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

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

As always, 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 link above

  • $\begingroup$ With all the Spooner clues, I was hoping the quotation would be from him! $\endgroup$ Apr 17 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


The finished quote is:

'My manager told me not to swing at balls out of the strike zone. He said, “Yogi, next time you’re up, think about what you’re doing.” I struck out in three pitches!' It's a quote from Yogi Berra's The Yogi Book, expanding on his other famous quote "You can't think and hit at the same time!".

The cryptic clues resolve as follows (the definitions are in italics):

A. Spooner's kicked out of hoops tourney that was organized for children = YOUTH = HOOPS TOURNEY without the letters of SPOONER anagrammed ("organized")
B. Eleven nearly perish in Australia - initial estimate to become more positive = OXIDIZE = XI (eleven)+ DI(e) in OZ+E(estimate)
C. Something to prevent eavesdroppers will sound harsh? = GUTTURAL = Homophone of "gutter'll"; a gutter prevents things dropping from eaves
D. Stylish worker entertaining Spooner's first time - and second = INSTANT = IN (stylish) ANT (worker) containing S(pooner) and T(ime)
E. The author often fielded these questions about beginning of novel? = BUNTS = BUTS (questions) about N(novel)
F. To make things more confusing, Spooner perhaps takes first of consonants in both ends of exchange and flips it all around = ENCODE = DON (Spooner perhaps) taking C(consonants) inside E(xchang)E, flipped around
G. Co-tenants (two old, married men) split payments = ROOMMATES = OO (two old)+MM (married men) splitting RATES (payments)
H. According to Spooner, color of light is what determines which cars get to go and which have to wait = RIGHT OF WAY = Spoonerism of WHITE OF RAY
I. Allowed to track harmful (but oddly invisible) bit of magical jewelry = AMULET = LET (allowed) tracking (h)A(r)M(f)U(l)
J. It's about the money, for Spooner = TITHE = IT reversed (about) + THE
K. Spooner's a lot closer to God? That's crazy = HAYWIRE = Spoonerism of WAY HIGHER
L. Cited "disordered order" = EDICT = Anagram ("disordered") of CITED
M. You leave on vacation for the holidays = YULE = Y(o)U L(eav)E ("on vacation" means "upon emptying the insides")
N. Critic of Spooner internally struggling with more recent additions to scripture, getting quiet = OPPONENT = POONE (Spooner, internally) anagrammed ("struggling") with NT (New Testament), getting P (music notation for quiet)
O. Lesbian, perhaps one who doesn't get out much, grabs Spooner's behind = GREEK (one from Lesbos, perhaps) = GEEK grabbing (spoone)R
P. Light outside the visible range is an integral part of human vision = IRIS = IR +IS
Q. You might use this to fasten shirts or handbags, but not wheels = BUTTON = BUT NOT anagrammed ("wheels")
R. Bit of writing from O. Henry banned in Georgia = OMEGA = H (Henry) deleted from HOME (in)+ GA (abbrev. for Georgia)
S. Violently shook quiet city = OSHKOSH = anagram ("violently") of SHOOK + SH ("Quiet!")
T. One shy of a power - of two positions in "Kinkering Congs Their Titles Take" interwoven = KNIT = Letters in "Kinkering Congs Their Titles Take" in positions that are one less than a power of two (i.e., positions 1,3,7 and 15). Tricky!

Very well-constructed puzzle! There are plenty of nods to the theme and the answer hidden throughout the puzzle, like:

1. The clues are themed around Spooner, another famous "Mr. Malaprop". The quote in the last clue, "Kinkering Congs Their Titles Take" is often said to be from Spooner.
2. As @GentlePurpleRain points out, the first letters of the answers spell out the source of the quote.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ very quick, and also very correct! nicely done :) $\endgroup$
    – juicifer
    Apr 16 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ Might be worth explicitly mentioning that the source of the quotation is spelled out by the first letters of each answer. $\endgroup$ Apr 17 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain that's brilliant, hadn't noticed that at all! Editing it in. $\endgroup$
    – Ankoganit
    Apr 17 at 15:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Ankoganit That's usually how these acrostic puzzles work (hence the name Acrostic)... :P $\endgroup$ Apr 17 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ @GentlePurpleRain ah, probably should've finished reading the linked rules before starting to solve xD $\endgroup$
    – Ankoganit
    Apr 17 at 15:56

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