December 18, 2013 - "Seasonal Staff" - Francis Heaney, edited by Ben Tausig - [NOTE - The grid contains two hidden clues]

Difficulty ● ● ◐ ○ ○

Puzzle Notes

Dear subscribers: 

Happy holidays to all. We hope you're ready for a 5/5 puzzle, an appropriately epic construction for the week of the hundredth anniversary of the game (December 21, 2013), courtesy of Francis Heaney, and titled "Seasonal Staff." The grid contains two hidden clues; can you find and solve them?

Since this puzzle is such a challenge, let's make it a contest, with two ways to win and two prizes. Entry is free. (You may enter both contests, and if the same person wins both, well, good for them.) One winner, receiving a year of additional American Values Club subscription time, will be randomly selected from all solvers who correctly solve the two hidden clues in the puzzle and submit their answers to (please include both the clues and answers in your submission). 

Another prize, a pre-release copy of Francis's upcoming Sit & Solve Smooth Sailing Easy Crosswords, will go to the person who submits a scanned copy of the most beautifully filled-out grid (according to our secret, totally objective criteria), also to The deadline is midnight on Monday, December 23rd. Good luck, and enjoy.

-Ben and the AVCX crew []