So I recently created a crossword for you guys, but I misplaced everything except my list of words! Being too busy working on movie-related puzzles to recreate it, I asked some help from my friends (you guys know how I love layers in my puzzles).

First, I had my friend Al Literation (you may remember him) write the clues based on my words.

Then I gave the vertical answers to my friend Anna Graham to write down in the crossword image.

Finally I gave the horizontal words to my amigo Juan Hamming-Distans (what's that, a stretch you say? Get over it, a theme is a theme) so he could write them in the crossword.

Anna and Juan each altered the words they were given to new words (their transformations did not alter the length of my words) and redrew the crossword so that they could make them fit together. That's what you see below. You can find Al's clues below; for each one, determine my original word and, based on whether they're down or across, figure out what Anna or Juan did to them before placing them in the crossword (there will almost always be only one possibility). All words (my original ones and the modified ones) can be found on dictionary.com



Horizontal Vertical
4. Battlewise bravery 1. Shadowy Sherlock
5. Sans sensation 2. Charismatic quality
8. Medical mesh material 3. Hired helping hand
10. Anaerobically assembled acid 6. Sprinkles salvation
12. Opposite of old origin offensive 7. Pixelated puerile protagonist
13. Pertaining preposition 9. Cosmological cloud
15. Sound system segment 11. Dull discomforts
20. Decided determination 14. Rising rocket requirement
21. Observe outlook on oracular orbs 16. Ambush assault
22. Rifle rest 17. Spear's similar
23. Devilish, deemed Dante 18. Deviate direction
25. Constant current classification 19. Accomplish again
28. Vowelless vituperation 24. Metal mixture
29. African antelope 26. These three things
30. Painlessly punish progeny 27. Scared swallow
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Oh, yeah. I know Juan. Nice guy. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ Can someone please help me understand Juan's name... $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Bailey: One Hamming Distance. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 19:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Google explained it to me. Thank you~ $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    Commented Sep 10, 2015 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ @NeedAName: Can you please confirm that the tense of "observe" in 21 across is correct? $\endgroup$
    – dpwilson
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 20:51

1 Answer 1



Here's what I've come up with so far. I'm very close; I just need to finish the upper-right corner. I was too lazy to put letters into the crossword image, so hopefully someone else can verify that this all works. (Sidenote: This is my first answer on this website, so any suggestions on proper formatting would be appreciated!)

Edit 1: Answered 1 Down.


4 Battlewise bravery

Valor → Vapor

5 Sans sensation

Dull → Dill

8 Medical mesh material

Gauze → Gauge

10 Anaerobically assembled acid

Lactic → Tactic

12 Opposite of old origin offensive

Occidental → Accidental

13 Pertaining preposition

About → Abort

15 Sound system segment

Speaker → Sneaker

20 Decided determination

Resolve → Revolve

21 Observe outlook on oracular orbs

Peer → Seer

22 Rifle rest

Bipod → Biped

23 Devilish, deemed Dante

Material → Maternal

25 Constant current classification

Direct → Direst

28 Vowelless vituperation

Tsk → Ask

29 African antelope

Oryx → Onyx

30 Painlessly punish progeny

Ground → Around


1 Shadowy Sherlock

Sleuth → Hustle

2 Charismatic quality

Charm → March

3 Hired helping hand

Aide → Idea

6 Sprinkles salvation

Anoints → Nations

7 Pixelated puerile protagonist

Link → Kiln

9 Cosmological cloud

Nebula → Unable

11 Dull discomforts

Aches → Chase

14 Rising rocket requirement

Thrust → Truths

16 Ambush assault

Raid → Arid

17 Spear's similar

Pike → Kepi

18 Deviate direction

Veer → Ever

19 Accomplish again

Redo → Rode

24 Metal mixture

Alloy → Loyal

26 These three things

Words → Sword

27 Scared swallow

Gulp → Plug

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site @dpwilson and great job on making so much progress. I edited your post to fix the numbers (the site auto formats numbered points to ascend one at a time and overrides your numbering eg 4 6 9 13 becomes 4 5 6 7). You have just 3 answers incorrect (answers to clues that is, all of your transformations are correct). As for Clue 1, think synonymous noun rather than proper noun example. $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the help, @NeedAName. I put an answer to 1 Down. Time to track down the other two incorrect ones. $\endgroup$
    – dpwilson
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't counting 1 down as incorrect since you hadn't posited an answer on that one. There are three incorrect guesses, and all are located in the horizontal clues. $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 16:50

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