by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon

Step by Step

In this puzzle's diagram clue answers go in three directions: Across, Up, or Down, as indicated by the arrows at the border of the grid. Entries going Across or Up will alternate between shaded and unshaded squares (the faces of the blocks); entries in the four numbered Down rows belong in adjacent unshaded squares. In any row containing more than one entry the entries are clued in their proper order and occupy the entire row. When all clue answers have been entered, solvers will need to complete the unclued row of blocks at 10 Down to form a fitting title. Answers include six proper nouns. Watch your step, now!


1. a. Too bad about grand debut of swan dive (6)
  b. Prisoner is holding means of communication in card (8)
  c. Teacher's stern in little French land (4)
2. a. Sit back behind a storyteller (5)
  b. Supreme Court justice in favor of teaching assistants (6)
  c. Most unsatisfactory deli meat taken from the tongue (5)
3. a. Computer component: I'm returning reptile with it (9)
  b. Level sycamore (5)
4. a. Gripping end of spoon, attack stuffed pancake (6)
  b. Bedtime summons to a tot at play (6)
5. a. Mediterranean island around All Fools' Day (5)
  b. Found petition popular (5)
6. Revised Chapter I graph (3,5)
7. In Act One, rule sultanate (6)
8. Mineral found in metal cans (4)

11. a. Hymns, and one more thing -- donation (6)
   b. Muscle builder's foremost one with knotted pecs (6)
   c. Container in trunk holding two tablespoons (6)
12. a. Soldier's true essence (4)
   b. Crickets' sound greeting Rod in edges of camp (5)
   c. Quit ale, getting mixed drink (7)
13. a. Outerwear perfectly covering computer operator (7)
   b. Match that's not so bulky (7)
14. a. Timer shortened the guy's hat (6)
   b. Connect railroad with a Spanish land (6)
15. a. Oddly, Mounties must be silent (4)
   b. Father is coming around to slang (6)
16. Don't tolerate papers turning yellowish (8)
17. A spring throng (6)
18. Baloney in ship spoiled (4)

3. Neckwear for isle dancing (4)
6. a. Take home vase for audit (4)
  b. Collect two hundred dollars in a French street (6)
9. a. Foul area in shade (5)
  b. Travel in craft and talk of thieves (5)
  c. Breaking a rule about one girl's name (6)

The Atlantic Monthly; February 1998; The Puzzler; Volume 281, No. 2; page 107.

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