Thursday, February 4, 2021

Puzzle Eighteen: Washington Gridlock (meta)

The meta returns after an unscheduled two-week break. I was rushing to post this puzzle on the morning of January 21 when I spotted a factual error in a clue. At that point I still hadn't written a blog post to go with the puzzle, found a header image, set up an answer spreadsheet... So I set it aside for the day, despite preferring not to post meta puzzles on Fridays because the WSJ and MGWCC metas are posted on Fridays. Then, on Friday morning, I decided I didn't like the title, and I still hadn't fixed the factual error. So I punted again. And then I was busy with other responsibilities for another week and a half. 

I had originally intended to post puzzles bimonthly. Then I got on a roll and wound up posting them weekly, which has been fun, but also a ton of work on a very short self-imposed deadline. In particular, it doesn't budget in enough time for test-solving, which helps a great deal in ironing out issues with the metas. I'm happy with most of the metas I've posted so far, but I intend the ones I have planned for the near future to be even better, and that's going to require a different approach. So this is a heads-up both that I will be returning to my original biweekly plan and that if you enjoy solving the metas, you should sign up for the Lexicon Devil mailing list, because I will be distributing the metas by email before putting them on the site to ensure they go out at a consistent day and time. More on that later – just sign up for the list now. 

The answer to this week's meta is a former US president. The puzzle itself, though, at 70 entries and a four-star-plus difficulty level, is another meta/themeless hybrid, so you should feel free to treat it like a themeless and ignore the meta aspect if that's not your bag. 

Submit your answer by clicking HERE

Submissions are due by Monday, February 8, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST. 

The January 7 meta "Miles to Go" proved more of a fun run for many solvers – read more on the solutions page HERE.

If you have any issues submitting your answer, just put it in an email to lexicondevillive at outlook dot com with your name, preferred screen name / ID and email address and I'll add you in manually. 

Two winners – the first person to submit a correct answer and another person selected at random from the correct entries – will receive a Lexicon Devil sticker as well as the respect of their puzzling peers.  

If you're enjoying these puzzles – especially the metas, which are time-consuming to construct and oversee – please consider making a small contribution via the tip jar: 


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