May 22, 2006

Crossword Fiend contest!

UPDATE: You've still got until Memorial Day to submit your solution for the random drawing, but first prize—two books plus bragging rights—was claimed by Byron Walden late Tuesday afternoon.

The Puzzle: Craig Kasper has created a fiendish diagramless crossword, "Opposites Attract," that will yield a single-word final answer. The format's a little different from the usual, given the puzzle's diagonal symmetry and (except for 1 Across and 1 Down) unnumbered clues. Also, many of the clues are Google-resistant, so good luck!

The Prizes: The first person to submit the correct answer by e-mail will win two books: (1) The Mind-Challenge Puzzle Book, which is four puzzle books in one (variety puzzles by Henry Hook; airline-magazine crosswords edited by Hex; "paint by numbers" puzzles; and lateral-thinking puzzles). (2) Harvey Estes' new book, Crosswords for a Rainy Day

To motivate you to keep going even when you're convinced someone else must have won by now, I'll also send a copy of the NYT X-Treme X-Words book to two randomly selected contest entrants who submit the correct answer within seven days.

How To Play: Grab a blank 15x15 grid (I like the 20x27 graph paper you can download here). Read Craig's instructions, wrestle your way through the tough clues, fill in that grid, crack the code, and e-mail your one-word answer to me (orangecru-blog [at] yahoo [dot] com).


Opposites Attract, by Craig Kasper

This is a diagramless 15x15 crossword puzzle with diagonal symmetry. (That is, if you were to fold the diagram along one of its diagonals, all of the black squares would line up with other black squares.)

In this diagramless, every across answer has been paired up with its symmetrically opposite down answer (the down answer that would be in the same position as the across answer if the grid was flipped along the diagonal) before cluing. These pairs of clues have been sorted by answer length in ascending order (shortest to longest) and are presented below. As a starting hint, 1 Across and 1 Down are so noted.

Solvers who complete the crossword will discover that a well-known fictional character can be found in the diagram word-search style. Change one of the letters in the character's name to a B, then anagram it to an appropriate single-word final answer. This is the answer you must send to Orange.

A: The 20th, say: abbr.
D: Bruce's "Skating With Celebrities" partner

A: Small club, say
D: Former fort near Monterey

A: "Star Wars" plan
D: News org. owned by Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church

A: Highly suitable for service
D: Comedian and PGA tournament namesake Bob

A: Set askew: abbr.
D: School founded in 1440

A: Oft-padlocked piece of hardware
D: Pat-___ (Christmas carol lyric)

A: Native of Richmond, Virginia, who won at Wimbledon
D: Native of western New York

A: Chick that emerges yearly around Easter
D: Gun for a pink slip, perhaps

A: Underoos components
D: Hoss's outfit?

A: Teeming
D: Critical quantity of sorts

A: Flex-time, for one
D: Peak figures?: Abbr.

A: Lefty with a green jacket
D: Facility

1A: Knotted, or knotted up
D: Cause to suffer

A: You, in the Yucatán
D: Aries and Taurus, for two

A: Lucy Liu role in a 2002 cinematic bomb
D: Carapace

A: Olympic qualifiers, often: abbr.
D: Leary of "Ice Age" and "A Bug's Life"

A: Bake-off recipe, e.g.
D: Pitcher who was a World Series winner with New York and Toronto

A: Bob or Doug McKenzie's epithet
D: Adrien of cosmetics

A: Org. with the magazine Playback
D: Nest on a tor, say

A: Batter in the face
D: Moon of Saturn named after an Amazon

A: Complain under one's breath
D: According to Yogi Berra, like 90 percent of baseball, purportedly

A: Lie low for a while
D: Previously, poetically

A: Disenchanting
D: Enchanting

A: "Yes ___"
D: Sycophant, often

A: They're prepared for Pesach
D: Certain lyric poems

A: Headwear that's somewhat habit-forming?
D: With "out," slowed to a trickle

A: Bitter in a bottle, perhaps
D: Tactical ploy notably associated with the O.J. trial

A: Offer after a checkmate, say
D: Leviathans, biblically

A: Heiress who was more than 70 years younger than her husband
D: "I can't make heads or tails of that"

A: "Don't try any monkey business"
D: Got involved

A: They're given to willing recipients
1D: Clean up, businesswise?