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Happy Haunting!

· By Capn Rick · Published about 1 month ago

Meta Prompt: The meta answer is a familiar six-letter Halloween figure.
Hint: Gee, there's really only one Halloween-related clue in the puzzle - right there in the center.
Hint: But wait, 6 other grid entries can have their own GHOST "encounters".
Hint: Those 6 GHOST encounters form other words/phrases that can be alternate answers to 6 other clues.
Hint: The first letters of the original answers to the 6 other clues (in grid order) spell the familiar Halloween figure.
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • Hector solved at 4:41 on 10/31/2022
  • Qmark solved at 5:05 on 10/31/2022
  • markhr solved at 6:43 on 10/31/2022
  • Alex Sisti solved at 12:54 on 10/31/2022
  • Darrell solved at 13:05 on 10/31/2022
  • oldjudge solved at 14:12 on 10/31/2022
  • Dave C solved at 15:08 on 10/31/2022
  • KayW solved at 15:25 on 10/31/2022
  • dplass solved at 16:04 on 10/31/2022
  • DrTom solved at 16:44 on 10/31/2022
  • heidi solved at 16:47 on 10/31/2022
  • Schmeel solved at 16:58 on 10/31/2022
  • DebbieC solved at 18:18 on 10/31/2022
  • Eric Porter solved at 18:39 on 10/31/2022
  • Mwoychick solved at 18:48 on 10/31/2022
  • Meg solved at 18:48 on 10/31/2022
  • Cindy Weatherman solved at 18:49 on 10/31/2022
  • Mr Tex solved at 18:50 on 10/31/2022
  • JM solved at 19:43 on 10/31/2022
  • Bbaack solved at 20:09 on 10/31/2022
  • BrennerTJ solved at 20:59 on 10/31/2022
  • Gutman solved at 21:18 on 10/31/2022
  • Anita and Steve solved at 21:39 on 10/31/2022
  • DIS solved at 21:48 on 10/31/2022
  • Bird Lives solved at 22:24 on 10/31/2022
  • Carolyn solved at 22:26 on 10/31/2022
  • edestlin solved at 23:11 on 10/31/2022
  • Darth solved at 23:23 on 10/31/2022
  • I K Snamhcok solved at 0:39 on 11/1/2022
  • whimsy solved at 1:17 on 11/1/2022
  • woozy solved at 1:50 on 11/1/2022
  • BarbaraK solved at 1:53 on 11/1/2022
  • AaronT solved at 2:23 on 11/1/2022
  • Tyrpmom solved at 2:51 on 11/1/2022
  • lbray53 solved at 17:24 on 11/1/2022
  • michaelm solved at 21:15 on 11/1/2022
  • Tablesaw Tablesawsen solved at 0:04 on 11/2/2022
  • Teamdoubletow solved at 0:30 on 11/2/2022
  • JHSeeman solved at 13:00 on 11/2/2022
  • minimuggle solved at 13:01 on 11/2/2022
  • wendy walker solved at 13:34 on 11/2/2022
  • Jim Dean solved at 13:37 on 11/2/2022
  • DavyGravy solved at 14:01 on 11/2/2022
  • Johnny Luau solved at 14:05 on 11/2/2022
  • Cindy Heisler solved at 15:58 on 11/2/2022
  • Dow Jones solved at 18:07 on 11/2/2022
  • Laura M solved at 19:22 on 11/2/2022
  • CPJohnson solved at 19:24 on 11/2/2022
  • ajk solved at 20:15 on 11/2/2022
  • Sharkicicles solved at 20:16 on 11/2/2022
  • Alvibu67 solved at 21:11 on 11/2/2022
  • ReB solved at 21:14 on 11/2/2022
  • SeamusOL solved at 0:51 on 11/3/2022
  • david solved at 2:00 on 11/3/2022
  • jbird solved at 3:53 on 11/3/2022
  • THC solved at 14:43 on 11/3/2022
  • Philip Chow solved at 15:00 on 11/3/2022
  • Br1 solved at 20:17 on 11/3/2022
  • Richard solved at 23:34 on 11/3/2022
  • Tdog solved at 2:15 on 11/4/2022
  • Abide solved at 3:31 on 11/4/2022
  • Mabel Pines solved at 21:00 on 11/4/2022
  • Dawn Landry solved at 14:37 on 11/5/2022
  • Thane Somers solved at 5:32 on 11/6/2022
  • Shalaka solved at 7:10 on 11/6/2022
  • frostyjhammer solved at 21:11 on 11/6/2022
  • Magistra solved at 2:57 on 11/7/2022

Comments

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  • Qmark 3s · about 1 month ago
    I really enjoyed your wordplay in the themer clues...thanks Rick!
    • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
      Glad you enjoyed it, Qmark!
      • dplass 5:54 · about 1 month ago
        I didn't really notice any wordplay... what am I missing?
        • Bird Lives 7s · about 1 month ago
          Double meanings mostly. For example, as those of us old enough to remember Vaughn Monroe know,, the "ghost rider" is a mythical figure in Western lore, i.e., a cowboy legend. Troy Aikman is a Cowboy legend too but a different kind.
          • dplass 5:54 · about 1 month ago
            Uh, ok. Still don't know what is going on with this meta...
            • woozy 🤓15:10 · about 1 month ago
              Oh... it's that certain entries are being visited by a ghost GHOST SHIP
              1A SHIPSend a package
              , GHOST STORY
              19A STORYBuilding level
              , GHOST BUSTER
              26A BUSTERActor Keaton
              , GHOST WRITER
              50A WRITERStephen King, e.g.
              , and GHOST TOWN
              71A TOWNBurg
              and with a little bit of guessing GHOST RIDER
              61A RIDEREquestrian
              . These are alternative answers to other clues. CAVE
              5A CAVEDark uninhabited place
              = Dark Uninhabitted Place = GHOST TOWN
              71A TOWNBurg
              and ELWOOD
              60A ELWOODMovie role for Dan Aykroyd
              =Dan Ackroyd role = GHOST BUSTER
              26A BUSTERActor Keaton
              , etc.
      • Hector 🤓5:49 · about 1 month ago
        Boo!
        -- but in a good way --
        • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
          "Boo" is a scary word indeed, Hector - especially after last week's WSJ meta!
        • Alex Sisti 3s · about 1 month ago
          Test solved a while ago, which meant it was like doing it anew. Loved it!
          • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
            Thanks, Al. I'm glad you enjoyed it (again). :)
          • KayW 🤓6:57 · about 1 month ago
            Spooky fun! I had to back-solve a few once I saw where this was heading. Thanks, Rick!
            • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
              Thanks for solving, Kay!
            • dplass 5:54 · about 1 month ago
              Guessed right the first time...now to really solve.
              • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                I guess you're a good guesser, David. Thanks!
              • DrTom 9s · about 1 month ago
                Had me spooked there for a minute, but I got a plasma infusion, started a new sheet and the answer appeared out of nowhere. However, I ex-spectre there will be a lot of rabbit hole followers! Liked the puzzle Cap as always.
                • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                  Thank you, DrTom. Glad you liked it.
                • Eric Porter 12s · about 1 month ago
                  I made a small mistake thinking that ghostrider was a superhero nickname, not a Cowboy legend, but was able to figure out my mistake from the other 5. Thanks!
                  • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                    Nice job, Eric! Yeah, I went with the old traditional Ghost Rider on this one.
                  • JM 🤓8:40 · about 1 month ago
                    Bootiful!
                    • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                      Thank you, JM!
                    • Bbaack 16:52 · about 1 month ago
                      Fun one, and appreciated the Dan Aykroyd nudge!
                      • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                        Glad you enjoyed it, Bbaack.
                      • Carolyn 3:01 · about 1 month ago
                        That took me awhile. Loved the AHA moment. Thanks for the Halloween puzzle!
                        • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                          You're welcome, Carolyn. Thx for solving!
                        • Darth 🤓13:04 · about 1 month ago
                          Fun puz, Cap'n!
                          • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                            Thanks, Darth. Glad you liked it
                          • I K Snamhcok 1s · about 1 month ago
                            Very nice! You’re good at this, Cap’n!
                            • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                              Thanks, Chris! I appreciate the compliment.
                            • woozy 🤓15:10 · about 1 month ago
                              Just learned something new about Crosshare. If you have complete the grid but leave to window for a day or so, when you finally solve you will get the data from the time you completed the grid; not the current time. So I completed the grid long before anyone had solved the meta, but couldn't solve, so when I did solve it appeared as though I was first. I needed to reload to see all the current info.
                              • woozy 🤓15:10 · about 1 month ago
                                What do you mean no one is on the leaderboard yet?
                                So a cowboy legend is a Ghost Rider? And not a superhero nickname is a ghost rider? Oh, .... Ghost Rider as in..... I guess I can see that
                                • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                  Yippie-yi-yay, woozy!
                                • Tyrpmom 2s · about 1 month ago
                                  Another pro level creation.
                                  • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                    Thank you, Tyrpmom. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
                                  • woozy 🤓15:10 · about 1 month ago
                                    Well, I got that in the weirdest way.
                                    Writer and Rider made me think of Birds comment how British people think Americans pronounce those the same and I wonder if Rick was making an in-joke. Now I couldn't see anything anything at all and when you can't see anything the tiniest little rabbit holes keep reappearing and bugging you. Okay, so CLAWSAT
                                    46D CLAWSATAttacks, cat-style
                                    could sound like CLOSET and the Writer/Rider could be a hint at that. Now obviously that's not it. No one would make such a puzzle but... there's nothing nothing else. Okay, to get it off my chest I wrote to Cap'n Rick and said "That's not it, right?".
                                    Now I've noticed a thing about muggles. It's impossible to write to any muggle, myself, included, and say "Can you answer this question? Yes/No? No nudges. Just answer the question" and not have them give you a nudge. So I was told the center clue was key. Well, okay, I figured that's not really much of a spoiler. After all it was directly about halloween so I figured it'd probably figure. I just couldn't figure how and thought if I'd get a toehold I might figure it out.
                                    But I had nothing so I figure I'd try looking at what EERIE
                                    40A EERIELike an encounter with a ghost
                                    could relate, but it couldn't relate in any way. EER-Like but there were no clues with EER. There weren't even more than two clues with EE. Could it be ER? By weird coincidence there were exactly six entries with ER. So I go through the entries one by one seeing if they could be alternate answers or parallel synonyms of words with ER. Not much luck. I personally have never said buckAroo but always buckEroo so could it be Ero??? That's weak. Is IAN
                                    56A IANAuthor Fleming
                                    (fleming) a writer? The we had BUSTER
                                    26A BUSTERActor Keaton
                                    . Did Dan Ayckroyd ever have a role as a BUSTER
                                    26A BUSTERActor Keaton
                                    ? Go to IMDB....
                                    .... and that's that.
                                    • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                      Whew! I'm going to have to forward this to The XWord Rabbit!
                                    • lbray53 3s · about 1 month ago
                                      I struggled finding the A.
                                      • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                        Thanks for solving, lbray53. Yes, it'll be interesting to see how many people are familiar with "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend".
                                        • frostyjhammer 8:07 · 27 days ago
                                          yeah, I back-solved for that one.
                                          Nicely done, Cap'n!
                                          • Capn Rick constructor · 27 days ago
                                            Thank you, frostyjhammer!
                                        • michaelm 🤓3:16 · about 1 month ago
                                          Anagramming first letters of the key answer clues gives you ABBESS.
                                          A fun Halloween character for those who enjoy risque nun costumes? Thanks as always Cap'n.
                                          • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                            ABBESS was unintentional, Michael. Unless of course it makes a lot of people laugh, in which case I'll say it was intended!
                                          • Teamdoubletow 3s · about 1 month ago
                                            We loved how this unfolded! 👻 Very satisfying puzzle on multiple levels!
                                            • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                              Way to go, Team! Glad you enjoyed it.
                                            • wendy walker 4s · about 1 month ago
                                              Like many others, I had the wrong idea at first for Ghost Rider -- when I sat down with the puzzle again this morning, I quickly saw my error! Terrific puzzle, Rick!
                                              • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                                Thanks, Wendy. Yes, Ghost Rider was the tough one for a lot of folks. In hindsight, it was a little too close to the superhero entry.
                                              • DavyGravy 4s · about 1 month ago
                                                Great and timely puzzle Cap'n. TY!
                                                • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                                  You're welcome, Davy. Thanks for solving.
                                                • Cindy Heisler 1s · about 1 month ago
                                                  You had me stumped for a while with Ghost Rider. Fun puzzle!
                                                  • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                                    Thanks, Cindy. Yes, that was the stumper for a lot of folks. Thanks for solving.
                                                  • Laura M 🤓12:09 · about 1 month ago
                                                    Nice! The cluing is all great of course, but the double-duty clue for 25A
                                                    25A AIKMANCowboy legend
                                                    is inspired!
                                                    • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                                      Thank you, Laura. Glad you enjoyed it. I did have some fun with that clue.
                                                    • Sharkicicles 2s · about 1 month ago
                                                      Great puzzle Cap’n!
                                                      • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                                        Thanks for solving, Sharkicicles.
                                                      • Alvibu67 4s · about 1 month ago
                                                        Thanks, Cap’n!!
                                                        • Capn Rick constructor · about 1 month ago
                                                          Thank you for solving, Alvibu67!
                                                        • THC 🤓3:41 · 30 days ago
                                                          Thanks, Rick!
                                                          • Capn Rick constructor · 30 days ago
                                                            Thanks for solving, THC.
                                                          • Magistra 1:07:37 · 26 days ago
                                                            Even though this one took me far too long, it was most enjoyable. I saw what I needed to do, but struggled over one letter. Glad I came back to it tonight with fresh eyes and new resolve!
                                                            • Capn Rick constructor · 26 days ago
                                                              Way to hang in there, Magistra! I'll bet I can guess which letter - "Yippee-yi-yay!" right? :)
                                                            1ASend a package
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                                                            71
                                                            Across
                                                            1. 1A
                                                              Send a package
                                                            2. 5A
                                                              Dark uninhabited place
                                                            3. 9A
                                                              Histories
                                                            4. 14A
                                                              Mandlikova of tennis
                                                            5. 15A
                                                              Pundit's piece
                                                            6. 16A
                                                              ___ year (annually)
                                                            7. 17A
                                                              Blue dye
                                                            8. 18A
                                                              Breather
                                                            9. 19A
                                                              Building level
                                                            10. 20A
                                                              Emphatic refusal
                                                            11. 22A
                                                              Oolong and pekoe
                                                            12. 24A
                                                              Employ
                                                            13. 25A
                                                              Cowboy legend
                                                            14. 26A
                                                              Actor Keaton
                                                            15. 28A
                                                              "Trainwreck" star
                                                            16. 32A
                                                              Campfire favorite
                                                            17. 35A
                                                              Garden tools
                                                            18. 36A
                                                              Person used by others
                                                            19. 39A
                                                              Lummox
                                                            20. 40A
                                                              Like an encounter with a ghost
                                                            21. 41A
                                                              Celtics' org.
                                                            22. 42A
                                                              Bosc or Anjou
                                                            23. 44A
                                                              Atlas pages
                                                            24. 45A
                                                              "Wide World of Sports" host Jim
                                                            25. 47A
                                                              Superhero's nickname
                                                            26. 50A
                                                              Stephen King, e.g.
                                                            27. 52A
                                                              "My pleasure!"
                                                            28. 56A
                                                              Author Fleming
                                                            29. 57A
                                                              Sailors' assents
                                                            30. 60A
                                                              Movie role for Dan Aykroyd
                                                            31. 61A
                                                              Equestrian
                                                            32. 63A
                                                              Olympian ruler
                                                            33. 65A
                                                              Catches some rays
                                                            34. 66A
                                                              ___ nous (between us)
                                                            35. 67A
                                                              Rudderless vessel
                                                            36. 68A
                                                              Suffix for buck
                                                            37. 69A
                                                              Hairnet
                                                            38. 70A
                                                              Singer Tori
                                                            39. 71A
                                                              Burg
                                                            Down
                                                            1. 1D
                                                              Journalist Alexander
                                                            2. 2D
                                                              Asian capital
                                                            3. 3D
                                                              How confident puzzlers solve
                                                            4. 4D
                                                              Caltech observatory near San Diego
                                                            5. 5D
                                                              Certain queen's domain?
                                                            6. 6D
                                                              Clerk on "The Simpsons"
                                                            7. 7D
                                                              Blow off steam
                                                            8. 8D
                                                              Advantage
                                                            9. 9D
                                                              Pogo, for one
                                                            10. 10D
                                                              5-Down
                                                              Certain queen's domain?[------]
                                                              member
                                                            11. 11D
                                                              Tenderfoot or Eagle
                                                            12. 12D
                                                              Succinct
                                                            13. 13D
                                                              Ending with 38-Down
                                                              Thumbs-down vote[---]
                                                            14. 21D
                                                              Identify
                                                            15. 23D
                                                              Mistreat
                                                            16. 27D
                                                              Back-to-school mo.
                                                            17. 29D
                                                              Bundle
                                                            18. 30D
                                                              Part of USMC
                                                            19. 31D
                                                              Bank job
                                                            20. 32D
                                                              Soak (up)
                                                            21. 33D
                                                              West of Hollywood
                                                            22. 34D
                                                              Inclined to do something
                                                            23. 37D
                                                              Pugilists' org.
                                                            24. 38D
                                                              Thumbs-down vote
                                                            25. 40D
                                                              Atlanta university
                                                            26. 43D
                                                              Squealer
                                                            27. 45D
                                                              Pell-___
                                                            28. 46D
                                                              Attacks, cat-style
                                                            29. 48D
                                                              Approached
                                                            30. 49D
                                                              Discharges
                                                            31. 50D
                                                              Telegrams
                                                            32. 51D
                                                              He played Dwight on "The Office"
                                                            33. 53D
                                                              River in Spain and Portugal
                                                            34. 54D
                                                              Thus far
                                                            35. 55D
                                                              Has way too much of
                                                            36. 58D
                                                              Poet Pound
                                                            37. 59D
                                                              Stitched line
                                                            38. 62D
                                                              Suffix with ranch
                                                            39. 64D
                                                              ET's vehicle
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