Contest time at the Cross Nerd. Get the meta answer in to me (peter.bananarchy at gmail) by Christmas morning (12:01am CST, Dec 25, 2014, specifically). Despite the timing, though, the meta and puzzle have nothing to do with the holiday season, and may even be downright un-christmas-y. I came up with the idea and wrote the puzzle a little while ago, but just now got around to finishing up the cluing and putting the finishing touches on it. Anyway, hope you have some fun with it. It's about a week 2.5 or 3 on the MGWCC scale, if that means anything to you, and the puzzle itself is probably in the range of a Thursday NYT.
Oh yeah, and the prizes. One randomly selected entrant with the correct answer will receive their choice of one 2015 indie crossword subscription. What would you like to solve? Tough-as-nails themed and themeless by top-tier constructors and edited by one of the brightest in the business? Get the Fireball. Clever and intricate and beautiful meta puzzles? Go with Matt Gaffney's Weekly Crossword Contest. Hip and sassy offerings of the highest quality with surprise after surprise (random contests, crazy variants, collabs with celebs, etc)? American Values is your jam. Easyish and approachable but nevertheless solid and lively? Dig AriesXWord. Or maybe you don't want a crossword at all. Then check out some of the most elegant and challenging Rows Gardens you'll see anywhere, also by Aries aka Andrew Ries. Am I missing anyone?
Good luck, and check back here on the 25th for the answer and announcement of the winner. And just fyi, I've got a few more metas in the works, so keep your eyes peeled in the new year.
Lastly, don't forget to consider submitting a puzzle for the Indie 500 if you haven't already. We've had a number of submissions thrown our way and we're having trouble resisting the urge to solve them all. The deadline is Jan 15; lots of time for you, but way too much time for us!
Oh, just one more thing, I swear. See that knock-out clue for 15-Across? All Erik Agard. Mofo's a cluing wizard.
More words, crossed and otherwise, on xmas.
Anny Get Your Gun
The meta answer is a firearms manufacturer.