The Puzzler September 2004 Atlantic Monthly

by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Chain Links

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puzzler grid

Two unclued 11-letter Downs meander in unbroken chains from top to bottom, moving straight down or diagonally down (either left or right), one row at a time. They share no letters with the clued Downs, which are entered normally, though without heavy bars to show where they begin and end. All Across answers are entered normally, but twelve of them are clued in random order as "Links." Each of these either begins or ends in a circle. Circled letters match up in a certain way so as to form links between the two chains; the matching letters provide a key to a code belonging in the three shaded squares. Once the chains are located with the help of the links, solvers who trace their paths will see two 11-letter terms for both the chains and their links. This information should enable solvers to complete the three-letter sequence in the center. Twelve clue answers are capitalized; 20 Across is not common.

See the solution to last month's Puzzler.


a. Tease about unknown in

b. Drink from a fountain on a
Mediterranean island(5)

c. Geoffrey is given time to finish

d. Subject for movie(5)

e. Block most of the blemish(6)

f. Publicly defend stocking Scottish

g. Crazy about old tapioca source(6)

h. A quiet drive into Hindu

i. Some North African people are
in drag(6)

j. Dread flying gnats(5)

k. Stigmatize Turkey's leader and
German chancellor(6)

l. Fellow skirting long, large ditch(5)


7. A cough troubled cowboy(6)

9. Winner of a Pulitzer and a
thousand-dollar bill(4)

10. Warn American about British

11. Council's turf encompassing
New York westward(5)

12. Stand back behind a pantheon(5)

16. Taught English, passed with

18. French river's nameless sound(4)

20. Pass more ancient tract of reclaimed


1. Called citrus fruit "peeled"(4)

2. Article on department head from a
South American region(6)

3. Reign poorly in African land(5)

4. Thanksgiving's full of carnage, with
all ultimately eaten(5)

5. Small, illuminated, narrow

6. Some cricket players mysteriously
absent around noon(7)

8. Returned hardened concrete for
Ophelia's brother(7)

13. Bother splitting pinch of seasoning
or salt(6)

14. Painter's impudent to an audience(5)

15. Throw off account(5)

17. Poor method of operating vessel(4)

19. Unlimited use of one place to sit(4)

Note: The instructions above are for this month's puzzle only. It is assumed that you know how to decipher clues. For a complete introduction to clue-solving, click here.

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