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Holding Out For A Hero (Meta)

· By benchen71 · Published 2023-09-06T06:00:45.458Z

Meta Prompt
The answer to the meta is a hero
It's time for another BenChen71-attempts-to-channel-Madhatter5 puzzle. Once again, the conventions of crosswords have been thrown out the window! Well, it's perhaps not quite as drastic as all that. OK, so there's no symmetry, but I made sure to avoid 2-letter words this time (which was hard, let me tell you!) All told, I consider this one to be "Persian" in difficulty (equivalent of a "week 3"). The answer to the meta is a hero. Answer & explanation:
Check out "The MOAT Music Meta Pack" here: US$10 gives you access to 12 music-themed metas that will not be published at any time in the future. In other words, this is not a pre-release pack!
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • Hector solved at 18:02 on 9/6/2023
  • Danny K Bernstein solved at 18:37 on 9/6/2023
  • Meg solved at 20:17 on 9/6/2023
  • Cindy Weatherman solved at 21:21 on 9/6/2023
  • I K Snamhcok solved at 23:54 on 9/6/2023
  • woozy solved at 0:13 on 9/7/2023
  • Pair O Ducks solved at 21:11 on 9/7/2023
  • MatthewL solved at 22:04 on 9/7/2023
  • Katiedid solved at 23:23 on 9/7/2023
  • markhr solved at 23:36 on 9/7/2023
  • Abide solved at 1:15 on 9/8/2023
  • Ergcat solved at 1:33 on 9/8/2023
  • KayW solved at 1:41 on 9/8/2023
  • Berto solved at 1:52 on 9/8/2023
  • ReB solved at 3:13 on 9/8/2023
  • hoover solved at 3:33 on 9/8/2023
  • DrTom solved at 4:22 on 9/8/2023
  • SamKat9 solved at 6:06 on 9/8/2023
  • Laura M solved at 8:26 on 9/8/2023
  • rjy solved at 14:29 on 9/8/2023
  • ajk solved at 14:40 on 9/8/2023
  • Carolyn solved at 15:16 on 9/8/2023
  • HeadinHome solved at 16:02 on 9/8/2023
  • lbray53 solved at 19:10 on 9/8/2023
  • SeamusOL solved at 1:17 on 9/9/2023
  • rdavey1287 solved at 1:41 on 9/9/2023
  • whimsy solved at 1:55 on 9/9/2023
  • Tyrpmom solved at 3:22 on 9/9/2023
  • kurtalert solved at 15:14 on 9/9/2023
  • edestlin solved at 15:15 on 9/9/2023
  • Darth solved at 3:29 on 9/10/2023
  • Bbaack solved at 21:45 on 9/10/2023
  • Cindy Heisler solved at 13:19 on 9/11/2023
  • CPJohnson solved at 13:21 on 9/11/2023


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  • Hector 3s · 2023-09-06T18:04:42.979Z
    Tough one!
    • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-06T21:23:39.217Z
      Madhatter5 puzzles could be very tough, too!
      • Hector 3s · 2023-09-06T23:30:36.973Z
        This one is indeed very madhattery -- nicely channeled.
        • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-07T00:46:23.959Z
    • Meg 2s · 2023-09-06T20:24:04.317Z
      Lots of green things in the grid. Not a clue where to find the second part.
      • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-06T21:22:32.338Z
        Colour them in!
        • Hector 3s · 2023-09-06T20:58:44.369Z
          Meg I think it's supposed to look like a lantern, delineated in green entries, complete with a WICK38DJohn ___ (four-time role for Keanu Reeves)[----] in the center
          • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-06T22:51:19.394Z
            And PROPANE59AFlammable gas[-------] in the tank at the bottom!
            • Meg 2s · 2023-09-06T23:33:17.221Z
              Thanks you guys for the explanation. Now it makes sense!
              • Ergcat 12:35 · 2023-09-08T01:34:44.139Z
                Ah, yes! Clever!
              • woozy 🤓13:04 · 2023-09-07T00:37:42.964Z
                But bees aren't green (or is that one specifically green)?
                Bees are not really related to hornets so I guess that's why my first WAG failed...
          • MatthewL 🤓6:22 · 2023-09-07T22:08:57.131Z
            Yeah, definitely needed all of the nudges. Clever -- don't think I've ever seen something like this before. And it does look like a lantern when you shade it in. Thanks, Ben!
            • markhr 🤓8:39 · 2023-09-07T23:45:28.959Z
              This was tough for me, not really being among the comics 6D6DNerds[------]. Clever puzzle, though.
              • Ergcat 12:35 · 2023-09-08T01:34:02.354Z
                Got it with nudges! That was very tricky!
                • Berto 🤓9:20 · 2023-09-08T01:58:47.257Z
                  Wow. Felt a bit like one of those skeleton crosswords where you have to fill in the black squares lol. Would never have got it without nudges, but very cool idea!
                  • ReB 4s · 2023-09-08T03:18:07.998Z
                    Finally got it somehow (after additional help with the missing words to enable me to complete the design) - by osmosis, I suppose. Or perhaps is was THE FLASH who came to my rescue...Very clever idea and ingeniously executed.
                    • hoover 4s · 2023-09-08T03:35:39.388Z
                      Sigh. After nudge 3 I noticed all the green things, but lantern was my 3rd try after hornet and arrow. So I guess I WAGged it with nudges. Now that I'm in, I see the explanation in the comments here.
                      • DrTom 15s · 2023-09-08T04:38:41.114Z
                        OK, now after reading I see the wick was important, the earwax not so much. Never saw the propane, at least not to tie it in. Here is something else that I happened to see when Googling things to confirm, there is apparently a "brand" of cannabis called Panacea Green Lantern!
                        • HeadinHome 🤓2:00 · 2023-09-08T16:13:25.174Z
                          Interesting! I suspect this was not in Ben’s working knowledge! ( :
                          • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-08T21:52:04.567Z
                            Definitely not!
                            • DrTom 15s · 2023-09-08T23:16:01.983Z
                              Well truly mine neither, it is just the result of internet association
                        • DrTom 15s · 2023-09-08T04:31:48.056Z
                          Took me until Nudge #3 (to be fair, I already had been told #1 and deduced #2) to realize it was probably Green Lantern (hero with all those greens, but it could have been Green Hornet because of the "Bee"). i then looked for all of the things that were green (of course I did not notice them before...) and still wasn't sure but I did see they surrounded EARWAX37AAural blockage, perhaps[------] and WICK38DJohn ___ (four-time role for Keanu Reeves)[----], and remembering the opening of Shrek when he made a lantern out of earwax (eww!) I went with Green Lantern. I see later that I could have colored (or even coloured) in all the greens to form the lantern, Nice idea and tough puzzle mainly because it is different. You did indeed channeled your inner Josh.
                          • SamKat9 🤓9:28 · 2023-09-08T06:09:55.438Z
                            I finally got it! It took me a while and some wrong guesses because even with the nudges I didn't recognize what it was supposed to be at first. Then it hit me just before bed. Very cool, the wick and propane are nice touches!
                            • Laura M 🤓7:07 · 2023-09-08T08:29:20.487Z
                              Nicely done! But I admit I needed all the hints; I noticed the green things (except the bee) but I'm so bad at the visual metas...
                              • ajk 5:43 · 2023-09-08T14:49:21.787Z
                                Not sure why all the green stuff didn't pop before googling the BEE22ACentral American orchid ___ (Euglossa dilemma)[---] (which I would never have thought to do). Never seen SHREK48ACharacter who crosses the moat and storms the castle while Fairy Godmother sings "Holding Out For A Hero"[-----], so I think I was too worried that knowledge of the movie would be required or something. Once I googled the name and saw that it was green I quickly found the rest, but it wasn't until I looked back at the prompt that Green Lantern occurred to me. Was trying to decide if what I had circled constituted a lantern or not, but then I thought to google green lantern to see what the logo actually looked like and that was a clear match. Didn't see PROPANE59AFlammable gas[-------] until after I'd solved, and didn't notice WICK38DJohn ___ (four-time role for Keanu Reeves)[----] until coming here and reading. Fun stuff, and not sure why it was so tough in retrospect (though I suppose grid art is not usually one of my strong points).
                                • Carolyn 3s · 2023-09-08T15:17:45.011Z
                                  Third time's the charm! Lots of green heroes. Finally saw WICK38DJohn ___ (four-time role for Keanu Reeves)[----] and PROPANE59AFlammable gas[-------] and the shape. Cool construction!
                                  • HeadinHome 🤓2:00 · 2023-09-08T16:10:34.858Z
                                    WOW I was all over the place with this one, before the nudges. John Cleese had a couple cameos (King Harold in Shrek, BASIL23APesto ingredient[-----] Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, and of course a member of 41A41AIdle member of Monty Python?[----] Monty Python) … all coincidence? So I spent a good bit of time looking up other roles, seeing if I could make something out of that … did he ever play a clear hero? I also rewatched that earwax candle scene from Shrek ( to see if there were clues… still disgusting as ever. The colored pencil nudge and the “two central clues” finally turned on the light… er, lantern. I do like how you got the wick (mantle) central and vertical in the grid!
                                    • whimsy 🤓11:41 · 2023-09-09T02:19:55.870Z
                                      Oh, that kind of mantle! My lantern resembled a building -- The Daily Planet -- and I first guessed Superman (admittedly, the guy's not green.) Also wondered if it was a birthday cake. (The MOAT puzzle still on my mind. :)) Finally, after Hulk and another one or two guesses, it all came together for me. Duh -- I need remedial drawing lessons! Thanks for the puzzle, Ben!
                                      • Tyrpmom 2s · 2023-09-09T03:30:30.360Z
                                        I think the title threw me off or didn’t help get things going. Maybe something like “I’m Envious” would have gotten us off to a better start. Really cool. Wish I didn’t need all the nudges.
                                        • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-09T06:11:40.904Z
                                          I liked the idea of referencing the song since it appears so memorably in Shrek 2, and you can hold out a lantern!
                                        • Nick 11:49 · 2023-09-13T23:53:19.638Z
                                          Very fun! I'd love to get more insight into your thought process into making this. Did you decide on the meta / grid art and then try to fit in green-themed answers first?
                                        Piece by Marina Hyde, for example (check her out on The Guardian; she's bitingly hilarious!)
                                        1. 1A
                                          Piece by Marina Hyde, for example (check her out on The Guardian; she's bitingly hilarious!)
                                        2. 5A
                                          "Good" cholesterol (abbr.)
                                        3. 8A
                                        4. 12A
                                          Palm fruit
                                        5. 13A
                                          68 across68AMay birthstone[-------], for example
                                        6. 15A
                                          Fence opening
                                        7. 16A
                                          Ramones single that opens with "Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go"
                                        8. 19A
                                          Printer's measures
                                        9. 20A
                                          Gland near the kidneys
                                        10. 21A
                                          Printer's measures (the other ones)
                                        11. 22A
                                          Central American orchid ___ (Euglossa dilemma)
                                        12. 23A
                                          Pesto ingredient
                                        13. 25A
                                          Use as a dinner table
                                        14. 28A
                                          Estonia, once upon a time (abbr.)
                                        15. 29A
                                        16. 33A
                                          Hooptown USA
                                        17. 35A
                                          Not more than
                                        18. 36A
                                          Government payment
                                        19. 37A
                                          Aural blockage, perhaps
                                        20. 40A
                                          Reply to "Are not!"
                                        21. 41A
                                          Idle member of Monty Python?
                                        22. 43A
                                          Scrape, as a windshield
                                        23. 44A
                                          Road Runner sound
                                        24. 45A
                                          Sicilian hot spot
                                        25. 46A
                                          2.54 centimetres
                                        26. 47A
                                          Horse holders
                                        27. 48A
                                          Character who crosses the moat and storms the castle while Fairy Godmother sings "Holding Out For A Hero"
                                        28. 50A
                                          Pod occupant
                                        29. 51A
                                          "What do you call cheese that's not yours?" "___ cheese!"
                                        30. 54A
                                          Mouse-catcher on a farm, perhaps
                                        31. 58A
                                          Sound of satisfaction
                                        32. 59A
                                          Flammable gas
                                        33. 63A
                                          Ornamental pond fish
                                        34. 64A
                                          Author ___ Tolstoy
                                        35. 65A
                                          Obelix has a crush on her in Asterix the Legionary (the word also means "Universal remedy" if you're not an Asterix fan)
                                        36. 66A
                                          Shad delicacy
                                        37. 67A
                                          CCM luminary ___ Grant
                                        38. 68A
                                          May birthstone
                                        39. 69A
                                          Sum up
                                        1. 1D
                                          Garfield's foil
                                        2. 2D
                                          Minor chess piece
                                        3. 3D
                                          Zeta followers
                                        4. 4D
                                          Lion's home
                                        5. 5D
                                          Language almost all of the OT is written in
                                        6. 6D
                                        7. 7D
                                          Professional wrestler Brock ___
                                        8. 8D
                                          Golf org.
                                        9. 9D
                                          Assign stars to, say
                                        10. 10D
                                          Any thing
                                        11. 11D
                                          Drugs, familiarly
                                        12. 13D
                                          Carved gemstone
                                        13. 14D
                                          Places to graze
                                        14. 17D
                                          Dance craze with a repetitive name
                                        15. 18D
                                          Bottom of the celebrity barrel
                                        16. 22D
                                          With 53 down53DSee 22 down[----]: Chinese cabbage
                                        17. 24D
                                          Succotash ingredient
                                        18. 25D
                                          Cosmetician ___ Lauder
                                        19. 26D
                                          Not together
                                        20. 27D
                                          Poison of plant or animal origin
                                        21. 28D
                                          At peace
                                        22. 30D
                                          Oscar winner Marisa ___
                                        23. 31D
                                          Industrial city on the Ruhr
                                        24. 32D
                                          Train stations
                                        25. 34D
                                          Lowest point
                                        26. 35D
                                          Wolf killer in a fairy tale
                                        27. 38D
                                          John ___ (four-time role for Keanu Reeves)
                                        28. 39D
                                          Exclamation heard in 31 down31DIndustrial city on the Ruhr[-----]
                                        29. 42D
                                          US "cabbage"
                                        30. 47D
                                          Enjoy a favourite book again
                                        31. 49D
                                          Billiards ace Willie ___
                                        32. 50D
                                          Group of experts
                                        33. 51D
                                          "The Lion King" queen
                                        34. 52D
                                          Throat-clearing sound
                                        35. 53D
                                          See 22 down22DWith 53 down: Chinese cabbage[---]
                                        36. 54D
                                          Valley of Weeping (Ps. 84)
                                        37. 55D
                                          Creole vegetable
                                        38. 56D
                                          35 down35DWolf killer in a fairy tale[---] target
                                        39. 57D
                                          Told a falsehood
                                        40. 60D
                                          Battering device
                                        41. 61D
                                          Not divided
                                        42. 62D
                                          Golfer's standard