Contents | December 2003

More Puzzlers from The Atlantic Monthly.

The Atlantic Monthly | December 2003
The Puzzler
Gift Array

by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon
The December Puzzler

In the spirit of the season, your unstinting puzzle makers have put together an array of gifts. The gifts are labeled, in a way, by the ten unclued entries in the grid. Each of ten clue answers is one letter too short for its space in the grid and must be entered with a gap before, after, or somewhere within the answer. The otherwise empty boxes will each be filled by a letter from a crossing gift label. When read in order column by column from left to right, these bits will display a self-descriptive phrase. Eight clue answers are capitalized.

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.


1. Vocal sign traps constituent

4. Jazz legend, upon being embraced by jerk

9. Goal of some programmers: understanding poet

10. Greater number of people's conventions

11. Way of moving entire audience when speaking

12. Problem with hearing that thing conveyed by name in an elevator

13. Officer material needed for brass

14. Clear daughter of Lady Bird with Democrat

19. Publicly ridicule invalid with ring in nose

22. People in general cotton to auditors in Oregon town

24. Bushes embraced by Plaza leaseholders

26. Cruise, after a bit

27. Entertainer Gibson picking up instrument

30. Member-owned store returned hot dog

32. Fire back in low Mediterranean land

33. Desperate, opening random number generator? (hyphenated)

34. Slow pitch taken by Cincinnati player

35. Tea urn changed character

36. Attempted carrying two pianos, and stumbled

37. Sound a warning about operation for nursery-rhyme figure (two words)


1. Sweet-talk one of the Little Women into spinning lace

2. Top-level routine, one with me pocketing $1,000 (hyphenated)

3. Neckwear from exotic isle

4. Maintaining denial, bribe investigator?

5. One way to get a meal in African country

6. Conservative criticizes gambling game

7. Shooting star's hand out on the other hand

8. Old Saxon feeds birds

9. Fall well within interpretation of "a nut"

15. Scheduled tenor performance by two

16. New rug's a honey

17. Last Friday in Alabama

18. Give away soup veggie to those attending

20. Drive into split fortification

21. Have success with one wearing sullen look (two words)

23. Host's oddly overlooked red mackerel

25. Support company in broadcast

28. Dupe about love in melodrama

29. Back in Nigeria, zero money from central Africa

31. Koi do a lot of complaining

32. Organized crime gang holding a town in Utah

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 visit or send an addressed, stamped long envelope to The Atlantic Puzzler, 77 North Washington Street, Boston, Mass. 02114.

Copyright © 2003 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; December 2003; The Puzzler; Volume 292, No. 5; 179.