The meta for this puzzle was “a game that a certain pop star likes to play naked, at least according to her lyrics.” The answer was “Tic-Tac-Toe,” which was tucked into the three long across entries. Its placement was hinted at by the “Backslash” title. Additional hints were provided by the XXX and OOO grid answers as well as the NE and SW corners which spelled out “THREES IN A ROW.” If you wanted to confirm your answer, a simple search yielded the Ke$ha song “Booty Call” with the line “I want to play tic-tac-toe naked in my parents’ basement.”
36 solvers sent in the correct answer for the pre-contest puzzle…wrong answers were “Poker,” “Monopoly,” and “Love Game.”
The song titles for the rest of the contest will be much more well known than this one. I also promise not to enable any more internet searches which include the word naked!