A new puzzle will be posted on January 19, 2016, and on the first Tuesday of each month thereafter. Solvers will have until Sunday 11pm (Eastern Time) to send in a correct solution to the meta.
The meta answer for each puzzle will be a song, band, album, or something else music-related.
Make sure you read the meta instructions carefully. While the first few puzzles may be on the easier side, the later puzzles will be trickier.
Submit your answer to the meta using the form on the home page. Only one answer per solver is permitted. If you submit multiple entries, only the first will count.
Solvers who send in correct solutions will be eligible for prizes, including an entry to the 2017 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament.
Solvers will also get a chance to guess the mega-meta early, and (if they’re successful) will score 5 bonus points plus 2 additional points for every month remaining in the contest. As an illustration, a solver would get 5+(11*2) = 27 bonus points for getting the mega-meta before the second puzzle is published, and 5 bonus points for getting it right before the final puzzle comes out. In addition, the first monthly cohort of solvers to crack the mega-meta will get an extra 5 points each (this is a change from last year). Being earlier or later in the same month doesn’t matter – the deadline for qualifying for that month will be right before the next month’s puzzle is published. I will not reveal if anyone has cracled the mega-meta until the next puzzle is published.
There are no free guesses. You can guess at the mega-meta as many times as you like, but incorrect guesses will incur 1 point penalties.
Each month a randomly selected winner will receive the 15-ounce coffee mug pictured below. If your name gets drawn a second time in a subsequent month (lucky you!), you can get a second mug, or alternately choose a theme entry for a subsequent meta.
Grand (annual) prize:
At the end of 2016, participants who have correctly solved at least 9 of the 13 metas will be eligible to win a free entry to the 2017 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in New York City (or $100 in cash if you can’t make the tournament). There will be a random drawing in which each person’s total points for the year determines their weight in the drawing. One tournament entry (or $100) will be awarded.