This is the last weekly AVCXword of 2013; thank you for your support all year long. We've got some exciting things lined up already for 2014. Meanwhile, after last week's workout, enjoy Tyler Hinman's "To Top It Off," at 2/5 difficulty. We gently suggest solving the PDF if possible, in order to experience the theme as fully as possible and to increase the chance of getting all its elements. But the .puz file is fully solvable.
The solution to last week's puzzle, including an explanation of the bonus clues, is attached. We had more than 100 correct submissions, and the lucky (random) winner was Jeffrey Schwartz. Jeffrey will receive a year of AVCX subscription time. Meanwhile, the beautiful grid contest is a tie! We simply couldn't decide between the submissions from Stella Daily and Trip Payne, so both will receive a copy of Francis's upcoming Sit & Solve Smooth Sailing Easy Crosswords. Scans of their grids are attached. In fact, there were quite a few entries that vied for the top prizes, so we may create a gallery of a few of them to share next week. Thanks to everyone for playing.
Don't forget that the AVCX holiday gift page remains up, providing a ready trove of last-minute gift ideas, delivered immediately: http://www.avxword.com/gift.htm