really want to say thanks to any constructor in particular, just say so in the note, and we'll send the whole amount their way.
Ben and the AVCX crew [avxwords.com, @AVCXWord]