Matt Gaffney's Weekly Crossword Contest

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What's a meta?

A meta crossword puzzle is like a regular crossword puzzle, but there's an extra layer or secondary puzzle that you have to solve once the grid is filled in.

Matt has written a guide with example to help get you started.

How difficult are these puzzles?

MGWCC puzzles get more difficult as the month progresses. The first puzzle in a calendar month will be about the level of a Monday New York Times crossword, while the last puzzle in the month is at the level of a Saturday Times (or harder).

Do they come with solutions?

Answers and a full writeup of each puzzle are posted the following Friday on Matt's blog. But you don’t have to wait until Friday — each Tuesday at 12 noon ET, just as the contest deadline passes, Joon Pahk writes an entertaining summary of the previous Friday’s MGWCC at Diary of a Crossword Fiend.

What format do the puzzles come in?

Every puzzle is emailed to subscribers in PUZ, JPZ, and PDF formats.

PDF files can be viewed on-screen in your browser, on your computer, or on your mobile device with an Adobe Acrobat reader. Print the PDF puzzle file for solving on paper.

PUZ and JPZ files can be opened and solved on your computer by the free, cross-platform Crossword Solver program.

PUZ and JPZ files are also compatible with a number of other desktop and mobile apps. Let us know if you need help finding one that suits your needs.

Please email any questions or suggestions to