This puzzle is inspired by Matt’s excellent Cryptic Sucrosswordoku.

Below is a sudoku as well as some cryptic clues. The clues lack enumeration and are in no relevant order. The solutions to the clues can be assembled into a path-connected rotationally symmetric crossword inside the sudoku, with each solution beginning in a square whose number is the same as the clue’s enumeration (i.e. the solution's length). Given this information, you should be able to deduce the possible enumerations and the form of the crossword itself. Your job is to assemble the crossword atop the sudoku.

(When stating the solution to the sudoku, briefly describe the strategy you used to find it.)

enter image description here

  1. An adorable accent
  2. An individual who returns an angry speech gets even
  3. A sleigh carries a ring of flowers
  4. Black sheep escape players
  5. Do-gooder heads in, down on club
  6. Fellow with ugly lace put in chains
  7. Give a mischief-making child a disgusting rat
  8. Harmonious type of character
  9. Some strays consumed half-nude lads and lasses in military school
  10. Star spurns every other character in it
  11. Starts to laugh oddly in an auditorium so all can hear
  12. Takes spoils from plenty; receives nothing
  • $\begingroup$ No enumeration will make this very hard $\endgroup$
    – dcfyj
    Feb 27, 2017 at 16:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @dcfyj There was a similar one. $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Feb 27, 2017 at 16:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @dcfyj: It wasn't as hard as you'd think. You can deduce the grid from the sudoku, even without any cryptic clues solved. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Feb 27, 2017 at 16:11

3 Answers 3


(I disagree with the other answer. The sudoku is solvable, though there is an extremely hard step involving removing a candidate 7 from a cell. We don't have to guess.)


enter image description here

And here are a couple of steps to how I got there:

enter image description here
enter image description here


Here is the only possible grid (with 180 degree rotational symmetry):

enter image description here


Now we have the enumerations: 8, 3, 7, 5, 6, 7, 5, 5, 9, 6, 3, 8

All cryptics have been solved:

1 from Volatility: (5)


2 from Volatility: (8)


3 from dcfyj: (3)

LEI - sleigh

4 from Roger: (7)

OUTCAST (escape = OUT, players = CAST

5 from Rubio and MOehm: (8)


6: (7)

MANACLE - man (fellow) + anagrammed (ugly) lace - means to chain

7 from Roger: (6)

IMPART (IMP + anag. RAT)

8 from Gareth McCaughan: (9)

CONSONANT - double def

9 from Roger: (6)


10: (3)

SUN - star, every other character of spurns

11 from Volatility: (5)


12 from Volatility: (5)


And therefore the crossword completed looks like:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Good job on the sudoku! I assume you're referring to removing a candidate 7 from Column 3, Row 5 (and/or Column 8, Row 9). $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Feb 28, 2017 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ Now that the sudoku is solved, you should be able to deduce the shape of the crossword and thus discover the possible clue enumerations. $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Feb 28, 2017 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ Remember that the symmetry of a crossword grid is rotational (either two-fold or four-fold), not reflectional. (Actually, I don't see any symmetry in the grid you linked to.) Also, words begin on cells which express their length. I don't see how your proposed grid satisfies this. $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Feb 28, 2017 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ Also, crosswords typically do not contain 2-letter words. $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Feb 28, 2017 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... "a crossword grid is rotational (either two-fold or four-fold)" $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Feb 28, 2017 at 17:41

Partial answer:

4 - Black sheep escape players (7)

OUTCAST (escape = OUT, players = CAST)

6 - Fellow with ugly lace put in chains (7)


7 - Give a mischief-making child a disgusting rat (6)

IMPART (IMP + anag. RAT)

9 - Some strays consumed half-nude lads and lasses in military school (6)



Partial answer:

How to solve the sudoku:

We can easily fill in the following:

Part one

I got stuck. So, I had to guess a number. I tried adding a 9 on A9 but this lead to a non-valid sudoku.

So, I added a 7 there (marked red). However, I got stuck a second time. The easiest number to continue is another 7 in the middle left box (B6). I was then able to complete it. Part two

I can't really solve those crypto's yet.. :/

  • $\begingroup$ The sudoku can be solved without guessing, but is hard. Take a look at your first image and ask yourself what can possibly appear at Column 6, Row 2. This situation is called a naked single. This puzzle also involves other advanced techniques... $\endgroup$
    – DyingIsFun
    Feb 27, 2017 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ You are right. I however solved it by guessing and got the exact same outcome. Now for the even harder part... $\endgroup$ Feb 28, 2017 at 5:30

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