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As of tomorrow, Devil Cross will celebrate its first birthday! As always, I’m very appreciative of my solvers and I’m glad you kept me going for the first 365 days. Here’s to another several indie puzzling years ahead of me.

Today’s offering is a meta puzzle. You know the drill: find the hidden unique answer, send it in. Special thanks to Sam Ezersky, Vic Fleming, Paul Melamud, Mike Doran, and Brendan Emmett Quigley for test-solving it and giving me helpful feedback.

Speaking of meta puzzles, it looks like there are quite a few going around this week. Erik Agard has one, Andrew Ries has the beginning of a meta suite, Peter Gordon has one for Fireball Crosswords, and as always, Matt Gaffney‘s got one for his meta series. Please note: subscriptions are required for the latter three.

The answer to this contest puzzle is a gemstone. Please submit your answer to me (devilcrosswords@gmail.com) by 6 pm ET on Friday, February 6. Only one answer per entrant, please — so make sure you’ve got it right before hitting “Send.” As for a prize…..I used to give a Devil Cross T-shirt to one randomly selected winner, and I can still do that. But if requested, I’ll provide the winner with a different puzzle-related prize (a puzzle book, an opportunity to fit a word or phrase of your choice in an upcoming puzzle (within reason), etc). We’ll work it out.

Enjoy the puzzle. There will be a new Devil Cross puzzle on February 7.