May 15, 2013 - Season Split - Caleb Madison, edited by Ben Tausig

Difficulty ● ● ◐ ○ ○

Puzzle Notes

Hi all:

Caleb comes to bat with a challenging 5/5 difficulty puzzle - though many solvers tell us they've had an easier time with the 4/5 and 5/5 offerings than the "easier" ones, so maybe it will be a breeze after all. Let us know.

Meanwhile, we got an overwhelming response to our query last week about what kind of bonus puzzles you'd like to see. A sampling of your responses: 

"A challenging 21x21," 

"Challenging themelesses. NO diagramlesses. NO acrostics," 

"I stink at metas, so I vote for a hard 21x or a Something Different. Loooooove Something Different," 

"Meta! Meta! Meta!," 

"enough with the metas," 

"How about a hipster cryptic?," 

"Would love to see a 5+ difficulty 21x21! Especially if it were by Byron!"

The most enthusiastic responses by a long shot were for 21x21s. Of course, those are also the most expensive to produce. We wouldn't be comfortable paying the constructor a penny less than $500, and preferably closer to $1,000. So we'll tell you what. If we get 100 new subscriptions by June 15, we'll do a 21x21 - one guaranteed to be outstanding and fun for everyone. Here's an incentive to help us reach our goal - spread the word to your friends about the AVCX (, and tell them to enter your name or email in the referral box at checkout. In exchange for the referral, we'll give you three free months of subscription time. If you refer three people, you'll get nine months, and so on without limit.

Even if we don't hit 100 in the next four weeks, we'll still get you a great bonus puzzle, but it'll be something lower-key.

-Ben and the AVCX crew []