15
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This is an extended hybrid puzzle which fuses components of the most common PSE strain (where group connections also have one final connection, which is the puzzle's answer) with a variety of connecting methods used in the original BBC TV series, Only Connect. This means that not all groups are of the commonly used 'linking word which can precede/follow the given word' mould - bear that in mind!

Also, for this Connecting Wall, you will need to partition a larger number of clues (24 of them) into 6 sets of 4. Once all 6 sets are found, you need to provide a specific 4-letter word that links the 6 connections - this is the final answer for the puzzle.

Good luck!

+----------------+----------------+----------------+----------------+  
|    ASTERISK    |     BEFORE     |     BELOW      |   COMMODORE    |  
+----------------+----------------+----------------+----------------+  
| CZECHOSLOVAKIA |       F        |     GUFFAW     |    HARRISON    |  
+----------------+----------------+----------------+----------------+  
|     ISAIAH     |     LOIRE      |    METAPHOR    |      MILE      |  
+----------------+----------------+----------------+----------------+  
|       MM       |  MYERS-BRIGGS  |      POOL      |     POUND      |  
+----------------+----------------+----------------+----------------+  
|     QUINCE     |    ROBINSON    |   SEMAPHORE    |      SNES      |  
+----------------+----------------+----------------+----------------+  
|     SUPER      |       V        |    WHISKEY     |       XV       |  
+----------------+----------------+----------------+----------------+  

TASK:
(1) Partition this Connecting Wall into 6 sets of 4 clues (various connecting methods);
(2) Find the final 4-letter connection between the 6 connections.

(Note that once you pinpoint a couple of groups correctly, you may gain an idea as to where this is going and be able to find the others much more quickly!)

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  • $\begingroup$ Would the puzzle work without all caps? Not sure if that's a clue or to throw us off or irrelevant $\endgroup$ – Jay Aug 11 at 8:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Jay All-caps is purely for consistent aesthetics :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Aug 11 at 9:34
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Connections

Group 1
Words that contain the sound FOUR - Before, Guffaw, Metaphor, Semaphore

Group 2
Words that form movie titles when combined with the number EIGHT - Eight Below, 8 Mile, 8MM, Super 8

Group 3
Words that mean FIFTEEN - F (hexadecimal), Quince (Spanish), XV (Roman numerals), Commodore (Cockney rhyming slang) (credit to BeastlyGerbil for spotting this in the comments)

Group 4
Things that composed of SIXTEEN parts - Myers-Briggs (16 categories), Snes (16-bit), Pound (16 ounces), Pool (16 balls)

Group 5
Words which are TWENTY-THREE in an ordering - Harrison (23rd U.S. President), Isaiah (23rd book of the Bible), V (23rd chemical symbol of the periodic table), Whiskey (23rd letter of the Nato Phonetic alphabet),

Group 6
Words associated with the number FORTY-TWO - Asterisk (decimal code), Czechoslovakia (calling code), Loire (France department number), Robinson (famous for wearing number 42)

So the categories are

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

And we recognise these as being

The six numbers that reappear consistently in the TV Show Lost

So the four-letter word must be

Lost

Title

"Off the beaten track" means in an isolated place. In the TV show Lost, the characters are trapped on a mysterious remote island when their plane crashes.

| improve this answer | |
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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ YES hexomino! To fix the one inconsistency, GUFFAW is in the wrong group. Spot where it should be instead and you can tighten up that group's definition even tighter... Well done :) (PS Loose connection with the title...?) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Aug 12 at 4:59
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    $\begingroup$ rot13: Thssnj naq pbzzbqber fubhyq or fjvgpurq, thssnj eulzrf jvgu sbhe naq pbzzbqber vf fynat sbe 15 cbhaqf :) (think this is right @Stiv?) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 12 at 7:47
  • $\begingroup$ @BeastlyGerbil Exactly right :) Although if you look, that group's connection is even tighter than just a rot13(eulzr)... $\endgroup$ – Stiv Aug 12 at 7:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Stiv yeah when solving this this was the only group I managed to get :P I think the actual definition is rot13(pbagnvaf gur fbhaq 'sbhe') $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Aug 12 at 7:55
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    $\begingroup$ Great solution, and great puzzle @Stiv! I couldn't get untracked from COMMODORE (commode), BELOW (bowl), and POOL (loo). Spent hours trying to find the fourth. I've got problems. $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Dover Aug 12 at 15:53

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