This cramped grid had three symmetrically-placed, longish food/drink answers with starred clues. With a nudge from the title you might have noticed that each of these types of food/drink has an example of the form “X&Y”:
40-across CANDY PIECES: m&m
15-down ROOT BEER: A&W
36-down SANDWICH: PB&J
Next, you can find entries around the grid that correspond to the letters of the “combos” above:
M = 16-across THOUSAND; M = 60-down MASS
A = 9-down ACE; W = 67-across TUNGSTEN
Pb = 25-across LEAD; J = 51-down JOULE
The last step is to treat the “&” of each combo as an arithmetic operation and add the clue numbers of each pair together, which it turns out gives you the same answer all three times: 16+60 = 9+67 = 25+51 = 76, which confirms itself as the meta answer by being the clue number for the entry SUM.
Next up is puzzle #18, “Triple Deckers.”
The answer to the metapuzzle is a kind of sandwich. Submit your answer using the contact form by Monday, July 15 at 11 p.m. Pacific Time. I’ll post the solution, and a new puzzle, next Tuesday.
To keep up with the puzzles: Twitter @pgwcc1; follow the blog for email reminders; rss feed if you’re set up for that.
2 thoughts on “Puzzle #17 Solution and Puzzle #18, “Triple Deckers””
Even more than usual, I can’t fill this in with confidence (I realize that’s partially the point, but still), which makes it harder to even consider the meta.
So this might be considered a (slight) hint, but you may be able to backsolve some of the grid if you can piece together what’s going on in some of the places where you’re more confident of the fill. Good luck!