13
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Inspired by this puzzle, you decide to visit your local library in the hope of checking out a copy of Ximenes on the Art of the Crossword.

Upon entering, you ask the librarian whether the library has a copy, at which point she hands you an index card from the catalog.

With the location of the book in hand, you rush headlong into the stacks.

But wait, something seems off about the card she gave you... As you wander deeper into the library, you stare at it, trying to figure out what it means.

It looks to you like a simple keyword cipher was used to encrypt all but the first line. Maybe solving the first clue will allow you to decipher the second, and so on, until the final line is revealed.

enter image description here

Text version:

 1. Head of burglary ring gets decent arrest (4)
 2. Rcbj gstgkruss gb mbob manmca jnst tny (7)
 3. Hrbbyn gyt uypltk dqtgtis phtggqjvi (6)
 4. Ukdveqr dsy inreron weq dk scers qhkbeqbe keqhsnq (5)
 5. Qmf-bfnf lksspp fqsq rl resq t pbcms (5)
 6. Rvm misdtj mpfqrq; nakk wja (5)
 7. Twqspiip tjtreqr qrnekwna ghlqn qjsc tk irejn (7)
 8. Ettqbcg kgsygr sf ton gmsna bmbq dtmsgmg bmsbjt (5)
 9. Turifsdjau rhathj havhs hmcjamp wftd brf hmps, bnjjn wf mc ojamlaei (5)
10. Wes dejckq ipjy, pskj cp tck (5)
11. Vcxqxs cx vfjescflb rdikxaqmk, amq oq ilhrsxqr? (6)
12. Rpu qesambt da reknga jjaqoua qtmpy tajjap! (5)
13. Uqsq epkno pqjso ut odsto pqn dj crjb tnqnpdop (6)
14. Kju kniyrc iurh ikplcdzuq dj rk hwdjb (7)
15. Rsqfkniw biqi cbigblv'r nukd rsfgik? (3, 3, 4)
    NS BERM GEOQE
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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you want to curb cheating simply state explicit rules. People follow them when solving puzzles. Putting only an image of text rather than text can cause a transcription error and it also makes it that those that can't see images can't attempt this puzzle. $\endgroup$ – dcfyj Jan 11 '17 at 13:32
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I have actually gone to my local library to check out a copy of Ximenes ('check out' in the informal sense anyway, it wasn't available to borrow). Sadly I was not given a puzzle like this. $\endgroup$ – aPaulT Jan 11 '17 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ Hope you don't mind I updated the progress report :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 12 '17 at 1:59
7
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Note: all ciphers are done using

Keyed Caesar, with the key being the solution of the previous clue, and then respacing the letters,

as discovered by Joe.


Clue 1 (credit Joe)

BOOK (B is head of "burglary" is B, O is "ring", OK is "decent", and "arrest" as def)

Clue 2 (credit Joe)

Realistic russian abandoned lost toy (7)

Solution:

TOLSTOY (anagram of "lost toy", "realistic Russian" as def)

Clue 3

Mugger leaves capital and small town (6)

Solution:

HAMLET ("mugger" -> HAM via cameras, capital of "leaves" is L, "and" = ET, "small town" as def)

Clue 4 (credit Techidiot)

University loses power in the stranger generator(5)

Solution:

CAMUS (CAMPUS minus "P"ower, "stranger generator" as def)

Clue 5

Sci-fi pioneer rises to the surface (5)

Solution:

WELLS (HG Wells was a sci-fi pioneer, and welling up can mean rising to the surface).

Clue 6

Two old humorists; pen name (5)

Solution:

TWAIN (Mark Twain was a pen name, and twain is an old word for two)

Clue 7 (credit Joe)

Absurd dramatist steinbeck loses mug and time (7)

Solution:

BECKETT ("absurd dramatist" as def, remove stein from "steinbeck" and add ET T for "and time")

Clue 8

Beer acidity is the point of an argentinian tale (5)

Solution:

ALEPH (ale + pH number, the Argentinian author Borges wrote a story entitled Aleph)

Clue 9 (credit Joe)

Turkish laureate leaves england with friends, following plan back (5)

Solution:

PAMUK ("Turkish laureate" as def, "england with friends" = UK following "plan" or MAP backwards)

Clue 10 (credit Rubio)

Within germany, a ten gauge (5)

Solution:

INDEX (within = IN, Germany = DE, ten = X, "gauge" as def)

Clue 11

Where the wild things came from, for pranksters? (6)

Solution:

EGGERS (Dave Eggers wrote The Wild Things, and a prankster might throw eggs) - thanks @Will!

Clue 12

Crusade of the campbellesque storyteller! (5)

Solution:

QUEST ("crusade" as def, hidden in "campbellesQUE STorysteller") - thanks @Volatility!

Clue 13 (credit Rubio)

Bad actor stands beside star in hunger artist (6)

Solution:

HAMSUN ("bad actor" = HAM, star = SUN, Knut Hamsun wrote Hunger)

Clue 14 (credit Rubio)

One of myth metamorphizes into a wing (7)

Solution:

FACTION (the one/I of "myth" or FICTION metamorphoses into A, "wing" as def).

Clue 15

Strange where chekhov's gun is taken? (3, 3, 4)

Solution:

OFF THE WALL (ddef)

Final answer

QUIET PLEASE.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Damnit, I solved 6 at the same time as you :P $\endgroup$ – Joe Jan 11 '17 at 14:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The explanation for 7 is (-stein)BECK + ET + T. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Jan 11 '17 at 14:29
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Explanation for 9 -- England with friends = UK, plan = MAP, so UK following MAP "back" gives PAMUK $\endgroup$ – Roger Jan 11 '17 at 14:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Regarding 3, a ham may "mug" for the camera. $\endgroup$ – Herb Wolfe Jan 11 '17 at 15:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @HerbWolfe great catch! Given that, the whole clue becomes mugger = HAM, leaves capital = L, and = ET $\endgroup$ – Roger Jan 11 '17 at 15:36
11
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Partial answer so far:

Clue 1

BOOK
- Head of "burglary" is B
- "ring" is O
- "decent" is OK
- if a policeman BOOKs someone, he's arresting them (slang)

Clue 2

TOLSTOY
Take the clue and decrypt it via the Keyed Caesar cipher, using BOOK as the key, then re-space the letters to get the clue:
Realistic russian abandoned lost toy (7)
"lost toy" is an anagram of TOLSTOY, a Russian author

Clue 3

Decrypt the clue as before to get:
Mugger leaves capital and small town (6)

4+5 solved by Techidiot, 6+7 solved by rand.

Clue 7

Absurd dramatist steinbeck loses mug and time (7)
BECKETT
Steinbeck loses mug = BECK (stein is a beer mug)
and = ET
time = T

Clue 8

Beer acidity is the point of an Argentinian tale (5)
ALEPH (book by Borges - ale + pH)

Clue 9

Turkish laureate leaves England with friends, following plan back (5)
PAMUK
England with friends = UK
Plan = MAP (back - PAM)

Clue 10

Within Germany, a ten gauge (5)
INDEX
Within = IN
Germany = DE
Ten = X

Clue 11

Where the wild things came from, for pranksters (6)

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 8 is ALEPH (there's a story by Borges called "The Aleph"). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 11 '17 at 14:24
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan stop it! First rand, now you - I just got it and came back here to update my answer xD Thanks haha $\endgroup$ – Joe Jan 11 '17 at 14:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Oh, sorry :-). (But not very sorry.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 11 '17 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ Best I can come up with for 11 is JOKERS, since they're pranksters and they might be 'wild' (in a card game). But I'm not sure how the coding bit works so can't check... $\endgroup$ – aPaulT Jan 11 '17 at 23:28
5
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Partial answer:

10.

Within germany, a ten gauge (5)
INDEX (Within[IN] germany[DE] a ten[X]; gauge[def.])

(for the record, the following were found independently...)

11.

Where the wild things came from, for pranksters (6)
EGGERS (Where The Wild Things came from[ddef]; pranksters[def.])

12.

Crusade of the campbellesque story teller! (5)
QUEST (Crusade [def.]; of the campbellesque story teller)
  I feel like there's more here than this, but not getting it.

13.

Bad actor stands beside star in hunger artist (6)
HAMSUN (Bad actor [HAM] stands beside [pad] *Hunger artist [def.])

14.

One of myth metamorphizes into a wing (7)
FACTION (One of myth [FAC (?!)] metamorphizes into [TION*]; a wing [def.])

15.

Strange where chekhov's gun is taken? (3, 3, 4)
OFF THE WALL (Strange [def.]; where chekhov's gun is taken? [ddef.])

FINAL

Quiet Please

That librarian is annoying. Just sayin'.

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4
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Clue 4

Mugger leaves capital and small town (6)
HAMLET
Applying the cipher with this we get
University loses power in the stranger generator(5)

Clue 5

University loses power in the stranger generator(5)
CAMUS
Applying the cipher with this we get
Sci-fi pioneer rises to the surface(5)

Clue 6

Sci-fi pioneer rises to the surface(5)
Wells
Two old humorists; pen name(5)

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2
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  1. Crusade of the campbellesque story teller! (5)
    QUEST
    Joseph Campbell wrote 'The hero with a thousand faces'. A campbellesque story would be a hero's journey, in which the hero always goes on a quest.

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