The Puzzler

FOR BEGINNERS

Each clue’s answer should have its first letter removed to the correspondingly numbered blank before entry in the diagram. The letters thus removed will spell out the members of a certain group. The unclued central Across entry will offer an explanation for the removed group. Answers include six proper nouns and an uncommon word at 37 Across.

8D 21D 24A 27D 3D 29A 28D 19A 9D

31A 26A 18D TTA 37A 22D 20A 1A

25D 38A 5D 18A 5A 20D 36A 30D 2D 34D 33A 12A

14A 1D 17D 16D 6D 10D 39A 13A 32D

4D 35A 7D 23D I5A

The solution to last month’s Puzzler appears on page 99.

ACROSS

1.Young, gung-ho test pilot (6)

5. Sheet Catherine the Great’s successor found in lake (9)

11. Italian city shelter accepts beggar finally (5)

12. Trouble with snake in saint’s vessel (8)

13. Chip in in different ways by proxy CD

14. Expert help assumes six conditions (8)

15. dree line article (5)

18. Leaving money for tip due (8)

19. Southern colony of the Soviet Union seemed cold (8)

20. South African land of birth (5)

24. Not at all fit to be seen on the inside (5)

26. Most green flies eat on the move (8)

29. Shakespearean figure’s grasping the materials (8)

31. Pound egg into gun and rub it in (5)

33. Identical seeds divided by large female (8)

35. Strong wind has dislocated hornet and flower (11)

36. In fun, poorly disguise doubt (8)

37. Enter buggy made of wood (5)

38. Circle pitch about deal for medical instruments (9)

39. Number one trap in New York (6)

DOWN

1. Second appearance of reactionary group in House of Representatives (7)

2. Sleep-inducing drama from Japan about car developed by jerk (8)

3. French king swimming Rhine (5)

4. Performer, in part, is talented (6)

5. Leave volume with a member of a fraternal order (7)

6. Serialized story about one piece of earth’s surface (8)

7. 50 caught in storm aboard ship (7)

8. Dopey scheduled around major conflict (10) (hyphenated)

9. Headdress of one in Gone With the Wind scene (5)

10.Catch ten flying fish (8)

16. Hindu spirit claims ruins (10)

17. Descartes pursues island goddess (5)

18. Intimate apparel is resurrected? (6)

20. Nothing the way it appears in common mirage (5)

21. For Lent, bail out trial participant (8)

22. Exceed 1.067 kilometers, breaking old record (8)

23. Poke fun at guys top to bottom for convenience (8)

25. Toast heroic stranger, gulping last of champagne (7)

27. Bill permits plaques (7)

28. All year following Mock Turtle (7)

30. Spanish agreement about a remote expedition (6)

32. Hood shot out after word from a rapper (5)

34. German city being neutral (5)

NOTE: The instructions above are for this month’s puzzle only. It is assumed that you know how to decipher clues. For a complete introduction to clue-solving, send an addressed, stamped envelope to The Atlantic Puzzler, 745 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass. 02116.

Answers to

the December Puzzler

“MAGIC ACT”

Answers to opening clues were Gifts of the Magi: GOL-D (log rev.), FRANK-INCENSE. and MYRRH (homophonic half of murmur). Aeross. 6. AC(t:t RS)T 11. OR-LKANS 12.N-ERO (rev.) 14. T-RENT 15.HE-REIN 17.E(N.\ME)L 18. LIED (double def.) 19.P(LASTI)IC 29. LS(HER)ED 30. BLM-P 32. l-CI(r)CLE 34. ROlOlT 35. NA(BO)BS 37. EMIR (hidden) 38. T-ROUSER 39. DI-D-D-LED 40. (s)TRESS Down. 2. ERROL (rev.) 3.ALEWIFE (double def.) 4. RENNET (rev.) 5. DATK-D 6. (c)ANON 7. CRE(M)ATE 8. UN(R)EST 9. R-EEL 10. TON-IC’S 13.RI(SIN)G 2l.I(N-SEA)M 22. S(CRIB-A)-L 23. VA((MOO)SE 26. TH(C)S (set rev.) 28. INTERS (anag.) 30. BE(SO)T 31. POKES (double def.) 32. I-BID 33. LA(R)D