Contest: Let's Guess Three Words III! (Week 3 update)

For full rules, see here.

Week 0:
The set of all words where the fourth letter is a vowel (A, E, I, O, U, or Y): NONE
The set of all words containing a doubled consonant (BB, CC, DD, FF, . . . XX, ZZ): ONE
The set of all words in which the 3rd and 5th letters both exist and are a vowel (A, E, I, O, U, or Y) and a consonant (any letter besides A, E, I, O, U, or Y) in some order: TWO
The set of all words that begin with and end with a consonant (anything besides A, E, I, O, U, or Y): ALL

Week 1:
[Kenneth Wilson] The set of all words containing at least one of the letter combinations HH, KK, LL, SS, and ZZ: NONE
[Kevin Orfield] The set of all words containing at least three instances of vowels (A, E, I, O, U, or Y): NONE

Week 2:
[Izak Bulten] The set of all words containing 7 or more letters: NONE
[Kenneth Wilson] The set of all words containing a doubled consonant and at least one instance of the letter I: NONE
[Kevin Orfield] The set of all words in which the second letter is a vowel (A, E, I, O, U, or Y): TWO
[Kyle Nils] The set of all words that are greater than or equal to 6 letters in length: ONE
[Sam Levitin] The set of all words of length less than or equal to 6 letters: ALL

Week 3:
[Kenneth Wilson] The set of all words containing a doubled consonant, but containing neither O nor U: ONE
[Kevin Orfield] The set of all words containing a string of three or more consecutive consonants (e.g. THREE) and/or a string of two or more consecutive vowels (e.g. THREE): NONE
[Kyle Nils] The set of all words that begin with R, S, T, L, or N: TWO
[Ryan Faley] The set of all words consisting entirely of letters worth at most 3 points in English-language Scrabble (ABCDEGILMNOPRSTU): ONE
[Sam Levitin] The set of all words of length 4 or 5: TWO

The Grandmaster Puzzles gift card value is now $44.
The money pool for the Food Bank of West Central Texas is now $44.

Submit more guesses!

Wordy Wednesday 409: Touchword 20

WORDY WEDNESDAY #406
SECTION SIX 40 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
Joe Bernard **
Karen Spencer **
Kyle Nils **
Leo Termin **
Mark Ballinger **
Stephen Potter **
Kevin Orfield **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #407
THIS PUZZLE IS 2 SHORT! (hint)
As of this writing, 8 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #408
SNAKE CRISSCROSS 16 (hint)
As of this writing, 11 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #409
TOUCHWORD 20
(click here for a PDF version)
This puzzle contains a word suggested by patron Sagar Sarda. Support me on Patreon at the $5 per month level and solve the monthly Patron Puzzle for a chance to suggest a seed word for a future puzzle, or at the $20 per month level to suggest one seed word every month!
In a crossword, words cross each other; in this puzzle, they merely touch. More specifically, all answers read across, and every letter shares an edge with at least one identical letter either immediately above or immediately below. The top and bottom rows are considered adjacent.

Arrange the letters in the shaded spaces to form the final answer, an 8-letter word.
1 Decisive blow: 3 wds. / Supermodel Kate
2 Very brief poem / With The, 1985-1992 Canadian cartoon with aardvark villain Cyril Sneer
3 Entire / Reckon
4 Mexican foodstuff in a husk / “There's a ____ in My Beer” (Hank Williams song) / Pie shell
5 What Buzz McCallister has as a pet in Home Alone / Least common
6 Oppressive ruler / Extreme / For fear that
7 Big name in hotels / Prepare a manuscript for publication, say / Nastiness
8 Police, slangily / Ennui / The Postman Always Rings ____
9 Star Trek actor Nimoy / Boot / Become aware, with “up”
10 Simpleton / Protective suits / Come up
11 Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix / Parkay product
12 Item in a golf bag / North Dakota’s largest city / Stereotypical magician’s prop
13 What whole milk has more of than skim milk / Former Governor of Vermont Dean
14 Carried / Newspaper comic named after creator Parisi: 3 wds.
15 Wiener and batter on a stick: 2 wds. / N95, for one: 2 wds.

COMING NEXT WEEK. . .
* What's a 5-letter word for "All ____ Up! (2003-2008 Rugrats spin-off)"?

Submit your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Until next time, keep on living, and yappy solving!

Contest: Let's Guess Three Words III! (Week 2 update)

For full rules, see here.

Week 0:
The set of all words where the fourth letter is a vowel (A, E, I, O, U, or Y): NONE
The set of all words containing a doubled consonant (BB, CC, DD, FF, . . . XX, ZZ): ONE
The set of all words in which the 3rd and 5th letters both exist and are a vowel (A, E, I, O, U, or Y) and a consonant (any letter besides A, E, I, O, U, or Y) in some order: TWO
The set of all words that begin with and end with a consonant (anything besides A, E, I, O, U, or Y): ALL

Week 1:
[Kenneth Wilson] The set of all words containing at least one of the letter combinations HH, KK, LL, SS, and ZZ: NONE
[Kevin Orfield] The set of all words containing at least three instances of vowels (A, E, I, O, U, or Y): NONE

Week 2:
[Izak Bulten] The set of all words containing 7 or more letters: NONE
[Kenneth Wilson] The set of all words containing a doubled consonant and at least one instance of the letter I: NONE
[Kevin Orfield] The set of all words in which the second letter is a vowel (A, E, I, O, U, or Y): TWO
[Kyle Nils] The set of all words that are greater than or equal to 6 letters in length: ONE
[Sam Levitin] The set of all words of length less than or equal to 6 letters: ALL

Special shout-out to Izak Bulten and Sam Levitin on their impeccable teamwork this week!

Due to a donation to the Food Bank of West Central Texas on my behalf (by a donor whom I shall leave anonymous), I have decided to offer 11 copies of the Anacrossword Twenty-Pack to participants in this contest. The randomly-selected winner of this contest as laid out in the existing rules will get first dibs, followed by anybody who solves the word trio and then anyone who merely participates but doesn't solve the words. An additional copy will be added for every $8 in the final money pool, rounded down.

The Grandmaster Puzzles gift card value is now $46.
The money pool for the Food Bank of West Central Texas is now $46.

Submit more guesses!

A guide to recurring Wordy Wednesday formats.

I have set out to write a page on longtime recurring Wordy Wednesday puzzle formats in which instructions were initially deemed unnecessary, perhaps because I didn’t foresee them recurring as often as they do, and because they employ conventions that every veteran puzzler takes for granted, yet which utterly elude newbies. As my audience expands to include said newbies, it is seeming necessary to lay these conventions and rules out more explicitly. In many cases, there isn't room on the page of the actual puzzle PDF for the full instructions without making the text smaller, and editing numerous past puzzles to include them is a hassle, but future installments of these formats will include a link to this post for reference.

If a puzzle includes no instructions and a number at the end of its title, it possibly belongs here. If a puzzle includes no instructions and doesn't have a number at the end of its title, it's often a Mystery Hunt-style puzzle where figuring out the instructions is the meat of the puzzle.

Anacrossword
Solve the crossword using the clues provided. When the letters in the numbered squares are transferred to the same-numbered blanks, you will reveal a clue to the final answer. Work back and forth between the blanks and the crossword to finish the puzzle. In the hard versions, the clues are listed alphabetically by their answers; you must determine where each answer belongs. Additionally, spaces and punctuation are not provided for the final clue. In the easy versions, the location for each answer is given, as are spaces and punctuation for the final clue.

Crypticrostic
Solve the cryptic crossword-style clues; numerous guides to cryptic crosswords exist online, including this one from the National Puzzlers' League. Transfer the letters from the numbered blanks to the same-numbered blanks at the top to form one final cryptic clue whose answer you seek. In the hard version, spaces and punctuation are not provided for the final clue, and the other clues are listed alphabetically by the clue itself so as to provide no assistance to the solver. In the easy version, spaces and punctuation are provided for the final clue, and the other clues are listed alphabetically by the answer. Additionally, the type(s) of wordplay in each clue, including the final one, is shown as a solving aid. (A peculiar convention of my easy Crypticrostics, initially born out of ignorance, but now kept in play for the sake of internal consistency, is that what the NPL guide calls "deletions" are split into two separate types of wordplay, referred to as "deletion" and "subtraction". A "deletion" involves removing letters from a specified position in a word, such as the first, central, or last letter; a "subtraction" involves removing specified letters, such as the letter A or T or even a string.)

Divided Into Columns
A fusion of anacrostic puzzles (minus the crostic) and dropquotes. Solve the provided clues, transferring the letters from the numbered blanks to the same-numbered squares in the grid at the top. As a solving aid, the clues are listed alphabetically by their answers, and the letters are also alphabetized within each column. Then figured out the correct order to place the letters in each column in the white squares below to spell a clue to the final answer. Black squares (and nothing else) indicate the end of a word; a word can wrap from the right end of one line to the left end of the next. In accordance with dropquote conventions, capitalization and punctuation aren't show except for hyphens. In the easy version, the top set of squares in the dropquote grid is removed, and the squares in the final clue are directly numbered.

DIV IDE DIN TOT RIP LES
A fusion of anacrostic puzzles (minus the crostic) and a puzzle the National Puzzlers' League calls "anaquotes". Solve the provided clues, transferring the letters from the numbered blanks to the same-numbered blanks in the middle of the puzzle, which are grouped into threes. As a solving aid, the clues are listed alphabetically by their answers, and the trios of letters are also alphabetized. Then figured out the correct order to place the trios of letters in the top set of blanks to spell a clue to the final answer. Carets (^) are shown below the blanks to delineate the groups of three as a solving aid. In accordance with NPL conventions, an asterisk (*) to the left of a blank indicates a letter that is capitalized all the time due to its use in a proper noun or adjective, and a caret (^) to the left of a blank indicates a letter that is capitalized due to its use in a title. For example, ^Sir *Isaac *Newton's favorite film is "^Gravity". In the easy version, the middle set of blanks is removed, and the blanks in the final clue are directly numbered.

Wordy Wednesday 407: This Puzzle Is 2 Short! & Wordy Wednesday 408: Snake Crisscross 16

WORDY WEDNESDAY #405
PENT WORDS 81 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
James Haddad **
Joe Bernard **
Karen Spencer **
Kyle Nils **
Leo Termin **
Mark Ballinger **
Stephen Potter **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #406
SECTION SIX 40 (hint)
As of this writing, 10 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

LAST WEDNESDAY OF THE MONTH = DOUBLE WORDY WEDNESDAYS!
WORDY WEDNESDAY #407
THIS PUZZLE IS 2 SHORT!
(click here for a PDF version)
That’s not an overstatement.
AC BA EN ER HE RE RE SA SP TH
__ __ __   *__*__*__’__   *__ __ __ __ __ __    __ __ __    __ __ __ __
     ^        ^     ^        ^     ^     ^        ^     ^        ^     

AD AN IT LE ME OT SI SM TO
__ __ __    __ __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __ __  “*__    __ __ __ __”
     ^        ^     ^     ^        ^     ^        ^        ^      

AD ER IA IS IT MO ND ON RT SQ UA
__    __ __ __ __ __ __ __    __ __    __ __    __ __ __
        ^     ^     ^     ^        ^        ^        ^  
__ __ __ __ __ __ __
  ^     ^     ^     

AS BL GR HO IC ME OF SM UE US
__ __ __ __    __ __    __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __ __
     ^        ^     ^        ^     ^     ^     ^        ^     ^     

BL ER EY FI HE ND NS OU UE WH
__ __ __ __ __    __ __ __    __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __
     ^     ^        ^     ^        ^     ^        ^     ^        ^     

CO KE ME NA ND OR SA
__ __ __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
     ^     ^     ^        ^     ^     ^     

DO ED EV IL IT NT TH TO WE WN
__ __ __    __ __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __    __ __    __ __
     ^        ^     ^     ^        ^     ^        ^     ^        ^        



*__ __ __ __    __ __ __ __ __ __    __ __ __ __ 
     ^     ^        ^     ^     ^        ^     
WORDY WEDNESDAY #408
SNAKE CRISSCROSS 16
(click here for a PDF version)
This puzzle's crisscross grid contains entries which read across and down as normal; these words are defined in alphabetical order by length under the heading “Crisscross Words.” The grid also contains a number of “snakes”: areas which follow a single clear path. Each of these snakes contains an entry which snakes from one end of the path to the other. These entries are defined under the heading “Snake Words”, and are also clued in alphabetical order by length. You must determine how the grid is divided into snakes; no two snakes overlap.

Arrange the letters in the highlighted cells to form the final answer, an 8-letter word.
CRISSCROSS WORDS
3 LETTERS
Lovelace of Analytical Engine fame
Mongrel
Handgun, slangily
Pen part
Chum
____ judicata
4 LETTERS
“Money, Money, Money” band
Sore
Grows older
____ Domini
Prop in many a stoner film
Dry, as champagne
____ pickle
Relative of Cheems, in memes
It may be geodesic
Irradiate
____ Chop's Play-Along! (1992-1997 PBS series)
“____ and learn!”
Insect eating clothes, often
Grammy-winning pianist Peter
Comedian Foxx
Wise one
Religious splinter group
Nasal mucus, familiarly
Emulate Bethany Hamilton, say
Keep ____ on (watch carefully)
Diplomacy
“The Bear ____ Over the Mountain”
5 LETTERS
Dental hygiene item
Emerge from an egg
You might see one on a runway
Program for drug abusers, for short
Shoot from cover
Snake’s toxin
6 LETTERS
They’re often kept off the table
7 LETTERS
Theoretical physicist Feynman
Moved in small waves
10 LETTERS
Many church instruments: 2 wds.
11 LETTERS
Hanging light fixtures
Nervousness experienced by an actor, say: 2 wds.
16 LETTERS
Title of a 1971 hit for the Doors, or of drummer John Densmore’s 1991 biography: 4 wds.
SNAKE WORDS
5 LETTERS
Luxury Honda subdivision
You might see one on a runway
More unusual
Common martini garnish
____ institution (prison)
Longstocking of kid lit
Uttered an oath
Like the diet of many animal rights activists
6 LETTERS
They can be passed
Citation maker
Cones with their tips cut off
Legal adverb
Charlton of Ben-Hur
Dull
Homily
On Photography essayist Susan
Make a roof from straw
7 LETTERS
Absolutely lacking in class
Brazilian dance
Addressee of the two epistles preceding Titus in the New Testament
Water wheel, for example
8 LETTERS
____ and Kings (1904 O. Henry novel whose title references Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter”)
20 LETTERS
Messiah composer: 3 wds.

COMING NEXT WEEK. . .
* What does Buzz McCallister have as a pet in Home Alone?
* Patron Puzzle #84, which will be delivered exclusively to Patreon supporters ($5 or more per month), is a Words Without Friends.

Submit your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Until next time, keep on living, and yappy solving!

Contest: Let's Guess Three Words III! (Week 1 update)

For full rules, see here.

Week 0:
The set of all words where the fourth letter is a vowel (A, E, I, O, U, or Y): NONE
The set of all words containing a doubled consonant (BB, CC, DD, FF, . . . XX, ZZ): ONE
The set of all words in which the 3rd and 5th letters both exist and are a vowel (A, E, I, O, U, or Y) and a consonant (any letter besides A, E, I, O, U, or Y) in some order: TWO
The set of all words that begin with and end with a consonant (anything besides A, E, I, O, U, or Y): ALL

Week 1:
[Kenneth Wilson] The set of all words containing at least one of the letter combinations HH, KK, LL, SS, and ZZ: NONE
[Kevin Orfield] The set of all words containing at least three instances of vowels (A, E, I, O, U, or Y): NONE

The Grandmaster Puzzles gift card value is now $48.
The money pool for the Food Bank of West Central Texas is now $48.

Submit more guesses!

Wordy Wednesday 406: Section Six 40

WORDY WEDNESDAY #404 (title)
Here is the title to this puzzle. If you still wish to find it yourself, please go here for the solution to the puzzle, or here for a hint. Here's a list of people who found the title:
Cole Kendall **
Karen Spencer **
Leo Termin **
Stephen Potter **
Jason Boomer **
Kevin Orfield **
Ryan Faley **
yyw **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #405
PENT WORDS 81 (hint)
As of this writing, 12 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #406
SECTION SIX 40
(click here for a PDF version)
This puzzle contains a word suggested by patron Kyle Nils. Support me on Patreon at the $5 per month level and solve the monthly Patron Puzzle for a chance to suggest a seed word for a future puzzle, or at the $20 per month level to suggest one seed word every month!
This puzzle's grid has six rings and six sections. Each ring contains a series of words placed end to end, reading either clockwise or counterclockwise; all the words in a given ring will read in the same direction. Ring 1 (the outer ring) contains six answers that read clockwise; the starting spaces are numbered in the grid. Clues for the answers in the remaining rings are given in order, but their starting points and direction are for you to determine. The sections (separated by the heavy lines radiating from the center) will help you place the inner rings: in a given section, each ring segment contains all but one of the letters in the next segment outward. In other words, a section's outermost segment contains six letters; the next segment inward contains five of those six letters in some order; and so on, until only one of the original six letters remains. Arrange the letters in the six starred spaces to form the final answer, a 6-letter word.
Ring 1
1 Item on a bathroom rack
2 The first US space station
3 Show up
4 "____ Waltz" (song associated with Harry Truman)
5 Pillboxes and such
6 Grain harvesting machine
 
Ring 2
* Emcee
* Regained consciousness: 2 wds.
* Air Jordan maker
* Japanese hiragana and katakana, for two
* Computer infection

Ring 3
* Item you might strike
* Amadeo of Brazilian firearms fame
* Spoken
* Abbott and Costello Meet the ____ Kops (1955 film)
 
Ring 4
* Become dry and wrinkled
* Fruits ____ (manga)
* Make into a law

Ring 5
* Melbourne missy
* ____ Falls, New York (site of the first women's rights convention)

Ring 6
* Napoleon at Saint ____ (solitaire card game also known as Forty Thieves)

COMING NEXT WEEK. . .
* A puzzle that is too short!
* What's a 6-letter word for "On Photography essayist Susan"?

Submit your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Until next time, keep on living, and yappy solving!

Contest: Let's Guess Three Words III!

New rules are in bold! Read them carefully!

I am thinking of three distinct English words that are at least 2 letters long and no more than 15 letters long. All of the words are valid in Scrabble according to https://scrabble.merriam.com/. Your goal is to guess them. Everyone who guesses the trio of words correctly by the time the contest is over will be entered for a chance to win a gift card for Grandmaster Puzzles worth up to $50.

Once per week, each and every single person reading this blog post is allowed to e-mail a set of words to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. To give me more time to prepare the weekly posts (in case of a freak statewide power outage, for example), the deadline to guarantee your guess being accepted is now 12:01 AM Central time each Sunday. If it is a set of at least 10 words or it is defined by a property of the words rather than an explicit list, I will publicly post on this blog (on the following Monday at 12:01 AM Central time) whether NONE, ONE, TWO, or ALL of my words are in that set. If it is a set of 9 words or fewer and you list the words explicitly (that is, you guess "{CINQ, QADI, QAID, QATS, QOPH}" rather than "the set of all Scrabble-legal 4-letter words with a Q and not a U"), I will privately give you the same information in an email sometime that Sunday.

I reserve the right to reject any guess if it is impossible for the average reader (who doesn't know what my words are already) to determine whether or not any given word is in your set within a relatively short amount of time. This is a difficult quality to define empirically, but valid guesses would include "the set of all words starting with a letter in the word PRIME" or "the set of all words with a prime number of distinct letters", and invalid guesses would include "the set of the three words Grant is thinking of" and "the set of all words still in at least one possible word trio given the information publicly available right now, and which, if the words in that set were listed and numbered alphabetically starting from 1, would have prime indices". Keep it simple!

Once someone has guessed the trio of words (that is, submitted to me a set of exactly three words and gotten a result of ALL), one last weekly update will be posted on this blog, including one last hint from me (I've run out of anagram-based pseudonyms), and then people who haven't guessed the words yet will have one more week to try to do so and be entered in the prize drawing. The deadline for this final week will be 12:01 AM Central time on the following Monday (that is, the aforementioned 12:01 AM Sunday deadline will not be applied). The rules for private guesses still apply (you must explicitly list the three words you are guessing, not define them uniquely by some convoluted property).

The value of the Grandmaster Puzzles gift card will start at $50, and then go down $2 for every weekly update that has gone by without someone guessing the trio of words. (Exception: the value cannot go to $0.) A matching amount will also be donated to the Food Bank of West Central Texas, so even if you aren't interested in the prize drawing, your participation may help someone else solve the words faster and thus help charity!

To kick things off, I'll make four guesses for you, chosen from among the guesses that were made in Let's Guess Three Words II!:

The set of all words where the fourth letter is a vowel (A, E, I, O, U, or Y): NONE
The set of all words containing a doubled consonant (BB, CC, DD, FF, . . . XX, ZZ): ONE
The set of all words in which the 3rd and 5th letters both exist and are a vowel (A, E, I, O, U, or Y) and a consonant (any letter besides A, E, I, O, U, or Y) in some order: TWO
The set of all words that begin with and end with a consonant (anything besides A, E, I, O, U, or Y): ALL

Good luck, and yappy guessing!

Wordy Wednesday 405: Pent Words 81

WORDY WEDNESDAY #400
PENT WORDS 80 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
Cole Kendall **
James Haddad **
Joe Bernard **
Karen Spencer **
Kyle Nils **
Leo Termin **
Mark Ballinger **
Stephen Potter **
Bo & Becky Green **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #401
FOXGERYPTICS 16 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
Cole Kendall **
James Haddad *
Karen Spencer **
Leo Termin **
M. Sean Molley **
Mark Ballinger **
Stephen Potter **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock **
Patrick Jordan **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #402
ANAWORDSEARCH 3 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Karen Spencer **
Leo Termin **
Mark Ballinger **
Stephen Potter **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #403
CODEWORDS 14 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
Cole Kendall **
Karen Spencer **
Kyle Nils **
Leo Termin **
Stephen Potter **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #404 (hint)
As of this writing, 8 people have found the title of this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's a hint. Send the title to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #405
PENT WORDS 81
(click here for a PDF version)
In this puzzle, you must divide the grid into pentominoes (regions containing five cells each), and write a letter in each cell. The rows, reading from left to right, will contain the words hinted at by the Across clues. The letters in the pentominoes, in reading order (left to right starting with the top row), will form the words hinted at by the Pentominoes clues; these clues are presented in no particular order. (In the example, the rows spell PLANT, SHARE, and BITES, and the pentominoes spell the words PLANS, TREES, and HABIT.) Use the ACROSS answers to determine where the pentominoes are.
ACROSS (two answers per row):
1 “But it's all right now, in fact, it's a ____!” (Rolling Stones lyric) / Participates in a parade, say
2 Dog doc / The North Star
3 Read an online forum without posting / Interlocked
4 Its leaves are used to make cigars and cigarettes / Israeli politician ____ Ariel
5 Contemptible / Missing, as from class
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s ____ / Make cookies and pies, say
7 1969 Disney movie about a raccoon / ____ with the punches
8 Periodic table item / Bill who got his “Science Guy” nickname from John Keister
9 Ulna’s partner / Alternative to stairs, perhaps
10 Sum of money payable at regular intervals / Pigpen

PENTOMINOES:
* HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* THE OTHER HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* Televised again
* Maxwell portrayed by Don Adams
* ____ dot
* Robber ____
* Common courtroom sighting
* Dull
* Leung of Glee
* ____ sprawl
* Musical with the song “Pity the Child”
* Opposite of full
* Islamic holy city
* Member of an Alaskan indigenous group
* Consume water, for example
* They list the offerings of restaurants
* Marisa of My Cousin Vinny
* Ice cube containers
* Ascend
* Ascend

COMING NEXT WEEK. . .
* What's an 8-letter word for "'____ Waltz' (song associated with Harry Truman)"?

Submit your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Until next time, keep on living, and yappy solving!

Wordy Wednesday 404

WORDY WEDNESDAY #398
PATHFINDER 22 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
Cole Kendall **
Joe Bernard **
Kyle Nils **
Leo Termin **
Mark Ballinger **
Mary Maynard **
Stephen Potter **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock **
Patrick Jordan *
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #399
SNAKE CRISSCROSS 15 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
Cole Kendall **
Joe Bernard **
Leo Termin **
Mark Ballinger **
Bo & Becky Green **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #400
PENT WORDS 80 (hint)
As of this writing, 14 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #401
FOXGERYPTICS 16 (hint)
As of this writing, 12 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #402
ANAWORDSEARCH 3 (hint)
As of this writing, 7 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #403
CODEWORDS 14 (hint)
As of this writing, 10 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #404
(click here for a PDF version)
[Author’s note: I tried to share a link to this puzzle, but the website went down, and now gives a 404 error! On this page and the following page are the solution write-up and comments from my patrons who got to see the puzzle before the site went down, so you can get some sense of what an absolutely fantastic puzzle you missed. Perhaps you can figure out what the puzzle’s title was.]

The solver is presented with an interactive online word search puzzle, but instead of a regular word list, the solver is given clues to the words. After finding all of the words, a button appears that says “HIDE WORDS”; doing so hides all of the words, resulting in this grid:
Thanks to the words being hidden, it is easy for the solver to realize that the unused letters in the word search spell DECODE FIRST LETTERS OF HORIZONTAL WORDS IN READING ORDER USING PUZZLE TITLE AS VIGENERE KEY. After discovering this message, the solver will probably need to use the “UNHIDE WORDS” button to see the words again, unless the solver has perfect memory. Since there are 21 horizontal words and 21 letters in the puzzle’s title, any Vigenère cipher decoder can easily be used to obtain the clue GREAT GETAWAY GAME EMCEE. (Note that some decoders don’t work if you type spaces in the key.) Great Getaway Game was a short-lived game show based on word searches (aptly enough); the final answer is the name of the legendary emcee who hosted it, WINK MARTINDALE.

Patron Agnes R. Kift writes: Although I think I solved this puzzle, I was never able to figure out the significance of the 40-digit number 9684456666447445446554457564645644544859 or the 26 numbers 16-3-7-6-29-3-5-5-11-0-4-12-6-10-21-8-0-19-16-14-6-3-1-5-1-0. [Author’s note: The first number contains the lengths of the 40 answer words in alphabetical order; the list of 26 numbers indicates how many times each letter of the alphabet appears in the answers: 16 A’s, 3 B’s, 7 C’s, and so on.] The first word I found was the name of the Jeep; I just bought a JL model myself, so I recognized it instantly. Then I identified the chemical element and the musical instrument, both starting with the same unusual initial letter. (Did you know the instrument’s name comes from Greek words for “wood” and “sound”?) The MP4 video of the song “Tom Sawyer” over an image of the robotic dog from the Mega Man games was clever, but whose voice clips were those? [Author’s note: They are voice clips of late political commentator Limbaugh, naturally.] I would never have figured out what word the picture of all the trees referred to without the hint that it’s an anagram of TAMBOURER, nor did I know Moon Zappa's middle name. The last word I found was the newspaper comic about the fictional newspaper The Treetops Tattler-Tribune (I had to look that up, because I’m more familiar with the footwear than the comic).

Patron Greta N. Fisk writes: I liked how you used one image, the table of contents from a Bible with the names of the first two books censored, to clue two words. You missed a chance to do that again with the two words that form the title of that classic 1990 movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid. [Author’s note: I decided the puzzle had too many movie references already – actor Harrison from Star Wars, actor Tom from Top Gun, the Beatles movie from 1965, the 2007 movie where Nicolas Cage plays a magician pursued by the FBI, the one with Adam Sandler holding a remote control, the John Wayne movie True ____, the Tom Hanks movie Saving ____ Ryan, the 1951 movie A Streetcar Named ____, and DreamWorks Animation’s utterly deplorable The ____ Baby – so I clued those two words a different way to keep things varied.] And it’s a good thing you specified that the picture of an egg cell was a 4-letter word, because the word EGG coincidentally appears in the word search, but the web app doesn’t recognize that as the correct answer.

Patron Karen F. Stig writes: As a Nintendo fan, I was proud of myself for identifying all the Mario answers without looking them up. The picture of the Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga map with the caption “Half the name of this kingdom” was a snap (other people might have preferred a picture of comedian Orson), as was the racing game Mario ____ 64 and the name of the bird in Super Mario 64 who steals Mario’s cap (an apt name for the kind of “-maniac” who steals things) – and don’t get me started on how easy it was to identify that princess Mario rescues! Most people wouldn’t identify the Super Scope game Yoshi’s ____, which was actually the first game to refer to said princess by her current name instead of Toadstool outside of Japan; you could have used the Apple browser for that one if you wanted it to be easier. I’m surprised that you didn’t use Super Mario 64 to clue the dome-shaped arctic dwelling, since such a dwelling appears in the level Snowman's Land.

Patron Reg F. Atkins writes: I appreciated the sitcom references like the one about the New York City cabbies that aired from 1978 to 1983, and the more recent ____ Development. It was also apt that a game show featured in the final clue phrase when you also used the GSN original show ____ Knowledge as a clue. I had to look up the NATO phonetic alphabet to learn what preceded “Lima”. I also had never heard of rapper DeShaun Dupree Holton; I might have gotten that word without looking it up had the clue been “____ of purchase” or “burden of ____”. And thanks for invoking my childhood memories of playing the tic-tac-toe-inspired Mattel game ____ Across.

Patron Stefan G. Rik writes: I enjoyed how easy the cryptic clues were, and that they were alphabetized by answer, because I’d never solved any before: “Secret found in sugarcane (6)”, “Rage about cog (4)”, “Meld a broken Olympic prize (5)”, “Scooter relative sulked (5)”, “Flip peels to snooze (5)”, “Austere oboist has sound system (6)”, and “Gloves, ties concealing sleeveless garment (4)”.

COMING NEXT WEEK. . .

* What's a 5-letter word for "Marisa of My Cousin Vinny"?

Submit your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Until next time, keep on living, and yappy solving!

QUADRUPLE Wordy Wednesday! (WW400-WW403)

WORDY WEDNESDAY #396
SECTION SIX 39 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler *
Joe Bernard **
Karen Spencer **
Kyle Nils **
Leo Termin **
Mark Ballinger **
Stephen Potter **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #397
TOUCHWORD 19 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
Cole Kendall **
James Haddad **
Joe Bernard **
Karen Spencer **
Leo Termin **
Mark Ballinger **
Mary Maynard **
Pavel Curtis **
Stephen Potter **
Tyler Hinman **
Bo & Becky Green **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock **
Patrick Jordan **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **

WORDY WEDNESDAY #398
PATHFINDER 22 (hint)
As of this writing, 11 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #399
SNAKE CRISSCROSS 15 (hint)
As of this writing, 9 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

QUADRUPLE WORDY WEDNESDAYS (LAST WEDNESDAY OF MONTH IN Q1 2021)!
WORDY WEDNESDAY #400
PENT WORDS 80
(click here for a PDF version)
In this puzzle, you must divide the grid into pentominoes (regions containing five cells each), and write a letter in each cell. The rows, reading from left to right, will contain the words hinted at by the ACROSS clues. The letters in the pentominoes, in reading order (left to right starting with the top row), will form the words hinted at by the PENTOMINOES clues; these clues are presented in no particular order. (In the example, the rows spell PLANT, SHARE, and BITES, and the pentominoes spell the words PLANS, TREES, and HABIT.) Use the ACROSS answers to determine where the pentominoes are.
ACROSS (two answers per row):
1 Like much church music / "Church Tech Team Introduces Helpful Bouncing Sing-Along ____" (headline from Christian satirical news site The Babylon Bee)
2 Piece of a pie graph / Helper
3 Gull relative / "Theologians Find Going To Church Via Zoom Will Only Get You Access To ____ Via Zoom" (The Babylon Bee headline)
4 Astonish / Emitted light
5 Beams of light / Firearm part preventing an accidental discharge
6 Briefs, in brief / Tail end
7 Light rain / ____ wrench
8 Cowboy ____ (science fiction anime) / Tank top, for example
9 Amazon AI assistant's name / Many a Strauss composition
10 Genesis garden / 2020 film about elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot

PENTOMINOES:
* HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* THE OTHER HALF OF THE FINAL ANSWER
* "Golden Globe ____ For 'Not Being A Pervert' Goes Unclaimed Once Again" (The Babylon Bee headline)
* "Impeachment Ratings Skyrocket After Introducing Agitated Horde Of ____ Badgers" (The Babylon Bee headline)
* Narcissus and Goldmund author Hermann
* Unit of frequency
* Pokémon that transforms into other Pokémon, or a punctuation mark indicating repetition
* A noble gas
* ____ dry (completely drain of resources)
* They overhang from roofs
* Infant-to-be
* Epic Games Store rival
* "Fie!"
* Iron Chef America host Brown
* Interweave three strands
* Absinthe ingredient
* Household task
* Tim of Last Man Standing
* Cuban dance
* Fur trader and millionaire John Jacob ____

WORDY WEDNESDAY #401
FOXGERYPTICS 16
(click here for a PDF version)
Insert a single letter in each space of each grid so that each grid's five rows and five columns spells a word from left to right or top to bottom (including the letters outside the grid).

Arrange the letters in the shaded spaces to form the final answer, an eight-letter word.

WORDY WEDNESDAY #402
ANAWORDSEARCH 3
(click here for a PDF version)
(A sequel to WW67 and WW169.)
Bent weapon from Down Under (6 items are hidden in __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
    the word search above, each with one bend)     H3 E2 F9 I7 C5 A6 G5 E7 A1
Wash clothes __ __ __ __ __ __ __
             B6 I9 B1 I5 F6 D4 F8
First Lady with the maiden name __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
    Dandridge: 2 wds.           E6 A5 B9 E1 D7 D8 G2 I3 C8 D3 A3 H5 D5 B3 G1 I2
The Legend of Zelda: ____ of Time __ __ __ __ __ __ __
                                  G4 G7 C1 B4 H9 C7 E3
Stuff to dip tortilla chips in, perhaps __ __ __ __ __
                                        B2 A2 C9 H1 F5
Places to rest your butt __ __ __ __ __
                         I8 C6 B8 F4 F2
Name shared by a sport and a vegetable __ __ __ __ __ __
                                       G3 C3 A9 I6 F3 D1
Teenage Mutant Ninja ____ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
                          A7 D2 G9 E9 A4 H7 H6
It dangles at the back of the throat __ __ __ __ __
                                     F1 F7 C4 G6 H4
2003 musical with the song “Defying Gravity” __ __ __ __ __ __
                                             E4 E8 D9 G8 H2 H8
____ Lane (Desperate Housewives location) __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
                                          I1 I4 A8 C2 E5 D6 B7 B5

WORDY WEDNESDAY #403
CODEWORDS 14
(click here for a PDF version)
In the crossword puzzle above, every letter is represented by an integer from 1 through 26. You must decipher the code to reveal the words.

Arrange the letters in the shaded spaces to spell the final answer, an eight-letter word.

COMING NEXT WEEK. . .
* A highly challenging interactive word search!
* Patron Puzzle #83, which will be delivered exclusively to Patreon supporters ($5 or more per month), is titled "P.S. I Love You".

Submit your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Until next time, keep on living, and yappy solving!

Contest: Crisscross Relay

(PDF of this puzzle to print out)
You must endure three rounds of crisscross puzzles to find out how to enter this contest! In each puzzle, you’re given a list of words which you must fit into the crisscross, reading left to right and top to bottom. The letters in the shaded cells will help you obtain an answer to that crisscross, which will enable you to progress further in the relay.

Round 1: The Missing Word
A word that goes in the highlighted space is missing from the word list! This missing word is your answer.
AXLE AMICI
DEWS ASTER
EDGE ESTOP
EURO INTRO
NEXT LYRIC
ONTO NONET
SPAT PSALM
TALC RERAN
     SCREW
     TERSE

Round 2: The Scrambled Word
When you have an answer to Round 1, go to https://sites.google.com/view/crisscrossrelay-ANSWER/home, replacing ANSWER with the answer. If done correctly, a website will appear with a list of words you will need to use in the grid below. When you’re done, a word will be spelled by the letters in the highlighted spaces, but they won’t be in order; you must rearrange the letters to spell a word.

Round 3: The Trivia
When you have an answer to Round 2, go to https://sites.google.com/view/crisscrossrelay-ANSWER/home, replacing ANSWER with the answer. If done correctly, a website will appear with a list of words you will need to use in the grid below. When you’re done, the letters in the highlighted spaces, in order from left to right starting with the top row, will spell a trivia clue. When you have an answer to the trivia clue, go to https://sites.google.com/view/crisscrossrelay-ANSWER/home, replacing ANSWER with the answer (removing spaces if the answer is more than one word). If done correctly, a website will appear with information on how you can enter this contest!

When you have obtained instructions on how to enter this contest, send your entry to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com before 11:59 PM Central time on April 11, 2021. Due to prize budget cuts, I've decided to ship two random white elephant items which I already have rather than buy a prize:
* A new in shrink (albeit with a tear in the shrink; when or how it got there, I don't know) copy of the board game Progress: Evolution of Technology.
* A copy of All About the States: Search-a-Word Puzzles, originally purchased on Amazon because I was a single cent away from free shipping on something else.

Additionally, for every entry in the contest, I will donate $0.50 to the Food Bank of West Central Texas, up to a maximum of $50, so surviving the relay will help feed hungry people. Yappy solving!

Patron Puzzles for Philanthropy update: Anacrossword Twenty-Pack

This update to the Patron Puzzles for Philanthropy initiative is to announce the Anacrossword Twenty-Pack!
Artwork by Tintinabar
This pack contains 20 Anacrossword puzzles for the price of US$8. Anacrosswords are a frequent puzzle on this blog, inspired by a concept seen in Games magazine eons ago. Combining crosswords and acrostic puzzles, when the letters in the crossword are transferred to the correspondingly-numbered blanks, each of these puzzles yields a quote followed by its author (as opposed to the ones on this blog which yield a clue to a final answer). Each puzzle comes in a hard version (where the solver must determine where each answer goes and where spaces and punctuation belong in the quote) and an easy version. Puzzles vary in size from 52 blanks in the smallest puzzle to 164 blanks in the largest puzzle.

As a reminder, this is a charity initiative. Please e-mail me (glmathgrantATgmailDOTcom) a copy of your charitable receipt (it must be a new donation, dated no earlier than one day before you email me) to receive this pack of puzzles. I am currently soliciting donations to these five charities:
I'm also offering Patron Puzzles for Philanthropy Pack #1 (24 previously Patreon-exclusive word puzzles for US$11.10), Patron Puzzles for Philanthropy Pack #2 (24 more previously Patreon-exclusive word puzzles for US$11.10), Patron Puzzles for Philanthropy Pack #3 (24 more previously Patreon-exclusive word puzzles for US$10), the LiveJournal Logic Pack (300 logic puzzles for US$3), the Section Six Six-Plus-Six Pack (12 Section Six puzzles for $6), the Magnum Opus Snake Crisscross (one giant puzzle with over 300 entries for US$5), 10x10x10 Crosswords (10 10x10 crosswords for US$5), and 11x11x11 Touchword (11 11x11 Touchword puzzles for $3). No matter what your budget is, I hope you will support these causes and get some fun puzzles to solve.

Wordy Wednesday 398: Pathfinder 22 & Wordy Wednesday 399: Snake Crisscross 15

WORDY WEDNESDAY #394
CODEWORDS 13 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
Cole Kendall **
Karen Spencer **
Leo Termin **
Tyler Hinman **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tamara Brenner *

WORDY WEDNESDAY #395
PENT WORDS 79 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
Cole Kendall **
Joe Bernard **
Karen Spencer **
Kyle Nils **
Leo Termin **
Mark Ballinger **
Stephen Potter **
Bo & Becky Green **
Kevin Orfield **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tamara Brenner *

WORDY WEDNESDAY #396
SECTION SIX 39 (hint)
As of this writing, 10 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #397
TOUCHWORD 19 (hint)
As of this writing, 17 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

DOUBLE WORDY WEDNESDAYS ENTIRE FIRST QUARTER OF 2021!
WORDY WEDNESDAY #398
PATHFINDER 22
(click here for a PDF version)
In this puzzle, each answer starts in the correspondingly numbered square, goes in some direction, and makes one or more right-angled turns as it winds through the grid. When you have finished, every letter will be used in exactly two entries.

Rearrange the letters in the shaded spaces to get the final answer, an 8-letter word.
1 Of a nostalgic style (5)
2 “Death Penalty Still Permissible For People Who Drive Slowly In The Left Lane, ____ Francis Clarifies” (headline from Christian satire news site The Babylon Bee) (4)
2 Spinach-eating cartoon sailor (6)
3 “SNL Fires Comedian Accused Of Telling ____ Joke” (Babylon Bee headline) (5)
3 Sweet fair treat (6 4)
4 “Activists Fight ____ By Driving All People Of Color Out Of Pop Culture” (Babylon Bee headline) (6)
5 Fate (6)
6 Reference (4)
7 Return, as Press Secretary Jen Psaki might promise to do to a question (6 4)
8 Word before “cell” or “sofa” (7)
9 Less lengthy (7)
10 Miniature racing vehicle (4)
11 “Christian Radio Station Expands ____ To Nine Different Songs” (Babylon Bee headline) (8)
12 Italian capital (4)
13 Cheap curios (4-1-4)
14 “Life Hack: If You're Voting Third-Party, Save On Postage By Throwing Your Ballot Directly In The ____” (Babylon Bee headline) (5)
15 Establishment with coin-operated games (6)
16 “Overbearing Friend Occasionally Wants To ____ Out, Talk, Text” (Babylon Bee headline) (4)
17 Leader of the pack (5)
18 “Biden Suggests Stopping Criminals By Making Them Slip On Banana ____” (Babylon Bee headline) (5)
19 Certain crustacean (4)
20 A region in Italy (6)
20 Kidnap (8)
21 It may be made of coral (4)
22 Fish that uses suction to cling to larger fish (6)
23 ____ acid (5)
24 Italian physicist Enrico (5)
25 “Shocking Investigation Reveals Pastor Bribed Congregants To Say ‘____’” (Babylon Bee headline) (4)
26 1/16 of a pound (5)
27 Say a word correctly (9)
27 Difficult situations (12)

WORDY WEDNESDAY #399
SNAKE CRISSCROSS 15
(click here for a PDF version)
This puzzle's crisscross grid contains entries which read across and down as normal; these words are defined in alphabetical order by length under the heading “Crisscross Words.” The grid also contains a number of “snakes”: areas which follow a single clear path. Each of these snakes contains an entry which snakes from one end of the path to the other. These entries are defined under the heading “Snake Words”, and are also clued in alphabetical order by length. You must determine how the grid is divided into snakes; no two snakes overlap.

Arrange the letters in the highlighted cells to form the final answer, an 8-letter word.
CRISSCROSS WORDS
3 LETTERS
Couple
Inventor Whitney
Significant time period
Standard
4 LETTERS
Stand-up comic Cook
Billionaire Michael of tech fame
Jazz great Fitzgerald
At any time
What you might do with wet laundry
Assist
“That hurt!”
____ Office
Comedian Foxx
Symbol on a music staff, perhaps
Strike with an open hand
Seattle ____ (Triple Crown winner)
“How Great ____ Art”
St. John’s ____
5 LETTERS
Lower in rank
Savory smell
Ed of The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Fill with joy
Addressee of the epistle of 3 John in the Bible
Idle
Woodworking need
____ pollution
Academy-founding Greek
Like online ads that create their own windows: hyph.
Actress Sink of Stranger Things
Round where the final four compete, briefly
Have in common
Lawyer Ken who gained fame during the Clinton administration
Chart of multiplication results, say
6 LETTERS
Hamper
Lessee
City in Spain famed for its swords
Trademarked name of Sildenafil
Righteousness
7 LETTERS
Pittsburgh baseball team
8 LETTERS
Parachutist’s shout
20 LETTERS
2016 song, often abbreviated to four letters, about combining writing implements and fruits: 4 wds.
SNAKE WORDS
5 LETTERS
Goodbye
Furor
Tyler Perry’s ____ of Payne
Colorful gemstones
Imagos-to-be
Mattress company with numbered sheep in its advertising
“I ____ Not Be Moved”
____ Recall (1990 film)
Cow organ
6 LETTERS
Unconcerned with right or wrong behavior
Greek goddess of wisdom
Corroborate
Item with pips, perhaps
Injured spot on the body
Hobbled
The ____ Trap (1961 film remade in 1998)
Historic rider Paul
____ effect
Fixes one’s gaze
____ Trap (1984-1985 game show)
Gardener’s item
7 LETTERS
The most common bowling game
8 LETTERS
Drove back
9 LETTERS
Far from cheerful
11 LETTERS
Agreement where a defendant accepts a lesser charge: 2 wds.

COMING NEXT WEEK. . .
* What's a 5-letter word for "Tim of Last Man Standing"?
* A pair of Foxgeryptics!
* What's an 8-letter word for "____ Lane (Desperate Housewives location)"?
* A Codewords!

Submit your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Until next time, keep on living, and yappy solving!

Wordy Wednesday 396: Section Six 39 & Wordy Wednesday 397: Touchword 19

WORDY WEDNESDAY #392
ANACROSSWORD 24 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cindy Heisler **
James Haddad **
Leo Termin **
Adam Weaver **
Jason Boomer **
Kevin Orfield **
Lee Glascock *
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tamara Brenner *
WORDY WEDNESDAY #393
CRYPTICROSTIC 12 (answer)
Here is the answer to this puzzle. If you still wish to solve it yourself, please go here for the normal version of the puzzle, or here for the easier version of the puzzle. Here's a list of people who solved it:
Cole Kendall **
James Haddad **
Karen Spencer **
Leo Termin **
Mark Ballinger **
Adam Weaver **
Bo & Becky Green **
Jason Boomer **
Kevin Orfield **
Ryan Faley **
Sam Levitin **
Tamara Brenner *

WORDY WEDNESDAY #394
CODEWORDS 13 (hint)
As of this writing, 9 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

WORDY WEDNESDAY #395
PENT WORDS 79 (hint)
As of this writing, 12 people have solved this puzzle. Haven't solved it yet? Here's an easier version. Send your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com within the next week to appear on the solvers list and be recognized for your puzzle prowess. Good luck, solvers!

DOUBLE WORDY WEDNESDAYS ENTIRE FIRST QUARTER OF 2021!
WORDY WEDNESDAY #396
SECTION SIX 39
(click here for a PDF version)
This puzzle's grid has six rings and six sections. Each ring contains a series of words placed end to end, reading either clockwise or counterclockwise; all the words in a given ring will read in the same direction. Ring 1 (the outer ring) contains six answers that read clockwise; the starting spaces are numbered in the grid. Clues for the answers in the remaining rings are given in order, but their starting points and direction are for you to determine. The sections (separated by the heavy lines radiating from the center) will help you place the inner rings: in a given section, each ring segment contains all but one of the letters in the next segment outward. In other words, a section's outermost segment contains six letters; the next segment inward contains five of those six letters in some order; and so on, until only one of the original six letters remains. Arrange the letters in the six starred spaces to form the final answer, a 6-letter word.
Ring 1
1 Church part
2 Swedish car manufacturer
3 One of two remaining contestants
4 Having happened not long ago
5 Fire ____
6 One of the Galilean moons of Jupiter

Ring 2
* Quiz bowl concern
* "Why Do ____ Fall in Love" (Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers hit)
* Like some milk
* Cartwright of The Simpsons
* Common canine command

Ring 3
* Conditionally releases a prisoner
* Most likely winner
* Therefore
* Nothing, in Spanish

Ring 4
* Bath "bye"
* One of two test options, often
* Ticker-tape ____
 
Ring 5
* Faint
* It's above the eyes
  
Ring 6
* Hitchcock who directed The 39 Steps

WORDY WEDNESDAY #397
TOUCHWORD 19
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This puzzle contains words suggested by patrons Cindy Heisler and Leo Termin. Support me on Patreon at the $5 per month level and solve the monthly Patron Puzzle for a chance to suggest a seed word for a future puzzle, or at the $20 per month level to suggest one seed word every month!
In a crossword, words cross each other; in this puzzle, they merely touch. More specifically, every letter shares an edge with at least one identical letter either immediately above or immediately below. The top and bottom rows are considered adjacent.

Arrange the letters in the shaded spaces to form the final answer, an 8-letter word.
1 Rest / Small child / Fluid secreted by the liver
2 “____ Hill” (Fats Domino hit) / Bit of dog or cat food
3 One selling puppies, perhaps / True
4 Big name in psychoanalysis / Pitches / Border
5 Impostors / ____ driver / Team Fortress 2 class with a double jump
6 Fritz of American Pickers / “Come ____ Away” (Styx hit) / Chaperone
7 Grouchy people / Suffers persistent pain / Michael who founded Capri Holdings Limited
8 Board game invented in Germany (not Asia) under the name Sternhalma: 2 wds.
9 Like a bodybuilder’s physique (literally if it’s a statue of a bodybuilder) / Female protagonist of Disney's The Aristocats
10 Brother in a fairy tale / Make sense: 2 wds. / Emulate a snake
11 Certain gymnastic feats / Incontinence pad brand
12 Graph paper features / Take care of / Marriage partner
13 Feature of the front end of a car / County seat of Oklahoma's Garfield County / A unit of weight
14 Christian rock band with the album Alien Youth / Persil alternative / Discover
15 Like some milk / White who played Rose Nylund / Pollute

COMING NEXT WEEK. . .
* What's a 6-letter word for "Spinach-eating cartoon sailor"?
* What's a 6-letter word for "____ Trap (1984-1985 game show)"?

Submit your answers to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Until next time, keep on living, and yappy solving!

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