The answer to this puzzle is a character in Homestuck.
After solving the Homestuck-themed crosswords constructed by rafr, I was inspired to create one of my own :)
This puzzle is a meta crossword - after completing the grid, the solver must find a hidden “puzzle-within-a-puzzle” leading to the final answer. A primer on meta crosswords, written by Matt Gaffney, can be found here.
Cool, I can’t wait to solve this!
Okay so, !!!SPOILER ALERT!!! to anyone still solving this, I’m gonna think aloud about the meta puzzle in this crossword. I’ve just solved the grid, but I’ve never solved a meta before! And I’m a bit lost!
If I did it right, 13-A “Clue #1” is FILMSEGMENT and 37-A “Clue #2” is BURNSOOTHER. The title of the crossword is “Alternate” and the answer is a Homestuck character. That’s what I know for sure. Now it seems I have to connect these facts.
The words that spring to mind are “scene” for FILMSEGMENT and either “balm” or “doctor” for BURNSOOTHER. I was thinking that if there was a way for FILMSEGMENT to mean “scratch”, the answer would be right there, Doc Scratch. Plus a scratch is a way of making an “Alternate” world. But I don’t know a meaning of “scratch” that makes that work, plus it doesn’t require me to find any sort of “puzzle-within-a-puzzle” as instructed. So it’s not that simple.
Balm? “Is there balm in Gilead?” is a line in Poe’s The Raven. 25-A refers to Dave’s corvids, who are black as SOOT, a substring of BURNSOOTHER. Nah this is stupid.
The title “Alternate” suggests switching things around somehow. FILMSOOTHER? BURNSEGMENT? FULNSOGTEET? Maybe homophones, which are sort of like alternate spellings. Scene = seen? Balm = bomb? Or maybe I should look for a group of other entries in the puzzle that somehow relate to “scene”, “balm”, or “Alternate”.
To be continued…