by Les Trudeaux
I got several dozen correct answers to last week’s contest puzzle; congratulations to those of you who “laid out” the board correctly and found the meta solution! I’m going to be sending a Rosswords care package to the winner of the drawing… Andrew Rickert! The solution that Andrew (and many other solvers!) found was as follows.
The puzzle featured an implied central 8×8 chess board with white rebus pieces and black rebus pieces hidden behind black boxes. The answers WHITE TO MOVE / MATE IN TWO described the fastest game resolution possible, which was: white pushes its pawn to f6, creating a discovered check. Black can only block with its queen at c2, after which white’s queen takes, checkmate.
My thanks again to the constructors who inspired me to play in the crossword/chess puzzle space. Links to their grids are available in last week’s post.
The thing that struck me about this mechanism ended up being just how few options there were for valid crossword phrases that create 6+ letter answers when you dropped a C-A-N string. What you see is… basically what we were able to find. Ultimately a KICK THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD revealer wasn’t really in the offing (KICK THE / CAN DOWN / THE ROAD is lay-out-able!), so we satisfied ourselves with a more modest revealer answer (CAN) than you might be used to on this site, and baked the actually revealing work into is clue.
Happy solving, friends!