Cryptic Puzzle TOM TOCE
THIS PUZZLE FEATURES MANY SHORT WORDS AND ONE LONG ONE. A six-letter word will be
entered into each of the 13 hexagons, reading either clockwise or counterclockwise from a starting
point the solver will have to determine. An 18-letter word will be formed from the triangles on
the perimeter of the diagram, reading clockwise. It’s also possible to form this word reading
counterclockwise, which means that you’ve completed the diagram in the mirror image of the way I
intended. Don’t do that.
Not many solvers will be familiar with the 18-letter word,
but it is a better choice than the first one I tried (“
supercilious-nesses”) and could serve as a subtitle for this puzzle.
I would love to have used all 26 letters, but with only 42 spaces and a need for most of the vowels to appear more than once,
I couldn’t manage it. Besides the vowels, a few other common
letters appear frequently.
There are three proper nouns and one hyphenated word. Everything else is playable in Scrabble. There is one unusual word.
Ignore punctuation, which is designed to confuse.
Everyone seemed to appreciate the tiers of hints I put into
the last puzzle, so once again the Excruciating Level solvers will
want to try using just the clues below, which are not ordered.
Your 18-letter word can start in any one of six triangles on the
perimeter (the first from the clockwise point of view in each of
the protruding trios). I think of the word as starting in the upper leftmost triangle of hexagon 1, but it doesn’t have to (unless
you’re using all the hints—see below).
For the Extremely Difficult Level, I have provided a box indicating which six clues lead to answers that will provide letters to
the perimeter. The other seven answers are completely interior.
For the Still Pretty Darn Hard Level, a complete matching of
clues and hexagons is provided.
Thanks to Eric Klis, Bob Fink, and Jerry Miccolis for test-solving and editorial suggestions.
a. Ran off and became technologically advanced, for the most
b. Remove juice from within everyone’s iPhone
c. Alto and bass putting on something—to be heard in il teatro
where Lawrence gained fame
d. He went, like, loaded
e. OPEC nation with a non-governmental organization—wow!
f. Renovated quaint countryside inn
g. Trapped by Nader’s maneuvering
h. So, Tess—random flings?
i. Yukon Gold or Adirondack Blue: marijuana about out
j. Executed creative design
k. Shelter found in Chilean tomb
l. The Mets’ specialty: OPS overriding ERA
m. With returns mundane, Lehman’s concealing what you’d
call empty capital
TOM TOCE is a senior manager for actuarial services with Ernst
& Young in New York and is a member of the Jeopardy Hall
of Fame. Solutions may be emailed to him at Thomas.To ce@
ey.com. In order to make the solver list, your solutions must be
received by November 30, 2015.
HIN TS — Extremely Diffi cult
P e ri m ete r: b, c, d, e, f, h,
I n te rio r: a, g, i, j, k, l, m
HIN TS — StillPretty Darn Hard
11 m , 12 d, 13 e
9 10 11 12