Lots of exciting news this week, beginning with a Paolo Pasco themeless (our 22nd themeless), rated 4.5/5 difficulty.
Meanwhile we have asked Paolo (and he has agreed, lucky us) to join the regular rotation of the AVCX. He's been a guest constructor on and off here, and is not only talented but super versatile and always great to work with. Definitely among the very best of a young generation of constructors. Welcome, Paolo!
Congratulations to the three randomly drawn winners--Tim Mitchell, Rachel Berrington, and Doug McDowell--of last week's meta contest from Brendan Emmett Quigley. 245 solvers submitted answers; the solution is attached, and you can also read about it in detail at Crossword Fiend. The winners each get a three-month subscription extension.
If you know anyone who might like to try the AVCX but isn't yet sure about subscribing, we're doing a free trial offer right now. Your for-some-reason reticent friends can simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "FREE PUZZLES" in the subject line, and they'll get one month of AVCX puzzles free.
We also want to offer a plug for a cool new project called The Conjurer's Almanaq, which is a book that's a cross between a puzzle hunt and an escape room, created by Roy Leban and Emily Dietrich. It's the second in a series that started with Roy's well-received puzzle book, The Librarian's Almanaq. Their Kickstarter includes a special color edition of the book. Strong rec! Roy also runs Puzzazz, one of the digital outlets where you can solve the AVCX (as well as other great puzzles).
Ben and the AVCX crew
avxwords.com // @avcxword