Cryptic Puzzle ToM ToC
THE 2011 CRYPTIC PUZZLES
WE’vE hAD A bREAK FoR A FEW ISSuES from any puzzles requiring spatial gymnastics. break’s over—
this one does. The completed puzzle is not a “strange-looking concoction,” just a large cube made up of 27
smaller cubes. These are numbered as shown. In solving, however, you might have to deconstruct each cube
into something like the strange-looking blue diagram below. I did.
When the puzzle is finished, the nine
squares on each face of the large cube
will spell a nine-letter word pertinent to
our profession. These nine-letter words
are ordered, i.e., left to right then top to
bottom. For the front, back, right-hand
side, and left-hand side faces, top and
bottom are unambiguous. The top and
bottom faces could have different orientations. I have chosen the top of the
top face to be the side farther from the
front face and the top of the bottom face
to be the side closer to the front face. As
a guide, I’ve listed the cubes that each
nine-letter word uses in order.
The six letters on each of the small
cubes can be anagrammed to form a six-letter word. These are clued below. The
162 (i.e., 6 × 27) letters on the small cubes
can be broken down into the 54 that appear on the surface of the large cube
and the 108 that are hidden. The hidden
solutions may be emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org. in order
to make the solver list, your
solutions must by received by
sept. 30, 2011.
letters are really 54 pairs, because facing
sides share a letter. Small Cube No. 14,
for example, is in the center of the large
cube and has no sides on the surface of
the large cube. The six letters on Cube
No. 14, therefore, can be gotten from the
six surrounding cubes, without actually
solving Clue No. 14.
(There probably is great fun to be had
in asking what is the minimum number
of clues that must be solved in order to
be sure of all the letters. But that sounds
more like one of Mark Danburg-Wyld’s
All 26 letters are used. That made
construction much harder but seems
only fair. (It also required the use of one
unusual word, at Clue No. 5.)
There are two proper nouns, although one of them can also be a regular
noun ( just not as clued). Another word
is hyphenated. Everything else can be
played in Scrabble, including the above-mentioned unusual word.
Please submit just your word lists. If
you send the letters filled in to the faces,
it will take too long to grade them.
Thanks to Eric Klis and Bob Fink, for
test-solving and editorial suggestions.
1. Little bovines playing claves
2. Demands from former circus teams?
3. Chinese philosophy, Tom, is a
4. Place of worship at the heart of
5. Alliance after public relations
6. Tritone cut short, by God, with a
kind of trumpet
7. Pardon? Air conditioner stopped