Contents | May 2004

More Puzzlers from The Atlantic Monthly.

The Atlantic Monthly | May 2004
The Puzzler
Magic Rings

by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon
The May Puzzler

Whenever the letter O occurs in an answer, it acts magically on that word. One kind of ring makes an answer shrink or grow by one letter into a new word (as WORN could become WON or SWORN in the grid); another kind changes an answer into its homophone (as CORD could become CHORD or CORED); and the third, most powerful one transforms an answer into an anagram (as HORSE could become SHORE). Two diagram entries crossing on a ring will undergo the same spell. Answers (whose lengths are withheld to make discovery of the rings more cryptic) include four capitalized words; new grid entries include one capitalized word and one two-word phrase.

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. Native of Ireland admitted by a doctor

6. True lass back in port in Africa

11. Fairy-tale giant fish

12. Guarding men in blue, dog gets confident (two words)

13. Octet confused about that Spanish flirt

14. Beatnik's personal computer nabbed by police

16. Dress for crashing bore?

17. Splitting meat, understand about greens

18. Jolson divides tasks with tunes

23. Is it done revoltingly?

24. Rating in About Mary causes hitch again

28. Brothers straddling North Carolina horses

29. Insure moving of bears

30. Mafia chief in crimes with thrill-seekers?

31. Small sheep adopted by Ruby and mended

32. Gratuitous charge about Republican

33. Fortune-tellers in department store speaking

34. Sets are adapted for moves in the theater?


1. Clever yellow cockroach

2. Bit of Code #12

3. Runners each covered in Mexican article

4. Reptiles bothered us again

5. Jobs in Dutch university—with strings attached

7. Hack sampler of "The Bells" author?

8. Bit of sheer bunk for Highlander

9. Graphite in fruit sack with orange

10. CIA operatives penning long harangues

15. Ms. Fisher and Mr. Adams had an affair (two words)

19. Love poetry by one across the ocean

20. Legendary steroid abuse?

21. I compete in railroad on a coast

22. Rash Rob doctored with hides

23. Remover of periods on E.R.

25. Rodent gobbles bit of sweet dessert

26. Rock star's first note

27. Passes out some tests inside

Copyright © 2004 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; May 2004; The Puzzler; Volume 293, No. 4; 163.