The Puzzler

Theme and Variations

Three related Theme Words (A, B. and C). with three variations apiece, make up this puzzle’s 12 unclued entries. For example, if a Theme Word were PIRATE, its variations might be HOOK, SILVER, and BLOOD (examples) or IRATE, RATE, and ATE (progressive beheadings). Clue answers include two proper nouns; variations include four proper nouns.

See page 126 for Puzzler contest details. The solution to last month’s Puzzler appears on page 112.


1. Engaged in conversation about blue snail (8)

6. Variation on C

10. The face of the Indian destroyer (6) (two words)

12. Shop for food with a feminine tag (5)

13. Sympathize with general in run-off retreats (7) (two words)

14. Theme Word B

15. Variation on B

16. Drive skillfully, but not very smartly (6)

20. Variation on A

21. Variation on B

20. Stop being captivated by expected charisma (6)

28. Wants Barry’s ultimate salary (9)

20. Variation on A

30. British politician breaking Gaelic country’s rules? (7)

31. Large illustration, except for the front (5)

32. A book’s left margin and right (6)

33. Variation on C

34. Start off lofty verses on ancient city’s ruins (8)


1. Colonist with a piece of sturdy brown pottery? (8)

2. Subsist on red meat of a sort (5)

3. Variation on B

4. Some freedom for what might easily be played on stage by Dad? (6)

5. Hold onto message about Navy football player’s accessory (7)

7. Tiny river in Africa comes up with fluorine in it (5)

8. Wild river in Mexico getting as far as America (7)

9. Variation on C

11. Fixer of a deep-dish fruit pie (7)

12. “Refreshingly moist,” a librarian said (4)

17. Stopped in convertible, he cedes (7)

18. Swindlers run from half of officers (8)

19. Among sandwiches Gibson brought up pickle (7)

20. Swallow some baloney with a bit of vodka in social get-together (7)

22. Hobbyist with permit for a little horn (6)

23. “Blue Danube" ‘s beginning taken in by Mr. Jones (6)

24. Theme Word A

23. Erin dances about (4) (two words)

27. Variation on A

28. Theme Word C

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 long envelope to The Atlantic Puzzler, 745 Boylston Street, Boston, Mass. 02116.


“Puzzler’s Gift”

1. AD(HERE)D; G-USHERS 2. (o)REG(I)ON; EA(G-E)R 3. W(A) VELET (a + anag.); 1N(TE)N-SE 4. COD-EINE (doc rev.); W-E-A-RING 5. CAP ON; NELSON (anag.) 6. MA(STOI)D (it SOanag.); SPECULA (anag.) 7. ARM(B)AND; S(T)EWING 8. FI-LLIP (rev.); ENNUI (If]unnie[s]anag.) 9. (c)HAR-LOTS; EST(AT)ES 10. ADDER (pun); WACO (anag.); (p)REACH 11. S-T(E)IGER; UNH-INGE 12. EID-ER (rev.); ME(L)ONS (anag. + l) 13. ASSORTS (anag.); DANGERS (pun) 14. A TA-CAM A (rev.); A-P(HAS)IA 15. HAVOC (hidden); AR(CAD)E 16. R-E RED OS; BIRDIES (anag.) 17. RE(LE)NTS; ALL-EG(R)O 18. SE-IS-IN; T(WEE) T 19. DI’S-TEN D; DI-SA(R)MS