Lost in the Funhouse

The July/August Puzzler

The diagram is a funhouse comprising five rectangular rooms whose boundaries must be determined. Solvers are invited to take a tour with the Across answers, starting in the upper-left square and proceeding right across the top row, then dropping to the second row and proceeding left, and so on back and forth until finishing in the lower-right square. Along the way riders will go in and out of the five rooms. In one room answers go backwards (that is, opposite the prevailing direction of a row); in a second answers are anagrammed; in a third answers each lose one letter; in a fourth answers each gain one letter; and in a fifth answers are replaced by their homophones (NEW would be replaced by KNEW or GNU). In every case a new word is formed in the grid. The lost and gained letters, taken in clue order, spell out a description of the funhouse experience. Answer lengths are withheld from Across clues. The Downs are completely normal and are clued in order column by column. There are four capitalized words among the clue answers and two more among the altered words in the diagram.


A. Lady from Troy is scared silly

B. Stuffing Dad roughly into part of a building

C. From the sound of it, path went for a spin

D. Purplish-red, Mom grabs a man

E. Pistols surrounding empty openings in walls

F. Restricted velocity in weird dreamy stretch

G. Send back tire bouncing around Em

H. Journey to middle of graveyard in moonshine

I. Experience pain and damage in street

J. Wants rats he'd set loose

K. Dug out object for the audience

L. Location around uranium discharge

M. Discerns weird tones

N. Strangely lit case evokes an old Spanish kingdom

O. Heading the wrong way, Dee's gripping green turf

P. Turn away from members of cadaver troupe

Q. Minute in reverse circling adult woolly creatures

R. Antlered beasts in grass appearing in a mirror?

S. Pounding pursuit of leviathans

T. Thing in a bed with monstrous stare

U. Forsakes rewards


1. Low-level athlete's broken promise (7)
Practiced hand holding school garment (4)

2. See about new or old poet (5)
Badly treats old gold coin of Greece (6)

3. Circle bed by lake (7)
Dim Duke in pictures losing heart (4)

4. Unyielding barrier guarded by a diminutive soldier (7)
British writer mostly wrong (4)

5. Political system concerning soldier and me (6)
Some tests for ethical standards after inauguration (5)

6. A Greek's losing $1,000 grants (6)
Doctor cared for tree (5)

7. Pool competitor with time to be entertaining (6)
Navigation aids for southern sailors (5)


The instructions above are for this month's puzzle only. See a complete introduction to clue-solving.

See the solution to last month's Puzzler.

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