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An entry in the 19th fortnightly challenge...


A Grid

grid

Some Clues

  • There are three examples of this in the finished grid
  • Two answers that touch a corner, in relation to 25A (D)
  • Contained in the rotational symmetry of the grid
  • The clue above corresponds to an answer in this direction
  • Position of this answer in the grid
  • Number of "V"s that appear in the grid
  • The number of consonants in this answer (D)
  • Direction this answer appears in
  • (25A + 22D) / 19A
  • An overly general, and thus completely useless, clue for other answers
  • How often "EIGHT" appears in the grid (A)
  • The author posits the grid constitutes this
  • The only sensible, English word that fits in this space
  • 9D in relation to the set: 17A, 15D, 25A (5)
  • Is the same as the answer directly below it
  • Word that meets itself at its last letter
  • The thing that this crossword references constantly
  • A very long anagram of 22D
  • Number of answers potentially clued by a clue that could have been, but isn't for this answer (A)
  • Is this answer here for any other reason than the author needed it for another clue?
  • (7D + 15D) o'clock
  • The first answer that crosses this isn't, but the second one is
  • Do you really need a clue for this answer?
  • Number of answers that are made up of two words (D)
  • Double the number that crosses it
  • Number of letters in this answer
  • The answer "SEVEN" in relation to this answer (4)
  • The nth word of the clue for 18D, where n is the answer to the left of this one
  • Word spelled by the letters that 5D's clue highlights

To Make Your Life Easier...

  • All down clues are in order and all across clues are in order, however those two sets have been interleaved randomly (i.e. n across is guaranteed to appear in the clue list before n+m across, but there's no way of knowing whether p down appears before or after p+q across, until you can logically deduce it)
  • Some clues have an indicator of the answer's length, or its direction in the grid (i.e. (5) indicates the answer for that clue is five letters long, and (A) indicates the answer for that clue will appear in the across direction)
  • Not really a hint or a rule, but for clarity's sake, answers use American English spelling

The Challenge

In case it's not obvious, your goal is to:

  1. Fill in the grid as you would a normal crossword
  2. Identify exactly which clue corresponds to which grid position (some clues can arguably be applied to multiple answers, but the ordering and the need for having one clue per answer will restrict it to a single unique solution)
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26
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Final crossword grid.

enter image description here

Clues with their correct numbering:

2D There are three examples of this in the finished grid
3D Two answers that touch a corner, in relation to 25A (D)
5D Contained in the rotational symmetry of the grid
6D The clue above corresponds to an answer in this direction
1A Position of this answer in the grid
4A Number of "V"s that appear in the grid
7D The number of consonants in this answer (D)
8A Direction this answer appears in
9D (25A + 22D) / 19A
10A An overly general, and thus completely useless, clue for other answers
12A How often "EIGHT" appears in the grid (A)
14A The author posits the grid constitutes this
11D The only sensible, English word that fits in this space
13D 9D in relation to the set: 17A, 15D, 25A (5)
15D Is the same as the answer directly below it
17A Word that meets itself at its last letter
16D The thing that this crossword references constantly
18D A very long anagram of 22D
19A Number of answers potentially clued by a clue that could have been, but isn't for this answer (A)
21A Is this answer here for any other reason than the author needed it for another clue?
23A (7D + 15D) o'clock
20D The first answer that crosses this isn't, but the second one is
21D Do you really need a clue for this answer?
22D Number of answers that are made up of two words (D)
25A Double the number that crosses it
27A Number of letters in this answer
24D The answer "SEVEN" in relation to this answer (4)
28A The nth word of the clue for 18D, where n is the answer to the left of this one
26D Word spelled by the letters that 5D's clue highlights

How I attacked this:

The first clue I hit upon was the "Rotational symmetry" one. Since there were clearly errors in the grid's rotational symmetry, I thought the answer to that one was likely "ERRORS". Since the first place that fit was 5D, that implied that the first two clues listed were for 2D and 3D, and that the following clue's answer must be "DOWN" which could only fit in 6D. After figuring that out, it was likely that 1A must come soon, so the "position of this answer in the grid" screamed out for being "TOP LEFT". (Of course, Alconja would have to disguise that one a bit, since otherwise it'd be a bit too obvious to have the first clue be the "position of this answer" one, so we begin with a string of Down clues.)

I then checked out what I now knew was the clue to 3D, which seemed like it must be "FACTORS" since there were two things in relation to a third number and it started with "F" and "FACTORS" fit. That meant 25A was a number with 6 letters in it. Eleven because it had to be factorable, so "TWENTY" was a strong guess for that one. That meant that "FOUR" and "FIVE" were likely to be answers touching corners somewhere.

"Thing this crossword references constantly" was always likely to be ITSELF, and the only place that really fit was for 16D, which dovetailed nicely with needing FOUR and FIVE at corners. Since the top right and bottom left were the only obvious corners with spaces for those, I could fill in 16D as "ITSELF" and 4A as FIVE, which I figured went with the clue for #Vs, and 27A as FOUR, which fit with the clue for "Number of letters in this answer".

8 Across, being _C_O__ seemed like a good fit for "Direction this answer appears in" = ACROSS, and 12A was likely to be "NEVER" since by figuring out which clues were which, it had been narrowed down to the "How often" clue area.
The second-to-last clue probably went with 28A, since the number to the left of that was "FOUR", and the only clue with an appropriate length word in the fourth position in the right range was the "ANAGRAM" one. So 28A became "ANAGRAM" which then signaled that the clue for 25A was probably the "Double the number" one, which also made 26D = TEN.

From there, 9D was pretty apparent that it would be SEVEN since it was twenty + (a three letter number) divided by something, and it was S_V__. That pointed to 22D and 19A probably being ONE and THREE respectively.

From there, just a matter of filling in the rest.

And I'll have to agree with the author's postulate clued in 14A!

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for including your logic. I see now I made a fatal error in judgement when determining difficulty - if someone is intelligent enough to work through the logical deduction to solve specific clues, then they're intelligent enough to take shortcuts that skip over large parts of that "required" logic. :) Well done. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Oct 31 '16 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Alconja Interesting. So was there a strictly defined and (nearly) linear logical progression intended? I could see a few places for a way in (ITSELF, ACROSS/DOWN, ERRORS), so does one of those give you enough to never guess? $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Nov 1 '16 at 2:24
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure that it's 100% solvable without a guess, but you can definitely get a longer way in without. Eg. from the start, the 5th and 8th clues can realistically only be two things (each), which gives a limited set of possible locations in the grid, which you can narrow down given that clues 2 & 7 are already listed as (D). Eventually that logic path gives you the answers for those two, plus known positions of the first five clues, which gives you the answer to clue 4... etc. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Nov 1 '16 at 3:14
  • $\begingroup$ You can do similar (though more limited) steps from the bottom clues up. Then you hit a wall, but have several points of very limited answers and can take a pretty confident educated guess and the next chunk crumbles. Basically any time you can confirm an across clue and a down clue near each other, you immediately limit the position of the answers of the clues before/after, which (particularly with number based answers) immediately limits the possible answers. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Nov 1 '16 at 3:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Alconja Yeah, that's exactly how I did it. Just sort of having those signposts in the clue order that mean other clues come before/after was key. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Nov 1 '16 at 3:40
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The clues are:

2d: There are three examples of this in the finished grid
3d: Two answers that touch a corner, in relation to 25A
5d: Contained in the rotational symmetry of the grid
6d: The clue above corresponds to an answer in this direction
7d: The number of consonants in this answer
9d: (25A + 22D) / 19A
11d: The only sensible, English word that fits in this space
13d: 9D in relation to the set: 17A, 15D, 25A
15d: Is the same as the answer directly below it
16d: The thing that this crossword references constantly
18d: A very long anagram of 22D
20d: The first answer that crosses this isn't, but the second one is
21d: Do you really need a clue for this answer?
22d: Number of answers that are made up of two words
24d: The answer "SEVEN" in relation to this answer
26d: Word spelled by the letters that 5D's clue highlights


1a: Position of this answer in the grid
4a: Number of "V"s that appear in the grid
8a: Direction this answer appears in
10a: An overly general, and thus completely useless, clue for other answers
12a: How often "EIGHT" appears in the grid
14a: The author posits the grid constitutes this
17a: Word that meets itself at its last letter
19a: Number of answers potentially clued by a clue that could have been, but isn't for this answer
21a: Is this answer here for any other reason than the author needed it for another clue?
23a: (7D + 15D) o'clock
25a: Double the number that crosses it
27a: Number of letters in this answer
28a: The nth word of the clue for 18D, where n is the answer to the left of this one

And the grid I've got is:

Fully filled crossword

Credit to @dcfyj in chat for 13d, 3d, and 14a

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  • $\begingroup$ I think 3D should be (answers are in rot13) snpgbef, making 4A svir. 14A will then most probably be neg, and I think 13D should be svefg. Not sure about 5D. $\endgroup$ – Wu33o Oct 31 '16 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ Those are some ... impressive mspaint skills you've got there sir. $\endgroup$ – RJFalconer Oct 31 '16 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ Nice work, Sconibulus (and to the others in chat). I'm going to give the tick to Dan though since he was the first to get a completely correct grid and his write up has more detail. $\endgroup$ – Alconja Oct 31 '16 at 23:15

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