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More Puzzlers from The Atlantic Monthly.

The Atlantic Monthly | March 2001
The Puzzler
March Theme

by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon
The March Puzzler

This puzzle's grid is divided into 15 blocks in sets of three labeled A-E. Each clue answer is to be scattered in its designated block such that a continuous sequence of 30 unclued theme entries (some of them admittedly unconventional) will be seen in the completed grid to weave back and forth, row by row from top left to bottom right. Parentheses after each clue contain its answer letters' positions: numbers match those in the grid, which also mark the theme entries' first letters; letters show only which row of the block is occupied, leaving the correct column to be deduced. Letters in the shaded central column come not from clue answers but from crossing theme entries; they provide the puzzle's theme in a four-word phrase. Clue answers include three proper nouns; three unclued entries consist of two words.

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.


Sign left on board containing "X" (d,e,a,b,c,e,1)

That guy will torment (e,b,d,b)

Receiving cipher, hide number (5,d,a,c)

Try following beat initially on drum (16,f,j,i,h)

Drone or wit (f,g,g,h,j)

Skillet holding one egg, soft (i,g,i,f,j)

Speedy group of trucks (m,l,k,m,29)

Long suit for the heartless (25,o,o,k,l)

Bill corrals the first person with meaningless information (n,21,m,o,n)

Malevolent dwarf possessing excellent set of chromosomes (b,e,c,b,a,d)

In glee, charge freeloader (d,b,a,c,9)

Border patrol's opening marijuana (c,e,8,a)

Write a story about Zelda's foremost handicap (f,i,j,h,g,i,h,11)

Cucumber sandwiches cap off sweet treat (20,f,i,12,g,15,j)

Tubes of "Isotix" bode ill (two words) (l,30,n,k,l; k,26,o,n,l)

One passing high card quickly (m,n,o,m,k)

Overweight Gore is disastrous (4,d,a,b,e)

Unconventional March delight (e,c,a,c,d)

Old World element of amateur operation (f,i,g,f,j,h)

Running after very quickly (i,j,h,g)

Furious at all outside of group (n,m,o,22,l)

Fragment about radical cardinal's remark? (k,l,o,m,n)

Look into missing boutiques (7,c,b,e,c,a)

Help carrying first of hard disk drives away (10,d,a,b,a)

In audience, recognize a flood survivor (e,b,d,6)

Superior at keeping a couple of bees out (j,f,i,f,h)

Crazy about island's temptations (18,i,h,g,j)

Pair of friars eating large bird bone (13,g,f,j,h)

Below average private meal (k,o,l,n,l,k)

Swamp is home to red plant with fronds (27,o,n,l)

Extremely cold outside of police car (28,k,m,m,o)

Revealing skirt taken in by doctor and saint (e,a,c,b,d,e,b)

Shorten fastener (b,e,d,3)

Growth on the foot and ears? (d,c,c,a)

Worried after backing gun control (f,h,i,g,i,h,f,j)

Mushroom omelette originally allowed on board public vehicle (14,j,g,f,g,i,19)

Heard female deer or bucks (o,n,l,m,n)

Clumsily search general climbing gear (l,k,o,24,m)

Ordinary guy taking up endlessly large amount of work (23,o,m,n,k)

Copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; February 2001; The Puzzler - 01.02; Volume 287, No. 2; page 131.