This is the first Chain Puzzle in the Video Games series, in which all puzzles are themed around video games of all genres. The answer to this puzzle is a thematic word or phrase. The solver whose answer is awarded the green checkmark has the first refusal on the opportunity to create the next puzzle in the series, which must somehow incorporate the answer to this puzzle somewhere within its construction. The solver is under no obligation to create the next puzzle - in the event that the solver does not wish to take up this opportunity, the puzzle's setter may take up the offer of a willing substitute setter or choose to continue the chain themselves.
This puzzle was inspired by the video game Portal by Valve. No knowledge of the game is required for the completion of the puzzle. I would also like to give a massive shout-out and thank you to bobble and Deusovi, who were instrumental to the completion of this puzzle. Deusovi gave a lot of very helpful feedback (as well as checking the legalities of the cryptic clues, and then checking the fixed ones). Bobble ended up writing a majority of the clues because mine were bad and illegal :P. Thank you so much!
You wake up in the middle of a blank, white room, with no knowledge of how you ended up here. Suddenly, you hear a distorted robotic voice coming from above, though you can't discern where exactly it is coming from.
Hello and, again, welcome to the Aperture Science computer-aided enrichment center. We hope your brief detention in the relaxation vault has been a pleasant one. Your specimen has been processed and we are now ready to begin the test proper. Before we start, however, keep in mind that although fun... and learning are the primary goals of all enrichment center activities, serious injuries may occur. The portal will open in three, two, one -
A blue portal opens up in front of you. As you walk through, you are instantly transported out of an orange portal. The portal closes behind you, and you are faced with a giant crossword in front of you. This time, a different distorted voice crackles above you.
Greetings, unfortunate test subject! I have been recruited by Laugh-Hyphe to study the intricacies of the human brain. If you wish to escape, you must solve the following cryptic-crossword before you. It is... a bit different than what I presume you are used to. Here are the rules:
- Enter all answers into the given grid. All of the grid-in clues are available under the "Pre-Transformation" list.
- Once that's done, all of the teleporters will be triggered by a mysterious event.
- Each blue (bobble) portal captures the letter on it, plus all the letters either below or to the right (up to the next blank space).
- It moves them to an orange (Deusovi) portal, where they are entered the same way they were written (possibly switching direction).
- Teleported letters can't land directly ontop of another portal, whether blue or orange.
- The post-transformation clues are new words which are formed by the teleported letters. They are arranged in alphabetical order by answer.
- Say this is our very small, blank grid. You'd begin by entering your answers. Let's say the answer to 1a is BARGAIN and 2d is GAS.
- Looking at our initial completed grid, we see that the G and the A land on the two consecutive blue portals. Now, let's say that the answer to the post clue is GRAIN. We need a G on the top, and AIN on the bottom. Now, remember that the portals capture the letter on it plus all letter either to the right or below it. The blue portal on letter "G" can't be pointing to the right, because there's a portal in the way, leading to a contradiction. Instead, it must be pointing down. So the letter G and all letters below it (the A and S) must route to either one of the two orange portals. Now, the second letter is a bit tricky. It could be pointing down, but just having A wouldn't satisfy the answer of GRAIN. So, therefore, the portal must point to the right.
- Thus, our completed grid looks as follows. Note that the direction which the letters face were swapped (GAS pointed down but now points to the right, and AIN pointed to the right but faced down) but retained their word order.
1. Twist more hearts around, with an audience (6)
3. Your partner, like, in sex (7)
4. Drive, doc! (2)
5. Move along, fool! (4)
7. Garbage rats scrambled, heading to hideout (5)
9. Smack band (4)
11. Strange egg art, street "artist" (6)
14. Sounds like I agree (3)
15. Marine creature in eastwards East Artic (7)
16. I heard island is a walkway (5)
17. Controversial book is obviously lackluster at first - it is set in Los Angeles (6)
20. Blue-ish drink with bit of lemon (4)
22. Splendor, an old fish (7)
23. Lost end of wide duct (3)
25. Broken edges lining a block (3)
26 Private clothing for martial arts (2)
27. Skip it after a mystical sound (4)
29. Morning, lady! (Not mom) (2)
30. Special convention from Virginia added “After DNA” unit (6)
31. Arab extremists rejected Egyptian spirit (2)
32. Check the French food (5)
33. A spoken, casual greeting (2)
35. Daughter returned moody cover (4)
1. Not even Lucille is weird! (7)
2. Quill’s father, for example, married with a ring (3)
3. New kebabs at only half-dull game (10)
6. Exotic organism not lost? ‘Tis a puzzle (8)
7. Spell "rout" wrong (4)
8. Aloha state (2)
10. Weaken wise old man, amputating leg (3)
12. Creature from Aesop’s at odds (3)
13. Run into a legendary king from India (4)
15. Deliberately destroy tea bag - so damaged! (8)
18. Judged after netting is mangled. (9)
19. Atoll resort, harboring capsized beast of burden and fish (7)
20. Walk backwards into legal harm (4)
21. Shopping center turns down a beast of burden (5)
24. Evil function (3)
25. Grab a bass ukelele containing type of oil (7)
28. X marked second-to-last spot aboard train on vacation (3)
30. Beard of Gauss with top trimmed flawlessly (6)
34. Who Uncle Sam wants in tryouts? (3)
a) Silver disc gone (3)
b) Say Ma sues improperly (6)
c) A person to be conscripted from a bee toll? Crazy! (8)
d) Coerce nothing into mythic beast’s heart (7)
e) Upset about storming out into a gaggle of followers (9)
f) Guests regularly come by (3)
g) Draw bad angle (5)
h) Ran away, perhaps, initially leaving Earth very annoyed now that everyone's dead (8)
i) Wizard magazine: “Potions Central” (4)
j) Egyptian god found in pyramids (2)
k) Baby's dress is synthetic, in part (5)
l) Performances by one person: Crazy Lois! (4)
m) Notice a smudge (4)
n) Alarm rattles organization (7)
o) Chemotherapy drug demand by outpatient locations, initially (5)
p) Train footless wanderer (4)
q) Real characters in "Love, Rita" - bleh! (9)
r) Save broken urn (4)
s) Spit out horrible motive abruptly (5)
You look up at the ceiling. "Who are you?"
The voice responds cryptically.
Perhaps the better question to ask is... who are you?
Chain Puzzles are a novel approach to puzzle series creation, in which the solver of the previous puzzle in the chain becomes the setter of the next.