PCC#23 "Three-Course Meal"

· By Philip Chow · Published 2024-01-27T15:54:40.627Z

Meta Prompt
[Level 2.5] Meta prompt: The answer to the meta is something that DJ Khaled does (that I hope you do too)
Meta puzzle and mechanism by Kelly McMahon. Crossword puzzle and clues by Philip Chow.
Hint #1: the meta answer is three letters long
Hint #2: please don't waste your food
Hint #3: 36-A and 69-A are hints as to what to do with the three courses and their respective ingredients
Hint #4: to make JELLO (the first course), combine JOIN + CELLO = JELLO... the leftover letters give you OIN + C which can be recycled to make COIN
Hint#5: if you employ the strategy in hint #4 to all three courses, you end up with the words COIN, COHERE, and WHERE
Hint#6: use the same trick from hint #4 on the three words from hint #5
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • FrankieHeck solved 2024-01-15T13:58:53.953Z
  • Hector solved 2024-01-27T15:55:11.880Z
  • atsirica111191 solved 2024-01-27T16:21:51.472Z
  • MatthewL solved 2024-01-27T16:33:51.996Z
  • Pair O Ducks solved 2024-01-27T16:59:46.041Z
  • boharr solved 2024-01-27T16:59:59.836Z
  • woozy solved 2024-01-27T17:15:11.414Z
  • Darth solved 2024-01-27T18:18:50.232Z
  • KayW solved 2024-01-27T20:33:16.126Z
  • whimsy solved 2024-01-27T20:37:59.975Z
  • Waann solved 2024-01-27T21:11:31.967Z
  • damefox solved 2024-01-27T23:14:46.430Z
  • emmie solved 2024-01-28T02:17:20.079Z
  • Mr Tex solved 2024-01-28T02:19:48.548Z
  • benchen71 solved 2024-01-28T03:11:16.172Z
  • I K Snamhcok solved 2024-01-28T04:14:09.821Z
  • Sendhil Revuluri solved 2024-01-28T04:21:46.401Z
  • SamKat9 solved 2024-01-28T04:37:26.575Z
  • Taylor solved 2024-01-28T04:55:10.325Z
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  • DIS solved 2024-01-29T19:54:07.438Z
  • Jeremy Smith solved 2024-01-30T23:22:49.500Z
  • Meg solved 2024-01-31T20:43:51.255Z
  • DrTom solved 2024-02-01T06:49:16.275Z
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  • Jessica Lee solved 2024-02-11T15:32:08.999Z
  • Salty solved 2024-02-29T19:47:39.128Z


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  • Philip Chow constructor · 2024-01-27T15:54:40.627Z
    Although the word already existed to mean a large trunk or suitcase, Lewis Carroll first coined the term "portmanteau" in the usage of blending words... in "Through the Looking-Glass," he writes, "You see it's like a portmanteau - there are two meaning packed up into one word"... happy birthday to Lewis Carroll 01/27/1832 "You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are."
    • Philip Chow constructor · 2024-01-27T15:54:40.627Z
      Answer explanation: using the hint from 36-A, take the two ingredients to make the foods outlined in the three courses... then use the hint from 69-A to recycle the leftovers... (1) JOIN + CELLO = JELLO = and leftover letters = COIN... (2) FLARE + COHEN = FLAN and leftover letters = COHERE... (3) SPHERE + WRINKLES = SPRINKLES and leftover letters = WHERE... using the trick one last time on the three new words, COIN + WHERE = COHERE and leftover letters is the meta answer = WIN... Something that DJ Khaled does is win (a reference to one of his hit songs with the lyrics "all I do is win win win no matter what") and is something I hope you do too!
      Constructor notes: I took a semester of British Literature in high school and my teacher Mrs. Kelly McMahon assigned an extra credit assignment that was inspired by Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland"... It was a bunch of riddles/mini-puzzles all leading up to a meta puzzle! (Not crossword, more like a mystery hunt puzzle). Mrs. McMahon gave us a one-week deadline and planned to release hints throughout the week. I dove right in and finished it the day she assigned it. I found the meta but had to backsolve on one of the mini-puzzles which were a bunch of cryptic-style crossword clues (I was unfamiliar with cryptics at this time)... The next day I excitedly told Mrs. McMahon I finished and her first reaction was of shock, then suspicion "there's no way, did one of your friends who took my class before tell you the answer?" I was so sad she accused me of cheating and amused that she thought I had friends. I just responded with "No, I just really like puzzles"... the mechanism used in this puzzle is one of the mini-puzzles from this anecdote.
      • Philip Chow constructor · 2024-01-27T15:54:40.627Z
        17D: (a very good moral if you happen to be an oyster)
        • MatthewL 🤓6:31 · 2024-01-27T16:34:40.056Z
          Got it without the nudges. Very clever. Thanks for the puzzle, Phil!
          • Pair O Ducks 🤓4:26 · 2024-01-27T17:01:38.094Z
            Clever puzzle, and I loved the story of your literature teacher's puzzle hunt! She sounds like an absolute gem.
            • Philip Chow constructor · 2024-01-27T20:34:23.690Z
              one of my all-time favorite teachers... i had her first period so it was an 8AM class and i sucked at waking up early, so i had accumulated about 40 latenesses and/or absences (senioritis had definitely kicked in by then)... i'm grateful she still gave me a really high mark... we nerded out over puzzles... one of the mini-puzzles in the treasure hunt was a crytogram that when decoded, directed you to go to the alice in wonderland state in central park and transcribe what was written there and extract letters in a certain order... i didn't actually go to the statue i just googled that the first stanza of the jabberwocky poem was written on the plaque
            • woozy 🤓13:25 · 2024-01-27T17:20:20.520Z
              Um.... so a three course meal consisting of JELLO, FLAN, and SPRINKLES. No wonder you worry about HITting THE GYM.
              I have to admit, I couldn't get nudge 6 on my own. Fun puzzle.
              ""You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are.""
              I've been seeing this quote attributed to Carroll a lot lately. I wonder who came up with it.
              • Philip Chow constructor · 2024-01-28T05:35:51.731Z
                yeah this is the most ridiculous three-course meal ever... imagine showing up to a fancy restaurant not knowing what to expect and the server brings you: a JELLO to start, FLAN for your next course, and finally some SPRINKLES to end with… your choice of chocolate or rainbow!
              • boharr 3s · 2024-01-27T17:06:55.305Z
                Got it. Fun one. Thanks.I too was once falsely accused of cheating by a high school English teacher because in a book review assignment (on Profiles in Courage ironically) I correctly constructed compound sentences. She asked to see the book's dust jacket, and when she found no plagiarism apologized. I like to think this incident played a role in by becoming an editor for more than 30 years.
                • Darth 🤓9:23 · 2024-01-27T18:32:39.462Z
                  Thanks for the fun puz, Phil! I saw most of what I needed. I was thinking REMIX was the answer cuz I just didn't see a "three-way" 36A coming! :P
                  • KayW 🤓6:46 · 2024-01-27T20:36:45.293Z
                    Wow! I confess I peeked at the clues. A fun and clever meta, and love the back-story!
                    • benchen71 🤓6:58 · 2024-01-28T03:12:33.069Z
                      Solved, without recourse to the nudges. Fun!
                      • whimsy 11:40 · 2024-01-28T03:43:48.629Z
                        Nope, I would have flunked Ms McMahon's class! :-) Needed the nudges, and was still dizzy putting it all together. Before I saw WIN, I saw COW (I know, it was not supposed to be the front end of two words!) Figured Phil would rather have us win than be cowed! And, old fogey confession, probably might have helped if I knew who the heck DJ Kahled was. :-)
                        • Sendhil Revuluri 🤓4:12 · 2024-01-28T04:28:52.173Z
                          Fun, thank you! Your hint was a bit too helpful… but thanks for the really helpful hints to walk me through my gaps in sussing the mechanism. And thanks for sharing your meta construction origin story!
                          • SamKat9 🤓13:03 · 2024-01-28T04:41:28.510Z
                            got it with the first nudge, great puzzle Phil!
                            • Sendhil Revuluri 🤓4:12 · 2024-01-28T04:30:29.504Z
                              (FYI, tiny typo in 10D)
                              • Philip Chow constructor · 2024-01-28T05:06:13.937Z
                                Thank you - fixed!!
                              • DrTom 3s · 2024-02-01T06:57:56.399Z
                                Well I got stuck at the last step, stupid me. I saw the portmanteau and knew it meant something, then with the finished product and two "ingredients" it was pretty quick. I mean JELLO and CELLO and SPRINKLE and WRINKLE in the same puzzle, well... However, with all that deductive reasoning you would think I would know to do it one last time. No I spent a LONG time looking for clues those words could be alternates for and using the first and last letters. Finally, in abject frustration, I looked at the clues and promptly did a head slap. Clever mechanism and nice story ( I have an English Teacher story as well, they must be the ones who spend the most time with their students in high school). Thank you Phil
                                • Laura M 🤓6:55 · 2024-02-01T21:54:56.853Z
                                  Neat word tricks! FWIW, I didn't need the nudges.
                                  Pilgrimage to Mecca (Var.)
                                  1. 1A
                                    Pilgrimage to Mecca (Var.)
                                  2. 5A
                                    Custardy dessert [Second course]
                                  3. 9A
                                    "___ 'em!" (command to a guard dog)
                                  4. 12A
                                    Spanish for "celery" (found in "tapioca")
                                  5. 13A
                                    "Pan's Labyrinth" director Guillermo del ___
                                  6. 14A
                                    Momentary instance of forgetfulness
                                  7. 16A
                                    You can order chocolate or rainbow ones with your ice cream [Third course]
                                  8. 18A
                                    Lucy's neighbor in "I Love Lucy"
                                  9. 19A
                                    Peter Abelard's "Sic ___" (Medieval Latin for "Yes and No")
                                  10. 20A
                                    Item sold in a classic tongue twister
                                  11. 22A
                                    "Every kiss begins with ___" (jewelry chain's slogan)
                                  12. 23A
                                    "Don't worry, I didn't care much for it anyway"
                                  13. 25A
                                    City from where the hottest girls flew from, in DJ Khaled's song "Victory"
                                  14. 26A
                                    PC corner key
                                  15. 27A
                                    Palindromic file extension
                                  16. 28A
                                    "Hallelujah" songwriter Leonard [Second course ingredient]
                                  17. 31A
                                    "Everything Everywhere All at Once" Oscar winner Michelle
                                  18. 33A
                                    Vacuum tube with three components
                                  19. 36A
                                    Word like "brunch" (breakfast + lunch) or "tangelo" (tangerine + pomelo)
                                  20. 40A
                                    "If you ___ you, then we'd all be a bit less we" ("Winnie-the-Pooh" Disney quote)
                                  21. 41A
                                    Explosives used in blasting
                                  22. 44A
                                    Jiggly dessert [First course]
                                  23. 46A
                                    "___ Mubarak" (end of Ramadan greeting)
                                  24. 49A
                                    One of seven (in a week)
                                  25. 50A
                                    Tia Fuller's instrument in Pixar's "Soul," for short
                                  26. 51A
                                    "I'm Every Woman" comedian ___ Morgan
                                  27. 54A
                                    Hallelujah trio?
                                  28. 55A
                                    Crow's feet, for example [Third course ingredient]
                                  29. 58A
                                    Roadside distress signal [Second course ingredient]
                                  30. 60A
                                    Image commonly seen in a kindergartner's coloring book "I is for..." worksheet
                                  31. 61A
                                    Slogan that emphasizes sexual consent
                                  32. 64A
                                    "How Doth the Little Crocodile" and "Jabberwocky"
                                  33. 65A
                                    Mlle. : French :: ___ : Spanish
                                  34. 66A
                                    High-fat, low-carb diet
                                  35. 67A
                                  36. 68A
                                    It will take just shy of 798 decades before we reach a 5-digit one
                                  37. 69A
                                    Dish made of recycling chopped-up leftovers
                                  1. 1D
                                  2. 2D
                                    Make happy
                                  3. 3D
                                    Film trope seen in Denzel Washington's character in "Training Day" and Matt Damon's character in "The Departed"
                                  4. 4D
                                    Enlist in [First course ingredient]
                                  5. 5D
                                    Gold vault located in KY
                                  6. 6D
                                    ROTFLMAO alternative
                                  7. 7D
                                    Joe Cocker's "You ___ Beautiful"
                                  8. 8D
                                    "Booped" body parts
                                  9. 9D
                                    Round 3D shape [Third course ingredient]
                                  10. 10D
                                    Antagonist in "The Manchurian Candidate" portrayed by Angela Lansbury
                                  11. 11D
                                    String quartet instrument [First course ingredient]
                                  12. 14D
                                    Victor Hugo's "___ Misérables"
                                  13. 15D
                                    The first "A" in NCAA: Abbr.
                                  14. 17D
                                    How many oysters remained at the end of Lewis Carroll's "The Walrus and the Carpenter"
                                  15. 21D
                                    Formal neckwear
                                  16. 22D
                                    ___ lime pie
                                  17. 24D
                                    DJ Snake's "___ Love You" ft. Justin Bieber
                                  18. 29D
                                    Laudatory verse
                                  19. 30D
                                    "If you can't stand the ___, get out of the kitchen"
                                  20. 32D
                                    Wolf's cry
                                  21. 34D
                                    Participated in a half-marathon, say
                                  22. 35D
                                    "Where do you see yourself ___ years?" (interview question I hate answering because how the heck would I know... do I look like a fortune teller to you?)
                                  23. 37D
                                    Family member: Abbr.
                                  24. 38D
                                    Troublemaker in fairy tales or online forums
                                  25. 39D
                                    Like the cities Atlantis and Bikini Bottom
                                  26. 42D
                                    Special skills
                                  27. 43D
                                    ___ admin (who to contact when you get can't resolve the error message "Problem occurred in the server. Please try again.")
                                  28. 44D
                                    Specialized vocabulary
                                  29. 45D
                                  30. 47D
                                    "I Live ___" (Kurosawa drama about a factory owner driven to madness over terrors of a nuclear attack)
                                  31. 48D
                                    Crème ___ crème
                                  32. 50D
                                    Snatch, like the last cookie from the cookie jar
                                  33. 52D
                                    Extremely tiny, informally
                                  34. 53D
                                    Stick out like ___ thumb
                                  35. 56D
                                    Om ___ ("Cut the Rope" character that happily devours candy)
                                  36. 57D
                                    Island of the Dodecanese
                                  37. 59D
                                    Ancient Egyptian symbol of life
                                  38. 62D
                                    NYC subway overseer
                                  39. 63D
                                    "Wow... impressive"