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· By Guffman and ajk · Published by ajk · Published 2023-11-13T05:00:45.571Z

Meta Prompt
The meta answer is something we hope you don't have to resort to in solving this puzzle
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Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • andeux solved 2023-11-13T05:48:52.244Z
  • Mr Tex solved 2023-11-13T13:38:44.887Z
  • Schmeel solved 2023-11-13T13:54:18.974Z
  • Capn Rick solved 2023-11-13T14:11:04.962Z
  • Tom Wilson solved 2023-11-13T14:12:20.740Z
  • Alex Sisti solved 2023-11-13T14:12:39.232Z
  • Meg solved 2023-11-13T14:18:06.992Z
  • JM solved 2023-11-13T14:59:54.794Z
  • merlinnimue solved 2023-11-13T15:00:58.224Z
  • Hector solved 2023-11-13T15:02:46.002Z
  • michaelm solved 2023-11-13T15:16:48.936Z
  • boharr solved 2023-11-13T15:42:13.301Z
  • CPJohnson solved 2023-11-13T15:52:20.507Z
  • whimsy solved 2023-11-13T16:07:55.845Z
  • heidi solved 2023-11-13T16:50:50.914Z
  • Pair O Ducks solved 2023-11-13T17:01:05.346Z
  • woozy solved 2023-11-13T17:21:54.343Z
  • DebbieC solved 2023-11-13T17:47:15.777Z
  • Carolyn solved 2023-11-13T18:27:02.130Z
  • david solved 2023-11-13T18:53:40.526Z
  • MatthewL solved 2023-11-13T19:04:07.303Z
  • Laura M solved 2023-11-13T19:20:12.783Z
  • DrTom solved 2023-11-13T19:44:57.415Z
  • HeadinHome solved 2023-11-13T19:59:34.032Z
  • Sharkicicles solved 2023-11-13T20:16:08.085Z
  • Eric Porter solved 2023-11-13T20:57:00.744Z
  • Abide solved 2023-11-13T21:56:38.693Z
  • FrankieHeck solved 2023-11-13T22:13:50.167Z
  • Anita and Steve solved 2023-11-13T22:50:02.458Z
  • kurtalert solved 2023-11-13T23:00:29.749Z
  • Gutman solved 2023-11-13T23:13:08.335Z
  • KayW solved 2023-11-14T00:33:54.606Z
  • emmie solved 2023-11-14T00:42:01.365Z
  • Tyrpmom solved 2023-11-14T00:46:00.883Z
  • Darth solved 2023-11-14T00:46:15.918Z
  • lbray53 solved 2023-11-14T02:06:50.374Z
  • Berto solved 2023-11-14T02:32:44.941Z
  • Mwoychick solved 2023-11-14T02:44:28.318Z
  • Bird Lives solved 2023-11-14T03:31:52.210Z
  • markhr solved 2023-11-14T04:20:34.947Z
  • I K Snamhcok solved 2023-11-14T06:00:14.996Z
  • DIS solved 2023-11-14T14:55:49.982Z
  • Cindy Heisler solved 2023-11-14T15:19:19.717Z
  • LB800 solved 2023-11-14T19:37:11.498Z
  • BarbaraK solved 2023-11-14T20:24:11.689Z
  • rjy solved 2023-11-14T20:30:46.779Z
  • Darrell solved 2023-11-15T00:00:53.207Z
  • Qmark solved 2023-11-15T13:30:01.692Z
  • Steve M solved 2023-11-15T18:20:37.450Z
  • Johnny Luau solved 2023-11-15T20:05:26.505Z
  • Dave C solved 2023-11-15T23:25:07.853Z
  • Katiedid solved 2023-11-16T00:52:19.536Z
  • Mikey G solved 2023-11-16T06:52:23.057Z
  • Jeremy Smith solved 2023-11-16T07:53:35.136Z
  • minimuggle solved 2023-11-16T13:23:51.264Z
  • bhamren solved 2023-11-16T14:22:41.351Z
  • DCBilly solved 2023-11-16T14:47:57.098Z
  • Richard solved 2023-11-16T18:53:44.738Z
  • Jaclyn solved 2023-11-16T20:36:43.610Z
  • BrennerTJ solved 2023-11-16T22:29:11.482Z
  • Ergcat solved 2023-11-17T10:04:41.522Z
  • AxelPlays solved 2023-11-17T19:08:27.798Z
  • SeamusOL solved 2023-11-18T00:08:01.031Z
  • hoover solved 2023-11-18T08:43:00.478Z
  • Dow Jones solved 2023-11-19T08:50:35.218Z
  • Sanne solved 2023-11-20T01:04:06.984Z
  • shalmanezer solved 2023-11-20T03:32:39.824Z


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  • Capn Rick 🤓5:51 · 2023-11-13T14:19:14.144Z
    Great collaboration between ajk and rookie Guffman! Despite being a bird-lover, I still needed the asterisks! 😄
    • Meg 2s · 2023-11-13T14:23:48.392Z
      Why have the animals in clues if another step is not necessary, or did I miss something? Nice puzzle you guys!
      • ajk publisher · 2023-11-13T15:24:26.978Z
        I think just in case the terms were unfamiliar. Some of them are not so easy to google in the forward sense, but if you know which birds to look for it's simple. Or at least that's my memory (there were several versions of this :))
        • woozy 23:27 · 2023-11-13T17:46:32.369Z
          Well, parliament, for example, is from owls, rooks, and sometimes magpies, so there is always the issue of ambiguity.
          • HeadinHome 🤓1:22 · 2023-11-13T20:02:45.960Z
            Exactly what I was figuring.
        • Pair O Ducks 🤓6:15 · 2023-11-13T17:04:16.233Z
          Ditto, had to be pulled out of that rabbit hole. The same thing tripped me up in one of Lexicon Devil's recent puzzles, too.
        • Tom Wilson 🤓7:43 · 2023-11-13T14:13:43.014Z
          I was half-asleep when I submitted my first answer, then found my way to the coffee pot and redeemed myself. A very enjoyable way to start the week, thanks!
          • boharr 3s · 2023-11-13T15:42:36.300Z
            Very nice debut. Thanks.
            • michaelm 🤓1:17 · 2023-11-13T15:28:19.095Z
              You killed it guys! In ONAWIRE, out ONADATE - who could ask for more? Thanks!
              • whimsy 🤓13:31 · 2023-11-13T16:14:05.716Z
                I fell for the old "Forget to remember the prompt" and was stymied when my first submission didn't work. 😄 Lots of fun, Ed and Alan! Congrats to the Rabbit on his first!
                • woozy 23:27 · 2023-11-13T17:23:12.181Z
                  Grid was much harder than the meta.
                  But I wonder why you put the birds in other clues if they were not used.
                  • merlinnimue 🤓15:47 · 2023-11-13T17:52:55.853Z
                    Thanks for another great puzzle... tbh I guessed and only saw the metanism later... I saw the groups, but looking at the individual birds, that flew over my head... sorry for being slow to catch on, and for the slow solve, and in general paling in comparison to all you superstars
                    • woozy 23:27 · 2023-11-13T17:31:46.122Z
                      I was thinking ... but didn't someone already do this mechanism?.... And then I realized not really (
                      • DebbieC 20:24 · 2023-11-13T18:02:11.551Z
                        Congratulations on a great debut puzzle. Did the puzzle on my phone in the car so missed the asterisks. The title together with PARLIAMENT UNKINDNESS CHIME did it for me. Thanks for a lovely distraction on the road trip to Key West.
                        • Carolyn 3s · 2023-11-13T18:28:07.269Z
                          As an avid birder, I loved it!
                          • Laura M 🤓10:09 · 2023-11-13T19:21:15.250Z
                            Excellent debut, thanks!
                            • MatthewL 🤓10:58 · 2023-11-13T19:08:48.956Z
                              Great puzzle, guys! Gotta say, went down a really deep bunny hole though. So I noticed that the bird names all appear in the clues, so I thought you had to take the first letter of each corresponding grid entry, which spells OPAHS (left to right as opposed to top to bottom). An Opah is a fish, so I first submitted SCHOOL, and then FISH FOR AN ANSWER (which I thought was really clever). Turns out I was overcomplicating, as usual. But it just seemed so perfect that I couldn't believe that it wasn't relevant (the bird names in the clues). Thankfully, a kind Muggle pulled me out of that hole. Thanks for the fun Monday puzzle!
                              • HeadinHome 🤓1:22 · 2023-11-13T20:01:44.728Z
                                That was so fun!! My WAG was “google”, so I googled all the themers and voila! I had no idea about all these odd collective nouns! I knew murder of crows, parliament of owls, but the others were new to me, and there are tons more on Audobon! Thanks for the fun and the education. I liked the mechanism too… one more step past merely using first-letters. Keep ‘em coming!
                                • Sharkicicles 2s · 2023-11-13T20:17:42.598Z
                                  Great puzzle! Funny rabbit hole I went down included OASIS a musical group for ASYLUM and LIAM in the grid…
                                  • DrTom 26:08 · 2023-11-13T20:00:29.114Z
                                    I think I might have gotten it without the asterisks because with the Group and Parliament the first thing I thought of was OWLS. That was reinforced by finding “owls”. Actually I was glad there were the animals because ASYLUM is often tied to LOONS. I was wondering if at some point you considered SLOTH as the S since BEN probably could be BED, or was it birds all the way (as suggested by 1A). Well done puzzle! For a second I thought the referenced animal answers letter would form another word and it was going to be CROWD SOLVE. I liked the last twist and LOVED some of the clues. Favorites include 37A, 33A, 15A and 29D. Is OSU supposed to be Ohio State? (Being from PA and having lived in MI we have our own version of what comes from OSU…)
                                    • ajk publisher · 2023-11-13T22:39:22.541Z
                                      Ha, yeah OSU is Ohio State. Glad you liked it. And your favorite clues are evenly split -- 37A and 29D were Guffman's ideas, the other two were me. I was also jealous of 22D. :)
                                      • Bird Lives 14s · 2023-11-14T03:46:41.433Z
                                        That was a tough entry for me. I knew it had to be THE OSU, but I couldn't squeeze all those letters into the squares.
                                        • ajk publisher · 2023-11-14T17:20:11.845Z
                                          :) fair
                                    • Eric Porter 44s · 2023-11-13T20:58:48.457Z
                                      Seeing 'parliament' was what got me to see it. I'd only heard of that and 'murder' before.
                                      • KayW 🤓10:34 · 2023-11-14T00:37:40.669Z
                                        Nice one!! At first I ignored the animals themselves because I noticed they were mentioned in other clues. And I hopped directly to those to look for the answer. Only to evenutally go back to the birds themselves. And hung myself up for a while because my aging eyes thought they saw an asterisk at the beginning of 63a. Extensive interwebbing revealed that MUMMY is NOT a collective noun for any sort of critter. LOL. A most enjoyable debut. Thanks guys!
                                        • emmie 🤓8:16 · 2023-11-14T00:42:19.893Z
                                          So fun!
                                          • Tyrpmom 2s · 2023-11-14T00:46:31.775Z
                                            Well done. Thanks.
                                            • Darth 🤓18:15 · 2023-11-14T00:50:22.704Z
                                              Fun solve, and nice "group" collaboration. I didn't understand the answer to 19A, but it gave me enough pause to think of cuckoos instead of loons for asylum. Thanks. :)
                                              • ajk publisher · 2023-11-14T02:40:23.710Z
                                                Ha, that one's my fault. Just playing on cuckoo clock for thing that's alive vs thing that's not.
                                              • Berto 🤓2:29 · 2023-11-14T02:37:38.492Z
                                                Similar to others, I figured there must be an extra step but AOHPS wasn’t making much sense and why have it spell out CROWS?! headslap Although also had LOONS for awhile and LROWS wasn’t getting me anywhere.. Fun one!
                                                • Mwoychick 15:21 · 2023-11-14T02:45:34.117Z
                                                  Thanks, Ed and Alan! Very enjoyable and clever clueing to boot
                                                  • Bird Lives 14s · 2023-11-14T03:47:13.828Z
                                                    LIke MatthewL, I went a step too far and chased after the birds in the clues to get AHPSO. (Is there a phrase "an ahpso of crossword constructors"?) Thanks for the fun.
                                                    • Cindy Heisler 2s · 2023-11-14T15:20:56.473Z
                                                      I need to pay more attention. Working on more than one meta at a time and I first submitted the answer to the other meta here! Duh!! I think I need a vacation.
                                                      • Qmark 5s · 2023-11-15T13:30:15.006Z
                                                        Loved it! Great debut...thanks!
                                                        • Dave C 3s · 2023-11-16T00:19:52.172Z
                                                          None of the terms in the theme answers were familiar to me, so I was lost without the nudges.
                                                          • Ergcat 5:49 · 2023-11-17T10:05:10.671Z
                                                            Needed the nudges! Great debut puzzle!
                                                            • Philip Chow 🤓10:00 · 2023-12-05T04:10:15.376Z
                                                              I missed an asterisk 😭... i didn't see CHIME... so had CROS for the longest time and saw the birds in the clues and tried doing lots of crazy things with them until i gave up... lesson learned, always double-check for missing asterisks... nice puzzle!
                                                              Perched, as birds
                                                              1. 1A
                                                                Perched, as birds
                                                              2. 8A
                                                                *Safe haven
                                                              3. 14A
                                                                Imperial Russian family
                                                              4. 15A
                                                                Where you might find beans in London?
                                                              5. 16A
                                                                Huge body of water between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan that dried up about 10 years ago
                                                              6. 17A
                                                                Longtime manager Tony
                                                              7. 18A
                                                                Young lady, on Islay
                                                              8. 19A
                                                                Cuckoos but not clocks
                                                              9. 20A
                                                              10. 25A
                                                                Try too hard
                                                              11. 28A
                                                                Throw under the ____ (shift blame to)
                                                              12. 31A
                                                                Nickels and dimes, etc.
                                                              13. 33A
                                                                First name in fine ice creams or crossword puzzles
                                                              14. 34A
                                                                *Mean behavior
                                                              15. 36A
                                                              16. 37A
                                                                Almost an hour before noon?
                                                              17. 38A
                                                                Oom-___ band (polka pros)
                                                              18. 39A
                                                                ____ Mara (Kenyan game preserve)
                                                              19. 40A
                                                                Acrophobic's response to a skydiving invitation
                                                              20. 41A
                                                                *They meet not far from Christopher Wren's masterpiece
                                                              21. 43A
                                                              22. 44A
                                                                Brief assay for diagnosis of West Nile virus that measures plaque reduction and neutralization
                                                              23. 45A
                                                                Generic John or Jane
                                                              24. 46A
                                                                Slopes master
                                                              25. 48A
                                                                Preliminary races
                                                              26. 50A
                                                                *Windspeed detector?
                                                              27. 52A
                                                                Sound made by burrowing owls, apparently to imitate snakes
                                                              28. 56A
                                                                Laundry machines
                                                              29. 58A
                                                              30. 61A
                                                              31. 62A
                                                                Lively music
                                                              32. 63A
                                                                "The ____ Curse" (Lon Chaney Jr. film)
                                                              33. 64A
                                                                Where you might encounter social stress?
                                                              1. 1D
                                                                Like some arguments
                                                              2. 2D
                                                                Mrs. Charles on TCM or Ms. Dunn of SNL
                                                              3. 3D
                                                                You love, in Latin
                                                              4. 4D
                                                                Rock guitarist and singer Joe
                                                              5. 5D
                                                                The powerful tend to have them
                                                              6. 6D
                                                                Future fish
                                                              7. 7D
                                                                Cary saved her on Mount Rushmore
                                                              8. 8D
                                                                Earlier versions of radios and cameras
                                                              9. 9D
                                                              10. 10D
                                                                "____ Got Mail"
                                                              11. 11D
                                                                Kind of eye surgery approved by the FDA in 1999
                                                              12. 12D
                                                                Letters at sea
                                                              13. 13D
                                                                Subject of a Kingston Trio folk song
                                                              14. 15D
                                                                Suffix with Schnozz
                                                              15. 21D
                                                                One reason for adolescent angst
                                                              16. 22D
                                                                Rooting section?
                                                              17. 23D
                                                                Famous alley
                                                              18. 24D
                                                                Cecil B. DeMille directed the greatest show here
                                                              19. 26D
                                                                The D in FDR
                                                              20. 27D
                                                                At the job location
                                                              21. 28D
                                                                ____ noches
                                                              22. 29D
                                                                Cut hair?
                                                              23. 30D
                                                                Display of doubt
                                                              24. 32D
                                                                Non-animated Simpson
                                                              25. 35D
                                                                ____ got a secret
                                                              26. 36D
                                                                Cooking spray
                                                              27. 39D
                                                                Animated Simpson creator Groening
                                                              28. 41D
                                                              29. 42D
                                                                "A rose ____ rose"
                                                              30. 44D
                                                                A place for those with habits
                                                              31. 47D
                                                                Cambodian capital (with "Penh")
                                                              32. 49D
                                                                Tear to pieces
                                                              33. 51D
                                                                Follower of car and prow
                                                              34. 53D
                                                                "____ la Douce" (MacLaine film)
                                                              35. 54D
                                                                Mo. when some sparrows think about heading south
                                                              36. 55D
                                                                Fruit a sloth might like?
                                                              37. 56D
                                                                Engine part
                                                              38. 57D
                                                                Brief source of Ravens, Cowboys, and Saints?
                                                              39. 58D
                                                                What you get for a quid?
                                                              40. 59D
                                                                It merged with the WB to form the CW
                                                              41. 60D
                                                                ____ crossroads