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Tue, Jan. 22nd, 2013, 12:30 pm
Hunt is never truly over

Before Mystery Hunt, Eric Berlin resumed hosting a few rounds of "Spaghetti," the game of finding meta answers where there aren't really any meta answers.

In that spirit, and because once you've gone through Hunt you see metas everywhere, here is the solution to the metapuzzle that I found in today's NYT crossword.

First, how do I know that there's a meta? Look at the NE corner, where the word HUNT is plain as day. (Highlighted in orange.) WILL even signed it for us in the NW corner (green). This also shows us the mechanism: L-shaped hidden words.

Since the elbow of HUNT is on the NE-SW diagonal, it's reasonable to assume that the others will be there, with their concave parts towards the center of the puzzle. And, in fact, we can find two such pairs, symmetrically placed (so we know they must be intentional). Highlighted in yellow is STAGES A HAT, which clearly refers to "Sunday in the Park with George". Highlighted in blue is YO-YO TIME, which clues "period" (as in a pendulum).

Both "Sunday in the Park with George" and "period" point to "DOT" as our final answer.