This is an acrostic puzzle which uses cryptic clues. If you're unfamiliar with either or both of those, click the associated link.

A complete answer should give the quote, author and source, as well as solutions and explanations of the cryptic clues.

Oh, and in case you're too lazy to solve this with actual pencil and paper, I've created an interactive version that will autofill from the grid to the clues and vice versa. Have fun!

An accessible version for the visually impaired can be found here.

an image of the puzzle. for an interactive or accessible version, visit the links above


1 Answer 1


The solved puzzle spells:

It was both instantly recognizable–the standard projection produced by Gerard Mercator in the sixteenth century–and yet curiously unfamiliar., a quote from — as shown by the first letters of the answers — Simon Garfield's book, On The Map.

Clue explanations:

A. (-n)SYN(THE + TI)C
B. (IC<) + ON
C. M(-is)(_YST_)ERY (def "King's subject" refers to Stephen King (or perhaps some other author))
E. _N_E_A_T_
G. A + (-y)RROW< (the definition is interpreted as "a thing that directs [you]")
I. _FELON_ &lit
J. ETC< + _H
L. _LY RA_ &lit
M. DASHING (ddef)
N. O + C + CULT (not sure why "c" is "caught" but I'm guessing cricket; it does appear in this large list of abbreviations)
O. (NE+ED)<
P. (TUN + DRA(-hc))< ("fruitcake" in the sense of "loon")
Q. _H IN T_
R. (-r)EJECT
S. (MAT + R) + IX

  • $\begingroup$ nice job! fwiw, your guesses on C and N were exactly what I intended $\endgroup$
    – juicifer
    Commented Nov 5, 2021 at 23:49

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