9
$\begingroup$

I was solving a crossword in my local newspaper when I came across a clue that made no sense:

19 Across: Be inappropriate

On the face of it, there is nothing odd with this clue until I realised: 19 Across didn't exist!

The only other puzzle on the page which could explain this printing error was a Find-A-Word, which I thought I already solved, but upon further investigation there was a puzzling answer, which caused me to edit my solution for the find-a-word...

Can you find the hidden solution?

Puzzle

Transcription of puzzle for copying into a spreadsheet and/or those unable to use the image.

Grid:

P A O F F I N S I D E
H I G H L I G H T S R
T H N Y U E R D F A B
J R I N F F A T R O O
U D G A F I B I S S B
J E G N I B B O S K L
U D A R E E A C H O S
B O L U S T B M E E M
E L F R T E L U D A A
S R M U D N E D D A R
O E H I T C H A Y J M

Words, presented in columns under the grid:

ADDENDUM FLAGGING IBIS
ODED FLUFFIEST INSIDE
BAMBOO GRABBABLE JUJUBES
BOB HIGHLIGHTS OFF
SOBBING HITCH SMARM

Hint:

UNCOPYRIGHTABLE and DERMATOGLYPHICS both appeared lengthwise in the crossword, what an odd case...

Hint 2:

Despite BAMBOO being the obvious answer to the find-a-word, the solution is actually a different word...

$\endgroup$
0
4
+100
$\begingroup$

Solved the wordsearch, but found something interesting...

One word is missing from the wordsearch, which is BAMBOO. I wonder if that has anything to do with the puzzle...

I'm wondering if anyone can build off from what I've done to solve the puzzle!

Edit:

I realised that the 2 consecutive Os above the dark line are the only ones, but the Bs are above and belo2. Which makes me think of some sort of cipher we need to get BAMBOO. But the question of 19 Across might be a mistyping of 9 Across, because if you count the 9th column, you get the column right next to the double Os. Interesting...

Edit number 2:

OP has clarified that the answer was indeed BAMBOO, the only answer remaining. Which is perhaps more trivial than puzzling. But that means that all my theories above are incorrect. Please accept my humblest apology.

$\endgroup$
7
  • $\begingroup$ The letter distribution here is very peculiar... $\endgroup$ – aschepler Feb 26 at 2:56
  • $\begingroup$ Is it? I don't see anything wrong about it, except the fact that rot13(onzobb vfa'g va gur chmmyr...) $\endgroup$ – Anonymus 25 Feb 26 at 3:00
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, I did the same and didn't post it because it seemed too trivial to post as a partial. I agree that the letter distribution is suspicious, though... lots of repeated letters in the words. I also find it suspicious that ODED and SOBBING are out of alphabetical order in the word list. (Absolutely no clue what that could imply though.) $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Feb 26 at 3:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi I also find interesting that rot13(rnpu bs gur jbeqf (vapyhqvat ONZOBB) unf ng yrnfg 2 fnzr yrggref (abg arprffnevyl nqwnprag) sebz gur SVEFG CNEG bs gur nycunorg (v.r. 13 yrggref sebz N gb Z) - fb znlor vg unf fbzrguvat gb qb jvgu EBG13 pvcure). $\endgroup$ – trolley813 Mar 1 at 20:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ An interesting extra on top of @trolley813 's comment is rot13(Gur gjb "pebffjbeq" jbeqf va gur uvag unir ab qhcyvpngr yrggref ng nyy, rira gubhtu gurl ner dhvgr ybat.) $\endgroup$ – Graylocke Mar 5 at 7:45
4
$\begingroup$

Could the hidden solution be

Lust?

Explanation:

I found this solution by simply counting 19 rows: 11 down, and then starting again from the top, another 8. When you go across on the 8th row, you get the word lust.

Definition:

Lust is defined as: usually intense or unbridled sexual desire.

Source:

lust definition

19 Across: Be Inappropriate:

This definition fits the puzzle because when someone is being lustful, they are almost always being inappropriate.

Further explanation:

My guess is that the word search was just to throw off the solvers when all we really had to do was search for 19 across.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, I can't believe I didn't notice that while making the puzzle. My solution is a bit more complicated, but you definitely deserve that +1! $\endgroup$ – TakingNotes Mar 6 at 1:05
1
$\begingroup$

This is certainly wrong but I'll throw it out there...

As noted, the wordsearch is missing the word

BAMBOO

The tag 'wordplay' leads us to

BAMBOOZLE

Meaning

To confuse, frustrate, or throw off (be inappropriate), all of which the OP has done by presenting us with 15 words with doubled letters and hints without doubled letters, which in the end have nothing to do with the solution. After hours following red herrings in search of the meaning of these doubled letters, we suddenly realize we have been bamboozled. ; )

$\endgroup$
5
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Incorrect, sadly. There was actual effort put into this puzzle... $\endgroup$ – TakingNotes Mar 8 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ @takingnotes I got 'mockable' using another path. Also wrong? $\endgroup$ – Amoz May 9 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ Sadly, yes. Glad to see someone revisiting this puzzle though! $\endgroup$ – TakingNotes May 9 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ @takingnotes And I assume it's not "flagging" either? Got that too. $\endgroup$ – Amoz May 9 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ I'll tell you that it isn't any of the words that are in the word search to be found. $\endgroup$ – TakingNotes May 10 at 5:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.