PCC#19 "Home Plate"

· By Philip Chow · Published 2023-12-11T13:00:41.872Z

Meta Prompt
[Level 2] Meta prompt: The answer to the meta is a U.S. state
Many thanks to @abide for test-solving and suggestions for improvement.
hint #1: the plate in the title refers to license plates... license plates will sometimes have the state's nickname on them
hint #2: see if you can find state nicknames in the grid, there are 8 of them (search online as needed for any you are unfamiliar with)
hint #3: they all follow the format "the [something] state" and are symmetrically placed (including 45-A)
hint #4: take the first letters of the states in grid order to spell out a key word
hint #5: there is a wikipedia page on "mountain states," but that is a geographic division and not a state nickname
hint #6: rocky mountain, iron mountain, green mountain, white mountain are all state nicknames, but they are not the meta answer... there is a state that is just "the mountain state"
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • boharr solved 2023-12-11T13:20:12.623Z
  • Cindy Weatherman solved 2023-12-11T13:29:46.864Z
  • Tom Wilson solved 2023-12-11T13:33:22.753Z
  • JHSeeman solved 2023-12-11T13:40:16.516Z
  • edestlin solved 2023-12-11T13:44:23.105Z
  • FrankieHeck solved 2023-12-11T13:48:12.371Z
  • KayW solved 2023-12-11T14:04:19.134Z
  • AxelPlays solved 2023-12-11T14:05:24.607Z
  • Meg solved 2023-12-11T14:10:17.935Z
  • Pair O Ducks solved 2023-12-11T14:10:42.074Z
  • Cindy Heisler solved 2023-12-11T14:27:09.298Z
  • DIS solved 2023-12-11T14:39:58.132Z
  • BarbaraK solved 2023-12-11T14:44:20.222Z
  • DebbieC solved 2023-12-11T14:48:45.069Z
  • dannyvee solved 2023-12-11T14:50:58.701Z
  • DCBilly solved 2023-12-11T15:14:35.841Z
  • I K Snamhcok solved 2023-12-11T15:20:55.640Z
  • Capn Rick solved 2023-12-11T15:22:58.849Z
  • MatthewL solved 2023-12-11T15:36:24.509Z
  • Carolyn solved 2023-12-11T15:49:05.118Z
  • imontoo solved 2023-12-11T15:51:38.525Z
  • rjy solved 2023-12-11T15:56:55.561Z
  • david solved 2023-12-11T16:24:38.393Z
  • Hector solved 2023-12-11T16:57:00.594Z
  • LarsCaine solved 2023-12-11T16:57:37.913Z
  • heidi solved 2023-12-11T17:00:11.395Z
  • Ergcat solved 2023-12-11T17:05:38.361Z
  • DrTom solved 2023-12-11T17:29:42.492Z
  • kymike solved 2023-12-11T17:30:40.840Z
  • Berto solved 2023-12-11T17:37:22.144Z
  • michaelm solved 2023-12-11T17:38:30.982Z
  • Anita and Steve solved 2023-12-11T18:03:40.657Z
  • Jeremy Smith solved 2023-12-11T18:06:44.366Z
  • Bird Lives solved 2023-12-11T18:23:40.614Z
  • minimuggle solved 2023-12-11T18:25:02.491Z
  • Sharkicicles solved 2023-12-11T18:29:16.466Z
  • Schmeel solved 2023-12-11T18:29:51.979Z
  • DOrtiz solved 2023-12-11T18:37:16.676Z
  • JM solved 2023-12-11T18:48:43.155Z
  • Johnny Luau solved 2023-12-11T19:25:59.848Z
  • Laura M solved 2023-12-11T19:33:30.679Z
  • Dave C solved 2023-12-11T19:54:34.980Z
  • Mwoychick solved 2023-12-11T19:58:54.847Z
  • benchen71 solved 2023-12-11T20:13:01.842Z
  • Mr Tex solved 2023-12-11T20:16:49.412Z
  • hoover solved 2023-12-11T20:30:46.246Z
  • whimsy solved 2023-12-11T21:26:32.810Z
  • LB800 solved 2023-12-11T21:36:38.672Z
  • markhr solved 2023-12-11T21:55:43.029Z
  • Gutman solved 2023-12-11T22:11:40.344Z
  • lbray53 solved 2023-12-11T22:25:22.674Z
  • Nick solved 2023-12-11T23:39:59.463Z
  • Alvibu67 solved 2023-12-11T23:40:15.832Z
  • Darrell solved 2023-12-11T23:54:07.887Z
  • SamKat9 solved 2023-12-12T00:12:09.030Z
  • woozy solved 2023-12-12T00:23:19.559Z
  • HeadinHome solved 2023-12-12T00:37:35.149Z
  • Jaclyn solved 2023-12-12T00:41:02.173Z
  • rvkal solved 2023-12-12T01:09:45.977Z
  • Tim solved 2023-12-12T01:21:27.316Z
  • CPJohnson solved 2023-12-12T01:25:21.515Z
  • Abide solved 2023-12-12T02:00:57.410Z
  • Sendhil Revuluri solved 2023-12-12T02:08:31.469Z
  • kurtalert solved 2023-12-12T02:09:01.444Z
  • Mg305 solved 2023-12-12T03:02:10.995Z
  • iceman solved 2023-12-12T03:11:28.486Z
  • Tyrpmom solved 2023-12-12T04:06:39.022Z
  • Qmark solved 2023-12-12T12:36:14.893Z
  • TerminatorX solved 2023-12-12T13:13:24.507Z
  • Darth solved 2023-12-12T15:54:08.638Z
  • ajk solved 2023-12-12T16:50:00.797Z
  • bhamren solved 2023-12-12T17:03:10.271Z
  • CAe39 solved 2023-12-12T17:42:15.024Z
  • Steve M solved 2023-12-12T17:43:09.436Z
  • Jimmy James solved 2023-12-12T19:36:26.732Z
  • Alex Sisti solved 2023-12-12T19:41:39.280Z
  • BrennerTJ solved 2023-12-12T19:43:32.836Z
  • LCC17 solved 2023-12-13T00:49:48.508Z
  • Dow Jones solved 2023-12-13T06:34:16.106Z
  • Kent solved 2023-12-13T18:10:59.748Z
  • SeamusOL solved 2023-12-13T23:25:08.940Z
  • Katiedid solved 2023-12-14T18:26:33.771Z
  • damefox solved 2023-12-16T19:54:30.389Z
  • AaronT solved 2023-12-17T16:59:18.800Z
  • SJMcK solved 2023-12-22T03:50:58.521Z
  • Adam Simon Levine solved 2023-12-25T13:08:55.058Z
  • Mikey G solved 2024-01-02T06:32:49.450Z
  • Flora Wynn solved 2024-01-22T05:36:04.067Z
  • Anonym00se solved 2024-03-13T14:07:52.761Z


Sign in with google to leave a comment of your own:

  • boharr 3s · 2023-12-11T13:20:37.474Z
    Fun debut. Congrats and thank you.
    • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:25:09.348Z
      Thank you for solving!
    • FrankieHeck 🤓8:15 · 2023-12-11T13:50:41.653Z
      As a life-long resident of the Mountain State, I loved this puzzle!
      • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:28:14.493Z
        Thank you Frankie! Good job on representing your home state here 😎
      • JHSeeman 2s · 2023-12-11T13:40:27.529Z
        Fun puzzle.
        • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:28:34.252Z
          Thank you for solving!
        • Cindy Heisler 5s · 2023-12-11T14:28:32.567Z
          Very Nice. Looking forward to your PCC metas. Thanks!
          • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:30:02.743Z
            Thank you for solving - stay tuned for more... you can solve my past puzzles on Crosshare... there's a print pdf option for those that prefer pen and paper over the online option
          • KayW 🤓7:54 · 2023-12-11T14:05:58.884Z
            Fantastic MMM debut - very clever and well-constructed! Haha I confess I had to google to confirm a few of the MONIKERs... including the one I live in! (IL)
            • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:32:39.460Z
              that's what Google is for ;)... and I don't know all of them off the top of my head either... Illinois I know as "Land of Lincoln"... didn't know about Prairie until I scoured lists for symmetrical-in-length nicknames to spell out a word for this puzzle 😅... some states have more than one nickname
            • Meg 2s · 2023-12-11T14:11:19.383Z
              Lovely debut. Btw, your anime puzzle killed me!
              • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:34:57.049Z
                Thanks Meg! And I may have underestimated the difficulty of the anime puzzle I'm so sorry for that. Detective Conan is my favorite anime to watch and I highly recommend it if you like mysteries. No Game No Life is a close second I was really sad when they discontinued it after two seasons. Hope I keep a long streak going with PCC (depends on when inspiration strikes I guess)
              • Pair O Ducks 🤓4:16 · 2023-12-11T14:11:16.280Z
                Fun puzzle! Looking forward to your Saturday contributions :)
                • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:37:15.860Z
                  Thank you so much! I really liked your side eye puzzle by the way 😒 that revealer cracked me up
                • Capn Rick 🤓7:11 · 2023-12-11T15:24:12.019Z
                  Nice one, Phil! Congrats, and welcome to the MMM!
                  • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:39:11.132Z
                    Aye aye captain!
                  • I K Snamhcok 2s · 2023-12-11T15:25:39.874Z
                    Welcome, Phillip! Hope to see many more of your puzzles!
                    • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:39:36.653Z
                      Thank you kindly - hope to make more
                    • imontoo 3s · 2023-12-11T15:52:02.847Z
                      Fun one! Thanks, Philip.
                      • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:39:53.547Z
                        Thanks for solving!
                      • MatthewL 🤓8:02 · 2023-12-11T15:38:25.141Z
                        Fun one! Thanks. Nice debut.
                        • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:41:53.969Z
                          Thanks for solving :) Debut for MMM, but you can play my archived PCC puzzles #1-18 on Crosshare if you'd like
                        • Carolyn 3s · 2023-12-11T15:49:36.000Z
                          Very nice!
                          • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:42:04.759Z
                            Thank you for solving!
                          • Ergcat 14:55 · 2023-12-11T17:06:02.989Z
                            Great debut puzzle!! Thank you!
                            • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:42:09.246Z
                              Thank you for solving!
                            • Hector 2s · 2023-12-11T17:00:34.340Z
                              • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:44:40.570Z
                                State-of-the-art... hehehe... that could be a good title too... and then change the meta prompt to "the meta is a two-word place name" or something like that... I went back and forth with titles/meta prompts/whether or not to include the extra hint in MONIKER... keep it simple is good i have a tendency to overcomplicate things
                              • DrTom 3s · 2023-12-11T17:35:58.894Z
                                Welcome Phil! That puzzle was almost heaven! I was sitting in the SUNSHINE watching the activity out the window around the BEEHIVE and seeing glints of SILVER off the wings of the bees. I was trying to keep a lid on my enthusiasm but knew I could not keep it at BAY so I just hopped in and started working like a BEAVER trying to build a dam in the OCEAN to protect his GARDEN. With that I managed to solve and provide myself with; well what the sentence suggests. Thanks for the fun meta!!
                                • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:46:34.384Z
                                  Thank you Dr Tom! It took me embarrassingly long to work out your message even though it's the exact same mechanism! 😭... I glanced over Beaver and I referred to Garden as "Jersey" so I was like FUN MR J?... who is Mr J? I am Mr Chow.
                                  • DrTom 3s · 2023-12-16T07:00:52.411Z
                                    Well then we each gave the other a workout!!
                                • michaelm 🤓7:50 · 2023-12-11T17:47:27.294Z
                                  A WHAMMO MMM! Thanks Philip - looking forward to many more PCCs Mon, Tues, Sat or any day of the wk.
                                  • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:47:58.872Z
                                    Whammo Kablammo! easy breezy solve with just enough punch to keep things interesting i hope
                                  • Bird Lives 3s · 2023-12-11T18:27:59.799Z
                                    Welcome and thanks. I had to backsolve and go to the Internet for the A I knew had to be there. And when I found it, I thought, "Really?" Maybe Hobbes was right about the state of nature.
                                    • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:50:53.155Z
                                      I had to google "state of nature" and philosopher Thomas Hobbes... I thought you were making a Calvin and Hobbes reference. Hobbes in the comic was named after Thomas Hobbes. Yeah, prior to making the puzzle, I did not know: natural, prairie, volunteer, and mountain... thank goodness for google
                                      • Bird Lives 3s · 2023-12-14T00:48:23.858Z
                                        If you Googled it, then you found that according to Hobbes (Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679), the Natural State (i.e., Arkansas) is characterized by "continual fear, and danger of violent death: and the life of man [is] solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." He probably wasn't too keen on Kentucky either.
                                    • Sharkicicles 3s · 2023-12-11T18:29:33.911Z
                                      congrats Philip! nice puzzle!
                                      • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:51:07.715Z
                                        thank you for solving!
                                      • Laura M 🤓6:53 · 2023-12-11T19:34:29.204Z
                                        Very nice!
                                        • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:51:15.950Z
                                          thanks for solving!
                                        • Dave C 3s · 2023-12-11T19:55:11.032Z
                                          Nice debut.
                                          • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:51:27.998Z
                                            thank you :)
                                          • Mwoychick 9:54 · 2023-12-11T19:59:12.999Z
                                            Thanks for the puzzle, and congrats on your MMM debut!
                                            • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:51:46.097Z
                                              thank you very much :)
                                            • hoover 2s · 2023-12-11T20:33:22.391Z
                                              This puzzle deserves more than a LONE STAR!
                                              • Abide 7s · 2023-12-12T02:02:35.577Z
                                                • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:52:29.691Z
                                                  omg yes! 🤩
                                                • lbray53 3s · 2023-12-11T22:27:19.134Z
                                                  Fun! I figured out the basic mechanism fairly quickly but I had to fill in most of the grid to solve. Some challenging fill for me.
                                                  Thanks so much for a great puzzle. I am looking forward to more of them.
                                                  • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:54:10.746Z
                                                    thank you for solving! yeah, gridwork gets difficult when the theme gets too dense, but i still try to make the crossings not too hard... i did get stuck with proper names and partials i wasn't a fan of... looking at you AMONK and SONESTA
                                                  • whimsy 🤓11:16 · 2023-12-11T22:11:12.388Z
                                                    Mountain Mama! Very nice, Phil!
                                                    • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:55:14.296Z
                                                      🎵 country roads... take me home... to the place... i belongggggggg 🎵
                                                    • SamKat9 🤓11:08 · 2023-12-12T00:12:23.306Z
                                                      Fun puzzle, thank you so much!
                                                      • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:55:55.967Z
                                                        thank you for solving!
                                                      • HeadinHome 🤓2:33 · 2023-12-12T00:40:21.842Z
                                                        Embarrassed to say I did not pick up on what was going on until the grid was finished and I stared at the central entry VOLUNTEER. (Plus I confess I had to look up a few states… knew of the monikers but did not know for sure which states they were!). Thanks!
                                                        • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:58:10.552Z
                                                          I tried building the grid with "NICKNAMES" in the center... but I couldn't find a symmetrical pair for volunteer... so I'm a little miffed at that because usually the revealer is in the middle... the other "T" state was "LONESTAR" but I thought that would stick out too much
                                                        • Sendhil Revuluri 🤓4:54 · 2023-12-12T02:09:07.140Z
                                                          Fun! (OMG a meta I got without nudges!)
                                                          • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:59:09.362Z
                                                            Yay! good job Sendhil
                                                          • kurtalert 🤓4:34 · 2023-12-12T02:09:50.452Z
                                                            Loved it. Thanks Philip!
                                                            • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:59:34.032Z
                                                              Thank you Kurt
                                                            • Qmark 6s · 2023-12-12T12:36:52.956Z
                                                              Super MMM debut...thanks Phil!
                                                              • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T00:59:44.633Z
                                                                Thanks for solving :)
                                                              • Darth 🤓11:50 · 2023-12-12T15:57:22.896Z
                                                                Nice construction, Phil. I got all the letters to spell the key word but then had to Google the final answer as it wasn't a familiar one. Thanks, and looking forward to more.
                                                                • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T01:02:49.571Z
                                                                  Thank you Darth! You're a tough act to follow loved your Marvel puzzle! I almost had HAWKEYE in my puzzle for the "I" and using SOONER or BEAVER for the "O" instead... I think hawkeye is easier to hide in a puzzle because you can clue it as a Marvel character whereas buckeye i had to use a weird clue about Calvin and Hobbes, but I thought it was a pretty cute reference. You also appear in my puzzle under EMPIRE bwahaha 😈
                                                                • ajk 🤓6:43 · 2023-12-12T16:52:29.628Z
                                                                  Busy day yesterday so just getting to this now. Got the mechanism instantly, though I confess I didn't know the nicknames for AR, IL, or WV off the top of my head. Fun and well constructed debut, thanks.
                                                                  • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T01:05:32.804Z
                                                                    thanks for solving! those are the exact same ones I didn't know plus TN... i think googling is fine for a puzzle if you at least know what you have to google for 😜
                                                                    • ajk 🤓6:43 · 2023-12-13T16:59:56.467Z
                                                                  • Alex Sisti 3s · 2023-12-12T19:42:00.916Z
                                                                    Nicely done; keep them coming!
                                                                    • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T01:05:54.072Z
                                                                      Thanks Al! Don't worry I will
                                                                    • Abide 7s · 2023-12-13T01:30:20.220Z
                                                                      So is no one going to comment on the great 47-A clue-- "Fill up on chow"
                                                                      • Philip Chow constructor · 2023-12-13T20:09:12.014Z
                                                                        Welp shameless plug 😅
                                                                      "What a shame"
                                                                      1. 1A
                                                                        "What a shame"
                                                                      2. 7A
                                                                        Accumulate on the surface, like molecules (and one letter off from what sponges do to water)
                                                                      3. 13A
                                                                        "___ THE MONEY!" ("Jerry Maguire" catchphrase)
                                                                      4. 14A
                                                                        Kind of nut that Calvin contemplates throwing at Susie in a "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip
                                                                      5. 16A
                                                                        Trojan War hero in a Virgil classic
                                                                      6. 17A
                                                                        Region now referred to as West Asia
                                                                      7. 19A
                                                                        Marge Simpson's hairstyle
                                                                      8. 21A
                                                                        Race for, as the finish line
                                                                      9. 22A
                                                                        Check for fingerprints
                                                                      10. 23A
                                                                        "The ___-King" (Schubert composition based on a Goethe poem)
                                                                      11. 25A
                                                                        Batteries usually not included upon purchasing a toy
                                                                      12. 26A
                                                                        "C'___ la vie!"
                                                                      13. 27A
                                                                        Insect that can carry up to 50 times its own weighted
                                                                      14. 29A
                                                                        Makeup of some countertops
                                                                      15. 33A
                                                                      16. 35A
                                                                        Start of a spelling rule that is broken twice by "weird neighbors"
                                                                      17. 36A
                                                                        Freely offer, as Katniss does as tribute in "The Hunger Games"
                                                                      18. 38A
                                                                        Potent potable referred to as "the green fairy"
                                                                      19. 41A
                                                                        Fakes, as ignorance
                                                                      20. 45A
                                                                        Nickname (and key to unlocking the meta)
                                                                      21. 46A
                                                                        High-speed Internet option: Abbr.
                                                                      22. 47A
                                                                        Fill up on chow
                                                                      23. 48A
                                                                        Stock market debut: Abbr.
                                                                      24. 49A
                                                                        Yang's counterpart, in Chinese philosophy
                                                                      25. 51A
                                                                        Snip out, as coupons
                                                                      26. 52A
                                                                        Something to binge, nowadays
                                                                      27. 56A
                                                                        Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A ___ Woman"
                                                                      28. 59A
                                                                        Overlooks, as faults
                                                                      29. 61A
                                                                        Fee on some out-of-state purchases
                                                                      30. 63A
                                                                        ___ dog (burrowing critter that Lewis and Clark called a "barking squirrel")
                                                                      31. 64A
                                                                        "The ___ Strikes Back" ("Star Wars" movie in which Darth Vader says "I am your father")
                                                                      32. 65A
                                                                        Word before "media," "studies," or "butterfly"
                                                                      33. 66A
                                                                      1. 1D
                                                                        "Revenge ___ dish best served cold"
                                                                      2. 2D
                                                                        What someone who avoids answering a question beats around
                                                                      3. 3D
                                                                        Hotel chain founded by Sonny Sonnabend
                                                                      4. 4D
                                                                      5. 5D
                                                                        Ying-ying's childhood nanny in "The Joy Luck Club"
                                                                      6. 6D
                                                                        Arnaz of "I Love Lucy"
                                                                      7. 7D
                                                                        Doubleday who supposedly invented baseball
                                                                      8. 8D
                                                                        Scheduled to be returned, as a library book
                                                                      9. 9D
                                                                        Fish with razorbelly, yellowtail, and mackerel varieties
                                                                      10. 10D
                                                                        Gumbo vegetable
                                                                      11. 11D
                                                                        Oscar nominee for "Mudbound" Dee ___
                                                                      12. 12D
                                                                        Extremely close way to win
                                                                      13. 15D
                                                                        Subject of a will, perhaps
                                                                      14. 18D
                                                                        "Move along, nothing ___ here"
                                                                      15. 20D
                                                                        Nov. 11 honoree, for short
                                                                      16. 22D
                                                                        Water droplets on grass
                                                                      17. 24D
                                                                        Community represented at a pride parade: Abbr.
                                                                      18. 27D
                                                                        Cornelis van Haarlem painting "___ and a Nun"
                                                                      19. 28D
                                                                        Nick of "The Prince of Tides"
                                                                      20. 30D
                                                                        Coral formations
                                                                      21. 31D
                                                                        Read ___-good story (enjoy some "Chicken Soup for the Soul," perhaps)
                                                                      22. 32D
                                                                        Seaweed used to wrap sushi
                                                                      23. 34D
                                                                        1007, in Roman numerals
                                                                      24. 35D
                                                                        Verdi's "String Quartet ___ minor"
                                                                      25. 37D
                                                                        "Driving Miss Daisy" playwright Alfred
                                                                      26. 38D
                                                                        Not quite right
                                                                      27. 39D
                                                                        Nursery rhyme character who lost her sheep
                                                                      28. 40D
                                                                        "Z Z Z" makers, in comics
                                                                      29. 42D
                                                                        Jiggly dessert
                                                                      30. 43D
                                                                        Fancy work from a manicurist
                                                                      31. 44D
                                                                        Conditions for which 1 mole of gas takes up 22.4 liters: Abbr.
                                                                      32. 46D
                                                                        Genetic evidence used in forensic science: Abbr.
                                                                      33. 50D
                                                                        Inside info
                                                                      34. 51D
                                                                        Thin pancake
                                                                      35. 53D
                                                                        "Grave of the Fireflies" director Takahata
                                                                      36. 54D
                                                                      37. 55D
                                                                        Traditional Indian wedding dress
                                                                      38. 57D
                                                                        Mon. follower
                                                                      39. 58D
                                                                        "Semper Fi" military branch: Abbr.
                                                                      40. 60D
                                                                        "Chandelier" singer
                                                                      41. 62D
                                                                        Deletes, with "out"