Forty-seven solvers from across the country submitted the correct “final word” to My Big Fat Fun Wedding contest in time for the random drawing. What was the final word? Who won? Where can you get the answers to the puzzles? All those details come after the jump.
The final word was BAR, a word chosen more by accident than by design. In creating the Rows Garden puzzle, I got frustrated following the constraint that every row contain only two answers. Try as I might, I lacked the chops to iron out a wrinkle in the next to the last row, where the best I could do was an answer string of ACT NICE, SPACE, and STAIRWAYS. I was too emotionally invested in some of the surrounding entries to rip out that whole patch, so instead I just decided to make SPACE an unclued contest word that solvers would have to discover. But then I started thinking of other puzzles I could use for a contest, and pretty soon I had a whole slate of puzzle ideas. All I was missing was something to connect all the puzzles, and that’s when the BAR gimmick came to me.
One entrant found it appropriate that BAR would be the final word in a set of puzzles about the marriage of two lawyers, but that was only a happy coincidence. Another wondered if that’s where the bride will be drowning her sorrows after making her vows. Stay tuned on that one.
Anyway, I’m pleased to announce that the winner is Lance Nathan of Boston, MA. Lance has a choice between a free round-trip ticket to Atlanta on the weekend of my wedding next month or the cash equivalent (which comes to a $333.60 bounty). Congratulations to Lance, and thanks very much to all the contestants who took the time to submit an entry. I hope you enjoyed the puzzles even half as much as I enjoyed making them. I thought about making another set of puzzles about our honeymoon, but you’ll be happy to know I quickly came to my senses.
You can click here for a PDF file containing (handwritten!) solutions to all of the puzzles and a more formal explanation of the final word.