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Another cryptic crossword, with a twist! Each 2x2 group of yellow tiles forms a room, which are each assigned a number via the Roman numerals found in a room's lower-right corner. More details about them below:

Cryptic Crossword: Askew

enter image description here

Cryptic Clues

Across

2. Criminal leaders, commonplace amongst thieves and spies, finally departed and wept. (5)
4. The reader at last: torn, wrung, broke, poor, and with fewer years to their name. (7)
7. Grecian mathematics, cut short, meets German stone. (5)
9. Salt variety mopes about. (5)
11. Literary work has no beginning to describe romantic flower. (4)
13. Woodwind instruments' tests includes a final crescendo and forgoes the first two parts. (5)
15. I do it angrily like a moron. (5)
17. The greenhouse was split in two; the eastern half became my home. (3)
18. State a puzzling enigma without an initial guess. (5)
20. Dreaming period is merely the back half. (3 abbr.)
22. Newton is a cooler unit. (5)
24. Brutally fatal, with you and without a mistake. (5)
26. Typical disease? (3 abbr.)
28. I heard a drain was briefly out of order. (1,4)
30. Japanese city secretly scrubbed off. (3)
32. A face to the crowd. (5)
34. Join together to untie a knot. (5)
36. Miso vegetables of renown cut first. (4)
37. Iron forged after the second morning for a legendary hunter. (5)
39. A peak time, for you instead of me. (5)
41. Tart vegetable is, primarily, really hearty combined with a bend and a thorn. (7)
42. Award "of sincere consideration and recognition", which must be shortened. (5)

Down

1. A poem of deifying exaltation, when taken at face value. (3)
2. Bearer of the telecommunicator. (7)
3. Encouraged to have affixed it with no price. (5)
4. Affirmative - no eye patch can hide it. (3)
5. Count Elmer's skin removal was painless. (4)
6. Stir around our compass's direction. (5)
8. Sister to 12D: Symbol of change. (5)
10. Confusingly, zoos consume energy to produce slimes. (5)
12. Sister to 8D: Symbol of summer. (5)
14. New rule: a fudge diet must include a fruity vitamin. (5)
16. Removes redundancy in gloves following the first order. (5)
19. Cuts giggles, removes the beginning, and edits out the short hospital scene. (5)
21. Actor Zac swaps the initials of his feathery plant as it absorbs oxygen. (5)
23. Was assigned work with no time remaining, as requested. (5)
25. Alert about the future. (5)
27. Report on standard units found in medical administration, before initial release. (7)
29. Short member of positive set puts time into tiny prefix. (3 abbr., 2 abbr.)
31. The trickster is formed from the elder's heart, half of your soul, and the reaper's legs. (5)
33. Two-part performances are battles without a losing side; they take time instead. (5)
35. Shake up the bottom, remove to make a grave. (4)
38. Executive finance handler manipulates mob. (3 abbr.)
40. Acknowledge that the mafia leader's back. (3)

Rooms

The clues below do not behave like cryptic clues. Rather, each clue contains one or more definitions of words that can be formed by the letters found in the room. For example, if a room contains H,S,P, and I, its clue may include definitions for both SHIP and HIPS. All answers below are four letters long, and the letters may be arranged in any manner on the grid.

I. Pushed to the brink.
II. Urinated a long way down.
III. Explosively loud.
IV. Kernel of letters.
V. Calendar anchor to take a stance and passes away.
VI. Submicroscopic trench.
VII. Wave function.
VIII. Felines' routines causes roster to be shooed away.
IX. Notoriety.
X. Finally, season muscles through a thin opening.
XI. Plummeted.
XII. Guy.
XIII. Reverse noodles.
XIV. Habitually broke.
XV. Singular satellite.
XVI. Mucus? A lot of negatives.

Bonus Challenges

After completing the grid, you should be able to answer the questions below. However, you are not required to solve the Bonus Challenges to have an answer be accepted.

Part A. The completed grid forms a maze; the correct path through it will pass through 10 rooms. The ends of the path lie on the "1" and "30" tiles of the crossword. How does it work and what is the solution?

Part B. Using the letters on the perimeter, how would you describe yourself?

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  • $\begingroup$ Can we get a start and end point for the maze? $\endgroup$ Aug 12 at 20:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sure; I've edited the post to include additional information to help out solving the maze. $\endgroup$
    – hazilnut
    Aug 12 at 21:20
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Across:

2. Criminal leaders, commonplace amongst thieves and spies, finally departed and wept. (5) CR+IE+D
4. The reader at last: torn, wrung, broke, poor, and with fewer years to their name. (7) YOU+N_G_E_R
7. Grecian mathematics, cut short, meets German stone. (5) GEO_metry + DE
9. Salt variety mopes about. (5) EPSOM*
11. Literary work has no beginning to describe romantic flower. (4) pROSE
13. Woodwind instruments' tests includes a final crescendo and forgoes the first two parts. (5) pr_OB(O)ES
15. I do it angrily like a moron. (5) IDIOT*
17. The greenhouse was split in two; the eastern half became my home. (3) DEN (gar DEN)
18. State a puzzling enigma without an initial guess. (5) MAINE (ENI -g MA)*
20. Dreaming period is merely the back half. (3 abbr.) REM (MER<ely)
22. Newton is a cooler unit. (5) ISA+AC
24. Brutally fatal, with you and without a mistake. (5) FAULT (FATAL* A/U sub)
26. Typical disease? (3 abbr.) STD (dd of abbreviations) -nice!
28. I heard a drain was briefly out of order. (1,4) A SINK (Async homophone)
30. Japanese city secretly scrubbed off. (3)scrubb_ED O_ff
32. A face to the crowd. (5) ASIDE - A SIDE, def: Actor speaking to the audience)
34. Join together to untie a knot. (5) UNITE*
36. Miso vegetables of renown cut first. (4) UDOS -k_UDOS (Thanks STIV!!) 37. Iron forged after the second morning for a legendary hunter. (5) O + IRON
39. A peak time, for you instead of me. (5) MO(-me|+U)NT
41. Tart vegetable is, primarily, really hearty combined with a bend and a thorn. (7) R_H
+U+ BARB
42. Award "of sincere consideration and recognition", which must be shortened. (5) O_S_C_A_R

Down

1. A poem of deifying exaltation, when taken at face value. (3)O D E
2. Bearer of the telecommunicator. (7) CARRIER dd.
3. Encouraged to have affixed it with no price. (5) p_EGGED
4. Affirmative - no eye patch can hide it. (3) e_YE P_atch
5. Count Elmer's skin removal was painless. (4) NUMB ????
6. Stir around our compass's direction. (5) ROU*+SE
8. Sister to 12D: Symbol of change. (5) DELTA
10. Confusingly, zoos consume energy to produce slimes. (5) OOZ(E)S*
12. Sister to 8D: Symbol of summer. (5) SIGMA
14. New rule: a fudge diet must include a fruity vitamin. (5) EDI(C)T*
16. Removes redundancy in gloves following the first order. (5) O + MIT -t S ??? Removes appears to be both wordplay and def.
19. Cuts giggles, removes the beginning, and edits out the short hospital scene. (5) s_NICK_er_S
21. Actor Zac swaps the initials of his feathery plant as it absorbs oxygen. (5) EFRON (FERN*, O)
23. Was assigned work with no time remaining, as requested. (5) t_ASKED
25. Alert about the future. (5) LATER*
27. Report on standard units found in medical administration, before initial release. (7) SI (standard units) in DOSE (med. admin) DOS(SI)E + R_ Thanks Stiv!! 29. Short member of positive set puts time into tiny prefix. (3 abbr., 2 abbr.) NA(T)NO - NATural NO.
31. The trickster is formed from the elder's heart, half of your soul, and the reaper's legs. (5) DUPER
33. Two-part performances are battles without a losing side; they take time instead. (5) DUETS (DUELS with L/T sub)
35. Shake up the bottom, remove to make a grave. (4) TOMB (BOTTOM* -TO)
38. Executive finance handler manipulates mob. (3 abbr.) OMB (MOB*) US Budget office
40. Acknowledge that the mafia leader's back. (3) NOD<

ROOMS

I. Pushed to the brink. GEED (cowboy) EDGE
II. Urinated a long way down. PEED DEEP
III. Explosively loud. BOOM
IV. Kernel of letters. SEED ????
V. Calendar anchor to take a stance and passes away. IDES SIDE DIES
VI. Submicroscopic trench. ATOM MOAT
VII. Wave function. SINE
VIII. Felines' routines causes roster to be shooed away. CATS ACTS CAST SCAT
IX. Notoriety. FAME
X. Finally, season muscles through a thin opening. LAST SALT LATS SLAT
XI. Plummeted. SANK
XII. Guy. DUDE
XIII. Reverse noodles. UNDO UDON
XIV. Habitually broke. ROTE TORE?
XV. Singular satellite. MONO MOON
XVI. Mucus? A lot of negatives. SNOT, TONS, NOTS

GRID:

enter image description here

Bonus: Part B:

DONE

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You have all rooms solved correctly. Calendar anchor refers to rot13(ubj gur vqrf bs n zbagu jrer cvaarq nf gur rknpg zvqqyr bs zbagu ol gur napvrag Ebznaf, naq bgure qngrf jrer gura pnyphyngrq sebz gung inyhr. Sbe fbzr ernfba, gur jbeq "napube" pnzr gb zvaq sbe ubj vg npgf nf n svkrq cbvag bs ersrerapr.) $\endgroup$
    – hazilnut
    Aug 12 at 19:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For the two you're missing: rot13(36N vf HQBF = (-x)HQBF naq 27Q vf QBFFVRE = QBF(FV)R+E(-ryrnfr)) Miso vegetables And hopefully now you're rot13(QBAR)! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Aug 12 at 20:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ One thought about the maze: rot13(Gur sbhe yrggref nebhaq gur bhgfvqr nyfb nccrne va gur 2k2 'ebbzf' jvgu n uvtu serdhrapl. Vg'f cbffvoyr gb genpr n yvar gung bayl tbrf guebhtu terl-fcnpr naq 9 (abg 10) bs gur ebbzf hfvat bayl fcnprf pbagnvavat gubfr 4 yrggref. Gurer frrzf vafhssvpvrag ybtvp urer sbe guvf gb or gur nafjre, ohg gur erny zrgubq znl unir fbzrguvat va pbzzba jvgu guvf nccebnpu...) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Aug 12 at 22:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Additionally rot13(nyy 4 bs gur 'rqtr jbeqf' ner ragveryl pbzcbfrq bs guvf yrggre frg, cyhf gur fgnegvat jbeq BQR vf gur fnzr nf gur raqvat jbeq RQB ohg va erirefr.) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Aug 12 at 22:41
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 4 Down: AHZORE - RE (Ryzre’f fxva) $\endgroup$
    – Erick Wong
    Aug 13 at 0:09

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