Cryptic Puzzle TOM TOCE
Some Assembly Required
THE ANSWERS TO THE CLUES yield four four-letter words, four six-letter words, four seven-letter
words, and one 16-letter word.
The diagram is a box made up of four
cubes. Two of the four-letter words wrap
around the perimeter of the box and are
written in order. They will go counterclockwise starting from one of the white cube’s
faces. The top and bottom four-letter words
will be scrambled for entry. The top and
bottom specification gives the diagram a
The six- and seven-letter words are paired.
The seven-letter word contains all the letters
of its six-letter partner (reordered). The
common six letters will be entered on the
faces of each cube. The extra seventh letter
goes inside the pair’s cube. Two of the six
faces from each cube are interior; adjacent
faces share a letter. The outer 16 faces yield
the 16-letter word (scrambled) as well as
the four four-letter words.
The four extra letters, reading clockwise
from the red cube, will tell you what’s in
The six- and seven-letter words are in
no particular order. The first level of hints
below indicates the parings; the second level
identifies each pair’s cube. Let me know what
level of hints you used, if any.
All the clues lead to common words
playable in Scrabble, except for one proper
noun, one two-word answer, and the 16-letter
word, which is too long for Scrabble. The
16-letter word is unusual and is most associated with 18th century chemistry.
Thanks to Eric Klis, Bob Fink, and
Jerry Miccolis for test-solving and editorial suggestions.
Epithets add logic, silly, like a breath of
1. Droids’ encryption is contemptible
2. Carol, after seven Annabelle is
3. Perfectly understood a great deal in
4. Burdens taken over by macho
a. Wife-beater in a holding cell? Excellent
b. The last of the joint’s all over
c. Cacophony of Bee Gees’ music
recorded with the midrange removed
d. Refrains from tintinnabulations
Top of the box:
Horse with second silver cup for second
Bottom of the box:
Peter’s mother admitting softly, “Rap’s
Around the box (see instructions):
Handle high-low Tic-Tac-Toe’s lead
Up and down, then all even, I hear
First-L e v el H in ts — P airin gs
S e c o n d-L e v el H in ts — A lteratio n s
1/c = blue cube,2/d = red cube,3/a =
yello w cu be,4/ b = w hite cu be
What’s in the box?
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