Last week’s puzzle was called “Connect the Dots” and asked for a Greek mythology figure, which combined to suggest maybe we were dealing with a constellation. Et voila:
Five of the grid’s black squares were surrounded by four entries that could make a compound word or phrase with “star” added to the front or back. Connect those five dots as above and you get a pretty fair approximation (with a couple of the angles exaggerated a bit to fit the format) of the constellation Cassiopeia:
I would be remiss if I did not mention here that a similar theme has been done before, and not terribly long ago. In October 2018, the New York Times ran a puzzle from constructor Jennifer Nutt that similarly drew Cassiopeia, with Xs representing the stars. That grid was beautifully constructed, and crosswordfiend.com gave it the Orca for Best Easy Crossword.
I constructed this one before I’d seen Jennifer’s, but ran across hers before writing the clues; fortunately, she and Will Shortz both gave their blessing for me to publish this.
Up next is Puzzle #43, “Flip the Script.”
The answer to the metapuzzle is a six-letter word. Submit your answer using the contact form by Monday, January 6 at 11 p.m. Pacific Time. I’ll post the solution, and a new puzzle, next Tuesday. Happy New Year!