55
$\begingroup$

****A big one to celebrate my half-century (50th puzzle)!****


I work as a puzzle setter at FakePuzz (not a real magazine). This morning I burst into the office of Eddie Tor (not a real editor) so fast that I bumped against - and smashed - an expensive vase (a real one, unfortunately).

"I've finished compiling this month's $100 prize crossword at last!" I exclaimed. "Let me tell you how it works..."

The puzzle is actually a combination of four different puzzle types in one grid: a criss-cross, a quizword, a codeword, and a three-to-one.

All four sub-puzzles need to be solved to find the answer to the contest question, "Whose grave am I visiting?"

"The coloured cells are obviously important...?" Eddie ventured, uncertainly.

"The letters within them are, yes," I replied. "And in addition to those, each 'coloured zone' within the puzzle contains a further concealed clue, hidden somehow within it. The first person to solve the puzzle and send in the correct name wins the $100!"

"Which is absolutely, definitely NOT A REAL PRIZE," stated Eddie.

"Indeed," I said. "Maybe we can send them one of our souvenir green checkmarks in the post instead..."

TASK: Solve the full puzzle (collaboration permitted) and give me the answer to the question, "Whose grave am I visiting?" The answer is the name of a person of historical interest.

Oh, and just in case it wasn't obvious from the tongue-in-cheek flavourtext, THERE IS NO ACTUAL $100 PRIZE! (Sorry...)


ACCESSIBILITY

Colour-blind-friendly version available here. B=Blue, G=Green, O=Orange, R=Red and Y=Yellow. Two different shades (black/grey) have been used for the blank spaces alternately across the four quadrants to aid differentiation between the four sub-puzzles (puzzles do invade each other slightly - this can be used to your advantage...).

A .xlsx version of the blank puzzle grid is available via filedropper.com to make it more convenient to solve (nobody wants to copy out a puzzle this large manually...).


enter image description here

Top-left puzzle: CRISS-CROSS

ACE  ATOM  BEEPS  BREATH  AWESOME  ACCRUING  BLUEBELLS  APPEARANCE  
ASH  BLOC  BLITZ  IMPART  DESIGNS  EGGHEADS  DOWNRIGHT  
ASS  BLUR  COSTA  PUBLIC  HIGHEST  FLOUNDER  GIBRALTAR  
ATE  COLT  DEALT  REPEAL  MASSAGE  GUSTAVUS  HOMOPHONE  
BRA  DEEP  EERIE  SCAMPI  PARAGON  SPACEBAR  PNEUMONIA  
CRY  EFIT  EMOJI  SIMPLE  SHAKEUP  
DIM  FEUD  FOXES  SLURPS  TUMULTS  
EGO  FREE  LEANS  
FLU  LUTE  LEMON  
GNU  MENU  OFTEN  
HID  OEUF  PANIC  
IRE  PATE  SPAIN  
MOM  REAL  SPASM  
NAB  SOUL  TRIPE  
NEE  TALC  WIDOW  
NIL  VERB  
OWN  WASP  
SEA  WEED  
SOT  WHET  
SPY  
TAU  
USE  

Top-right puzzle: QUIZWORD

ACROSS
#1. Capital city of Ghana (5)
4. Nocturnal birds, Strix aluco (5,4)
9. Protagonist of The Color Purple, by Alice Walker (5)
12. Mole, metre, or second? (4)
13. Highest active volcano in Europe (4)
14. Brand of plastic construction toy, originally from Denmark (4)
16. Seven _______, 1954 Akira Kurosawa movie (7)
17. First name of former Arsenal goalkeeper, Lehmann (4)
19. Special forces unit of the British Army (1,1,1)
21. The White Stripes, The Carpenters, or Tenacious D, perhaps? (3)
22. Planet of snow and ice in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (4)
23. Capital city of Iran (6)
24. Kiss from a Rose singer (4)
25. My ____ Foot, 1989 Daniel Day-Lewis movie (4)
27. Muslim prayer leader (4)
30. Music genre originating in Jamaica in the late 1950s (3)
31. 1993 UK Singles Chart topper for Take That (4)
34. Currency of Argentina (4)
36. Seventh letter of the Greek alphabet (3)
37. French word for ‘water’ (3)
38. Tablet computer first released in 2010 (4)
41. Fagin’s gang, or the Baker Street Irregulars, perhaps? (7)
44. Portrayed a title character in 2008’s Frost/Nixon (5)
45. Biblical region east of the Jordan River (6)
50. Qatar’s continent (4)
53. Lawman involved in ‘the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral’ (4)
55. ___ whale – second-largest animal species on Earth (3)
61. Come ________, 1969 Beatles song (8)
62. The ____ Tower, Stephen King book series (4)
68. Placeholder for an undefined value in computing (1,1,1)
71. Cult mystery TV series by Mark Frost and David Lynch, ____ Peaks (4)
73. Series of wars fought between Rome and Carthage, 264-146 BC (5)
74. John Carney film of 2007, later a stage musical (4)

DOWN
#1. Ancient Greek lyric poet from the city of Mytilene (7)
2. Item of sporting equipment used in snooker and pool (3)
3. Country sharing a land border with the United Kingdom (1,1,1)
5. Major Italian river (4)
6. ______ Fillion, star of Firefly and Castle (6)
7. Species of the animal named ‘Ratty’ in The Wind in the Willows (5,4)
8. Language of Chile, Costa Rica and Cuba (7)
10. Stage name shared by rappers Kim, Wayne and Xan (3)
11. ______ Wood, star of The Lord of the Rings movies (6)
12. African country led by Idi Amin, 1971-79 (6)
15. ___ Lovelace, 19th century English mathematician (3)
18. Device for time-telling comprising a flat plate and a gnomon (7)
20. Bouillabaisse, goulash, or beef Stroganoff, perhaps? (4)
22. ___ 9000, antagonist of 2001: A Space Odyssey (3)
24. Witheringly harsh (8)
26. Italian automobile manufacturer, founded in Turin (4)
28. Exits from a building (8)
29. Sir Christopher ___ , portrayer of Dracula, Saruman and Scaramanga (3)
30. ‘____ grapes’ – disdain for something one does not have (4)
32. Little ___ Corvette, song by Prince (3)
33. Domesticated bovid found in the Himalayas (3)
35. Finnish steam bath (5)
39. Twenty-third letter of the Greek alphabet (3)
40. _____ of Glass, 1979 chart hit for Blondie (5)
42. Informal term for an executive search firm (10)
43. Opacifications of the lens of the eye (9)
46. Vesper ____, character in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale (4)
51. What a somnambulist might do (9)
54. Sixteen ounces (5)
55. Result of sunlight exposure (7)
63. Frozen character voiced by Kristen Bell (4)
64. Location of the patella (4)
67. A Prayer For ____ Meany, John Irving novel (4)
71. Object placed beneath a serving dish to avoid heat damage (6)
72. Antagonist in Shakespeare’s Othello (4)
74. Winner of the 2013 Kentucky Derby (3)

Bottom-right puzzle: CODEWORD

Solution grid provided directly below the puzzle for your use.

Bottom-left puzzle: THREE-TO-ONE

ACROSS
47. OBEY / OBOE / PREY
48. CLEAR / SHEER / SHINE
49. ETCH / ETUI / SPUR
52. ARE / URN / USE
56. BARB / LAUD / LOUD
58. MARIGOLD / MACHETES / PREQUELS
65. EYE / GYM / RYE
66. PASS / TORN / TORS
69. NATO / NOTE / TOGO
75. CAGOUL / EARFUL / RECALL
78. NOTED / VITAL / WONKA
79. ISRAELI / LORELEI / PARABLE
81. OVERRIDES / SKEWERING / SPIRITING
83. OMEN / PEEL / OPEL
84. AND / RNA / ROD
86. NOW / SEA / SPA
89. IGGY / INTO / NONE
90. EGGPLANT / ITERATED / OPTIONAL
91. AILS / KILO / NOPE
92. DOE / DUD / HID
93. KNOW / USED / WEED
94. APIA / JULY / RHEA
97. ASTI / HYPE / KEPT
99. HOLE / IRON / PROP
100. EVEN / REAP / REIN
101. LUGOSI / MALAWI / MURDER
104. LARA / TOOL / TORN
105. BAN / NAB / PIN
106. VAT / VIE / VIM
110. CHIC / ERIC / LOUT
111. CATS / COWL / NEWS
112. RABBITS / RACCOON / SECTION
113. TEMP / TURF / ZERO
114. BLUR / CLUB / CRAB
115. BESTOWERS / MANSPLAIN / POSITRONS
116. EPIC / THIN / TONE
117. EROS / PLOY / TRAY
118. RHONE / SCOWL / SHOAL
121. CUR / DEN / DUE
122. OSTENTATE / OVERSTAYS / TREADMILL
123. BEADS / ETHOS / INCOG

DOWN
57. BRAE / CIAO / DEAF
59. DOWNY / ROUND / SALTY
60. ASBESTOS / ASSASSIN / UNBROKEN
70. EVENT / ONION / OWING
76. LIE / ULE / USE
77. LENGTHEN / LOLLIPOP / LONGJUMP
80. ERIE / ERNE / LAID
82. ASK / INK / INN
83. OWL / OWN / PAL
85. AGO / AND / EGG
87. EONS / OILY / PILE
88. ABYSMAL / CHARLIE / IDYLLIC
95. KIEV / SHIV / SPIV
97. PERSONNEL / PROACTIVE / TROMBONES
98. EEL / INN / TEA
102. ABHORS / UNHOLY / UNRULY
103. ARCHER / OCCURS / ORDERS 
104. LESOTHO / TORMENT / TORPEDO
107. ACE / ICE / INN
108. EARPLUG / MARBLES / TOBYJUG
109. COWPAT / SOFTEN / STREET
113. BIO / TOO / ZOO
114. BALL / BODY / COAT
119. CAT / ERE / HEN
120. ADD / ADO / WHO
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  • 11
    $\begingroup$ This has taken two months of painstaking labour to create. I have gone over it in microscopic detail so many times to ensure there are no more errors within it (trust me, they cropped up pretty easily in a grid this size), but if you do find anything you perceive to be an error let me know in comments and I will fix it sharpish! Thanks, and I hope you enjoy :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jul 21 at 22:51
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ Wow, great puzzle! $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jul 21 at 22:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ooh, this is interesting. Going to give it a shot now. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jul 22 at 0:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As a wise pair once said, "I am not worthy." Looking forward to this one! $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Dover Jul 22 at 0:20
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Well I expect Deus to solve the rest from here but this was really fun to solve for the bits I managed!!! Very nice puzzle :) even if there is no $100 prize, I may add a 100 rep bounty prize instead when I can because this puzzle deserves it! (Although Deus probably doesn’t need the extra rep :P ) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Jul 22 at 1:16
38
+100
$\begingroup$

Part 1: The Solved Grid

The solved grid is below:

enter image description here

The logic for the left side portions was relatively straightforward. There were no particularly difficult steps - just searching for the next place progress can be made, like solving a jigsaw puzzle.

A few sections had extra information that seems important:

The criss-cross had four unused words: BLUR FOXES REPEAL MASSAGE. Change one letter in each of these words to get BLUE BOXES REVEAL MESSAGE... that looks important. We'll come back to that later.

The key for the codeword was FINDCOVERTMAPBZGYHXJWKULSQ. We can see another message in the first half of the key: FIND COVERT MAP.

The four dotted cells in the quizword are W, S, N, E. These are oriented to make a compass - probably to do with the "covert map" mentioned earlier.

There are some letters in the three-to-one that are in all three possible words -- you can fill them in without looking at the grid. These spell out OVERLAY.

enter image description here

Part 2: The Messages

The blue boxes spell a message, in grid order. This message is:
PUT ALL FOUR RIGHT WAY ROUND
WHO IS MOST RENOWNED
RESTING IN THE PLACE YOU FOUND

So, let's do that! All four sections of the grid can be put "right way round" by rotating them and aligning their 2x3 rectangles. And the colored cells haven't been used yet - this is likely when they become important.

When we rotate and overlay all four sections of the puzzle, using the compass to determine our alignment, something appears!

enter image description here

(The missing grid lines are an artifact of image editing.)
Ignoring the blue cells (since we already used those), we can clearly see some words being spelled out: ARCH, NORTH, FRONT, SECOND, CHURCH, MARKET... - could this be the "covert map"?

Looking up some of these street names gives us an area in Philadelphia, where the streets are exactly the pattern of colored squares:

enter image description here

And right at the location of the 3×2 boxes is the grave of Ben Franklin! (Confirmed by the fact that this is a "$100 question", and Ben Franklin is the person on the hundred dollar bill!)

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  • 4
    $\begingroup$ As expected, you’re just too quick! :P Very nice solution +1, and if I add a +100 bounty when available you definitely deserve it (even if you don’t need it :) ) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Jul 22 at 1:28
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    $\begingroup$ Wow :) I posted this just before going to bed, and I wake up to find it completed! Cracking job! This is of course correct, although there were still two extra hidden hints you didn't need: 1. The three-to-one solution in the answer by @BeastlyGerbil contains a pertinent phrase (see my comment on his answer) which if explored will reveal a 7-letter word, and 2. there are technically five 'coloured zones' once you count the blue! It might have all seemed like flavourtext but that central blue box (and the title!) contain one final reference which would remove any ambiguity... Can you see it?! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jul 22 at 5:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Stiv I have a guess for the answer to (1), but I'd have to go through and actually figure it out. As for the blue, I see that "$100" is meant to be a hint - is that what you're referring to? $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jul 22 at 6:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (1) Maybe let BG pull that one out then - or you can guess the word from the stray letters in his image (clue: it's spelled backwards and just acts as an extra clue to the method of the next step you already did), and (2) absolutely - I used that precisely in case there was any quibbling over who was 'most renowned' seeing as there's a few others of his time in the same spot! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jul 22 at 6:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Completely complete! The checkmark is yours - congrats on another slick solution! :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jul 22 at 6:42
11
$\begingroup$

Partial: Criss Cross and Three to one solved

(There are three letters missing to the right of ‘Three to one’ that I can’t yet place without solving the bottom right area)

Three to one:

enter image description here

Criss cross:

enter image description here

However I know that Deus has all four parts and is looking at the next steps so I expect this to become obsolete :) Still very fun to solve!!!

Edit: congrats Deus as expected!


Quick bit of logic for how to get these grids:

Three to one:

enter image description here

Filling in letters that are definite (i.e. all three words have this letter in the same place) and looking at the possibilities for the middle allows us to deduce some words...

Furthermore, the ‘definite’ letter spell out ‘OVERLAY’ backwards, which is useful for Deusovi’s answer

enter image description here

These words allow a chain to be placed with very little logic needed...

enter image description here

However getting into the bottom corners we need a bit more thought to try and work out which words are possible. Doing so allows more to be placed...

enter image description here

Placing more words gets us to a position where we have to start looking up at the criss cross section. However doing so allows us to finish off the grid, except for the couple of words to the right.

Criss cross:

enter image description here

Some words can be placed from the crossover from three to one...

enter image description here

This allows the bottom right to be solved...

enter image description here

Now we can move round to the left and solve that side...

enter image description here

Almost all words have been used now so there’s very few options left. We can now solve the rest!

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry it looks scruffy, solving on mobile. I can try and ‘clean up’ tomorrow :) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Jul 22 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ You answered pretty fast, considering the complexity of the riddle :) $\endgroup$ – risky mysteries Jul 22 at 1:12
  • $\begingroup$ @riskymysteries I’ve managed to solve two quarters, but I know there’s others who have the whole grid solved, so in reality I’ve really not been that fast :P $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Jul 22 at 1:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Great job BG :) And here's a piece of good news for you: You inadvertently spotted the three-to-one hint that @Deusovi didn't! Can I return your attention to "Filling in letters that are definite (i.e. all three words have this letter in the same place)"... What letters were they?? $\endgroup$ – Stiv Jul 22 at 5:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Stiv I see Deus has found it, I’ll add it in anyway :P Great puzzle!!! $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Jul 22 at 10:31

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