PCC#25 "A Fresh Start"

· By Philip Chow · Published 2024-02-10T15:27:20.380Z

Meta Prompt
[Level 2] Meta prompt: The answer to the meta is a fruit that begins with the letter P
Hint #1: You might not have heard of this fruit before... this is where Google (or your favorite search engine) comes in handy
Hint #2: OERSIMMONS is such a weird entry...
Hint #3: "A fresh start" is a new beginning... there are six grid entries whose first letter can be changed to make a fruit
Hint #4: All these fruits begin with the letter P... OERSIMMONS --> Persimmons... NINEAPPLES --> Pineapples
Hint #5: "Dragon fruit" doesn't begin with a P... but it goes by another name that does (back to hint #1)
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • KayW solved 2024-02-10T16:06:08.487Z
  • woozy solved 2024-02-10T16:17:09.359Z
  • Pair O Ducks solved 2024-02-10T16:29:40.370Z
  • atsiricajr111191 solved 2024-02-10T16:46:56.628Z
  • MatthewL solved 2024-02-10T16:51:57.810Z
  • FrankieHeck solved 2024-02-10T17:25:13.980Z
  • BrennerTJ solved 2024-02-10T19:07:42.577Z
  • Mr Tex solved 2024-02-10T19:28:50.271Z
  • Augwood solved 2024-02-10T19:39:01.292Z
  • emmie solved 2024-02-10T20:01:52.773Z
  • whimsy solved 2024-02-10T21:04:50.124Z
  • Hector solved 2024-02-10T21:06:16.218Z
  • damefox solved 2024-02-10T21:48:19.566Z
  • Danny K Bernstein solved 2024-02-10T22:32:17.149Z
  • JM solved 2024-02-10T23:48:48.299Z
  • Cindy Weatherman solved 2024-02-11T00:57:58.513Z
  • Meg solved 2024-02-11T01:18:50.545Z
  • kieranjboyd solved 2024-02-11T01:44:48.353Z
  • Billy solved 2024-02-11T02:00:06.182Z
  • LCC17 solved 2024-02-11T04:01:34.809Z
  • DIS solved 2024-02-11T13:13:54.445Z
  • Chris solved 2024-02-11T15:17:19.702Z
  • Adam Simon Levine solved 2024-02-11T18:10:52.998Z
  • SJ solved 2024-02-11T19:36:30.734Z
  • DrTom solved 2024-02-11T21:19:20.745Z
  • Sendhil Revuluri solved 2024-02-12T02:56:16.576Z
  • benchen71 solved 2024-02-12T07:43:52.303Z
  • AxelPlays solved 2024-02-12T13:45:54.432Z
  • Jeremy Smith solved 2024-02-12T20:35:46.981Z
  • hoover solved 2024-02-12T21:25:39.704Z
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  • Flora Wynn solved 2024-02-15T20:38:35.780Z
  • Mikey G solved 2024-02-21T06:27:15.089Z
  • Qmark solved 2024-02-21T14:50:41.391Z
  • rjy solved 2024-02-21T19:20:44.285Z
  • Darth solved 2024-02-22T16:59:30.271Z
  • Salty solved 2024-02-28T06:13:35.778Z


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  • Philip Chow constructor · 2024-02-10T15:27:20.380Z
    Answer explanation: There are six grid entries whose first letter can be changed to make a fruit beginning with the letter P... DEARS --> PEARS, REACHES --> PEACHES, ALUMS --> PLUMS, GOMELOS --> POMELOS, OERSIMMONS --> PERSIMMONS, NINEAPPLES --> PINEAPPLES... Taking the first letters of these entries in grid order spell out DRAGON... dragon fruit doesn't begin a P, but it goes by another name that does, which is the meta answer PITAYA
    Constructor notes: Pitayas look really pretty, but they don’t taste that great (in my opinion)… they aren’t very sweet and kind of tasteless... they seem to be gaining some traction in the U.S. market as an exotic health food... there's also a bit of confusion regarding pitaya/pitahaya/dragon fruit which is explained here: and
    Happy Chinese New Year! 🐉 (Feb 10, 2024 Year of the Dragon)
    • KayW 🤓6:24 · 2024-02-10T16:07:34.342Z
      Excellent!! And perfect for the weekend starting the year of the DRAGON. I found DRAGON but then needed the nudges to look for an alternate name. I've never tried it - maybe I'll look for some this weekend. Thanks, Phil!
      • woozy 14:01 · 2024-02-10T16:17:56.322Z
        Fun... I had to google the proper name of Dragon Fruit but a really cool puzzle.
        • MatthewL 🤓7:39 · 2024-02-10T16:54:59.712Z
          Very clever -- found DRAGON and then had to Google the alternate name. Loved the stream of consciousness story for 22A. Thanks for the puzzle, Philip!
          • whimsy 10:53 · 2024-02-10T21:23:40.636Z
            Nice juicy little puzzle 😄 -- Thanks, Phil!
            • Hector 🤓5:03 · 2024-02-10T21:07:20.518Z
              Happy New Year, and thank you!
              • kieranjboyd 🤓4:16 · 2024-02-11T01:45:31.232Z
                Fun! Happy new year!
                • Billy 🤓6:43 · 2024-02-11T02:01:03.733Z
                  very nice!
                  • benchen71 🤓4:57 · 2024-02-12T07:44:21.798Z
                    Thanks for providing nudges! ;-)
                    • DrTom 3s · 2024-02-11T21:20:57.656Z
                      Nice one, and I learned something. I did not know Dragon fruit was Pitaya.
                      • hoover 2s · 2024-02-12T21:26:48.115Z
                        I got to DRAGON but had to consult the Internet to get to PITAYA. Happy New Year! (Dragon is my year!)
                        • Philip Chow constructor · 2024-02-12T22:57:43.893Z
                          Thanks!! my dad taught me a sneaky trick to figure out someone's age - you ask them what animal they are in the Chinese Zodiac... since they cycle every 12 years, you can then do the math in your head... so you would be a multiple of 12 this year (24, 36, 48, 60, etc)... then there's a bit of guesswork after that depending on how young the person looks... my money's on 60 but you can probably get away with telling people you're 48 😜
                        • Berto 2s · 2024-02-15T12:04:32.962Z
                          Fun puzzle! Solved sans nudges but with help from Google like many others. Unlike many others (I’m guessing) I spent a while trying to think of alternative beginnings to Dames At Sea and a couple other “long” entries after figuring OER SIMMONS and NINE APPLES were relevant. But then noticed R(P)EACHES and got to the next step! Thanks PC!
                          • HeadinHome 🤓1:00 · 2024-02-15T18:01:57.032Z
                            Tried dragonfruit twice… duh! Read the prompt! ( : This was fun! Judi Dench showing up twice is icing on the cake… love her!!
                            • Qmark 3s · 2024-02-21T14:51:23.425Z
                              got to the puzzle late, but enjoyed nudges needed...thanks Phil!
                              • Darth 🤓8:18 · 2024-02-22T17:01:23.948Z
                                Nice idea and well constructed, Philip! Sorry I'm just getting to your puzzle. (I tend to forget to look on Saturdays.) Happy Lunar New Year, too! :D
                                Pie-in-the-face sound
                                1. 1A
                                  Pie-in-the-face sound
                                2. 6A
                                  One of the Seven Dwarfs
                                3. 11A
                                  Gets through to
                                4. 14A
                                  Moon of Jupiter named after one of Zeus's lovers and the mother of the giant Tityos
                                5. 15A
                                  Severe or strict in attitude
                                6. 16A
                                  Homecoming attendees, for short
                                7. 17A
                                  "Leader of the Pack" girl group, with "the" (whose name sounds like perfect places)
                                8. 19A
                                  Musical in which Bernadette Peters sings "The Sailor of my Dreams" (whose title sounds like Judi Dench and Maggie Smith working on a meta puzzle together but completely baffled on how to solve it)
                                9. 21A
                                  Mosque towers
                                10. 22A
                                  Back in high school, I was playing "Never have I ever" with my classmates and someone said, "Never have I ever dropped acid" and I excitedly replied "I've done that before!" (I once accidentally dropped a beaker of hydrochloric acid in chem lab)... everyone looked at me really surprised, not realizing that I didn't understand they were refering to this psychedelic drug
                                11. 25A
                                  Go over the numbers again, in a way
                                12. 26A
                                  Poisonous "monster" desert lizards
                                13. 28A
                                  TV network for cinephiles
                                14. 29A
                                  Speech habits unique to an individual
                                15. 32A
                                  On top of Kiss rock star Gene, poetically
                                16. 35A
                                  If you have five Granny Smiths and I have four Honeycrisps, what do we have together?
                                17. 37A
                                  Lemur of Madagascar also known as a babakoto
                                18. 38A
                                  Beats around the bush by rambling about in an unclear way (and anagram of "stapler")
                                19. 42A
                                  U.S. Air Force major and women's rights advocate Oleta (whose name sounds like a popular origami bird)
                                20. 43A
                                  Prima ballerinas
                                21. 44A
                                  Novelist Ken featured in "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test"
                                22. 45A
                                  ___ one's laurels (coasts along using past achievements to justify being lazy)
                                1. 1D
                                  Spanish equivalent of "Mrs."
                                2. 2D
                                  ___ de chose (trifling matter)
                                3. 3D
                                  "Viva ___ Vegas" (Elvis movie and song)
                                4. 4D
                                  Feigns insanity, as McMurphy does in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
                                5. 5D
                                  Thinning ___ (reducing the size of a group by culling)
                                6. 6D
                                7. 7D
                                  Skateboarding trick
                                8. 8D
                                  Microsoft co-founder with the memoir "Idea Man"
                                9. 9D
                                  Humorist Bombeck who wrote "If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?"
                                10. 10D
                                  "___ queen!" (phrase used to express enthusiastic support, excitement, or congratulations)
                                11. 12D
                                  Wipe clean
                                12. 13D
                                  French legislative body that has 348 members (the U.S. one has 100 members)
                                13. 18D
                                  Some Mustang models
                                14. 19D
                                  "Carpe ___" (motivational motto that Judi Dench got tattooed on her wrist for her 81st birthday)
                                15. 20D
                                  "Snakes" that don't want none unless you got buns, hun, in song
                                16. 21D
                                  Actor with the catchphrase "I pity the fool!"
                                17. 23D
                                  Anatomical pouches
                                18. 24D
                                  "Spring forward, fall back" clock adjustment: Abbr.
                                19. 26D
                                  Colombian slang for "rich preppy kids"
                                20. 27D
                                  Excuse for not turning in homework or a Kenny Chesney ballad that conveys the deep pain of a breakup
                                21. 29D
                                  Company offering online access: Abbr.
                                22. 30D
                                  Big ___ (group of stars in Ursa Major)
                                23. 31D
                                  Cry frantically repeated by the White Rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland"
                                24. 33D
                                25. 34D
                                  Save for a ___ day (feed the piggy bank)
                                26. 35D
                                  Just in the ___ of time
                                27. 36D
                                  Concerning, in fancy lawyer talk
                                28. 39D
                                  Golfer Ernie nicknamed "The Big Easy"
                                29. 40D
                                  ___ Speedwagon ("Can't Fight This Feeling" band)
                                30. 41D
                                  Phishing target, briefly