Note: This puzzle has an additional step not featured on the PDF below. The answer to this puzzle and the instructions for the additional step are found below the cover photo. For sake of the puzzle, do NOT look at the solution or additional step until after solving the puzzle.
If you’re able to determine the final step of the puzzle without clicking the link, well done.
Hey everyone, welcome to Week 96! Hope you enjoy today’s puzzle. I probably won’t be able to write one for the next little while, but this one should bide your time.
We had a meta last week, so let’s talk about it.
The answer to this puzzle was a 20th century year, and there was five long answers that seemed to stick out:
17A – [Piece of information that can devastate a listener when dropped] = TRUTH BOMB
24A – [Metaphorical shape that probably just uses two line segments] = LOVE TRIANGLE
53A – [Online dating service with an aquatic logo] = PLENTYOFFISH
65A – [Friendship symbol that is passed] = PEACE PIPE
39A – [British agency that closely monitors the households of underage wizards and witches] = MINISTRY OF MAGIC, from the Harry Potter books
Hopefully you brushed up on your English lit, or you typed some of these key answers into Google, as the first word of each of the four theme answers [Truth, Love, Plenty, and Peace] can succeed the phrase “Ministry of” to make the name of a major agency in the fictional world featured in George Orwell’s 1984. The idea of spying on citizens is shown in the Ministry of Magic clue, as The Trace totally does this.
Also, as bonus fill, the top row of this puzzle is CAIN, ALEC, and SHEMP. Those three overlook the entire puzzle, as they can all be described as big brother.
Altogether, 42 readers submitted the right answer. Congrats to those who got it! This week’s randomly selected winner was Tim Harrod. He will join Jon Delfin, John L. Wilson, Jim Quinlan, Eric Maddy, Andy Keller, David Cole, Roger Barkan, Patricia Miga, Erik Agard, Charles Montpetit, Steve Blais, Mike Ruslander, Matthew Breen, David Stein, Justin Weinbaum, Tyler Hinman, Kathy Johnescu, and Regina Cassidy in a future section of the site. Congrats Tim!
Enjoy the puzzle!