Wordy Wednesday 1: Crossword of Integers

Today marks the start of a new series on this blog, Wordy Wednesday, in which I will attempt to broaden my horizons and post puzzles that involve words! Yeah, I know it's A Cleverly-Titled Logic Puzzle Blog, but I had these puzzles sitting around and no better idea for how to use them. Plus, it will feel good to have regular content on here again. How long can I keep this series up? Can I reach the 10-puzzle mark and outdo Project YL?

To commemorate the start of this new series, this puzzle shall also be a contest! I was fortunate enough to have one of my Pent Words puzzles published in the second issue (June 2014) of the newest Penny Press magazine, Will Shortz's Wordplay, and will give away a signed copy of this issue to a random solver of this Wordy Wednesday puzzle. This issue includes a number of excellent puzzles by top constructors, including some Consecutive Sudoku and Shikaku puzzles by Thomas Snyder, two Helter Skelter puzzles by Brendan Emmett Quigley, a Some Assembly Required by Patrick Berry, cryptic crosswords by Trip Payne and Fraser Simpson, and much more. It's quite a thrill to think my byline is in the same publication as these other people's. If you're a fan of English-language word puzzles, then by all means buy a copy of Will Shortz's Wordplay, or perhaps try to win the signed copy I'm giving away here. (Or both!)

How to enter:
Entering is simple. Just solve the puzzle below to obtain a one-word answer, and send it to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Entrants who solve the puzzle within 168 hours (one week) will receive two entries in the prize drawing. After 168 hours, a hint will be posted; any solutions received within the next 168 hours after the hint will receive one entry in the prize drawing.


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 (all of which are verified by Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition). Once you're done, keep an eye out for a hidden clue leading to the puzzle's final answer, a nine-letter word (which is neither of the two nine-letter words in the completed crossword).

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