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D E C E M B E R  1 9 9 8

The December 1998 Puzzler

by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon


Previous Puzzlers:

  • "Back in the Labyrinth"
    November, 1998

  • "Rite of Passage"
    October, 1998

  • "Service With a Smile"
    September, 1998

  • "In Common"
    August, 1998

  • "Nine-Hole Course"
    July, 1998

  • "Guidelines"
    June, 1998

  • "Picnic"
    May, 1998

  • "Three-Ring Circus"
    April, 1998

  • "Marching Orders"
    March, 1998

  • "Step by Step"
    February, 1998

  • "Celebrating the First"
    January, 1998

  • "Cryptacrostic"
    December, 1997

  • "Chessboard"
    November, 1997

  • "Haunted House"
    October, 1997

  • "Double-Crossers"
    September, 1997

  • "Scoreboard"
    August, 1997

  • "Celebrating the Fourth"
    July, 1997

  • "Fortune Cookies"
    June, 1997

  • "Slide Show"
    May, 1997
  • In this puzzle, clues are given for pairs of intersecting entries; each pair's clue number identifies its crossing point in the diagram. Either member of the pair may be clued first. In addition to the clue answers, there are four connected pairs of unclued intersecting entries left for solvers to discover. It may help to know that starting and ending bars, if they were shown, would form a pattern that would be the same when rotated 180 degrees. Clue answers include four capitalized words.

    See the solution to last month's Puzzler.


    1. Main crossing element in construction (4)
    Before boy returns, glance at tabloid story (7)

    2. Lax agent taking cut (6)
    Fine fabric left with expert (4)

    3. Points of entry or exit ultimately held by allies (7)
    Make adjustments to skimpy top, removing a bit on the front (5)

    4. Enclosure behind a small tree (5)
    Silver and gold on a shield found next to a market area (5)

    5. Opposing fuel drums (6)
    Venerated one, a wise old man, catching cold (8)

    6. Cost of living like pops (5)
    Expel a punk carrying old battle weapon (7)

    7. Old estate sent back iron in case (4)
    Whirling dervish shortened initially long contract (7)

    8. Pair in secondary-level competition (5)
    Week ends in fights about papers (7)

    9. Eliminated fuzzy surfaces from the right fabric (7)
    Green part attached to the back of plastic case (8)

    10. Stole made swishing sounds (7)
    False praise involving Spanish article probed (4,3)

    11. Confused me, a pig, and a bird (6)
    Confident in attitude about mom traveling with military specialist (8)

    12. Arab woman in between terminals (5)
    Society concerned with activity of ghosts (7)

    13. Laurel left Oregon university (6)
    Foreshadow finale in back of harbor (7)

    14. Hunted doe cuts free (7)
    Excess length in suture material (4)

    15. Think about aluminum having the properties of some stones (7)
    Somewhat interested, if you'll enlighten (5)

    16. Put up only about one-fifty (5)
    Journey by road and flying machine (8)

    17. Something funny about Idaho tobacco case (7)
    Nothing included in back pay for the use of cleansing agent (5)

    18. Audited spinner of yarns and string (4)
    Planned to marry again, pursuing bachelor (6)

    19. Worry a retiring doctor's attendant (7)
    Incomplete look at a Middle Eastern city (4)

    Copyright © 1998 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
    The Atlantic Monthly; December 1998; The Puzzler; Volume 282, No. 6; page 119.

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