Elliot and Terry used to be friends, until the fateful day when they played a round of that simple, unassuming game. Let’s just say that afterward there were no hugs and kisses to be found between the two...


Give out punishment
Protagonists of many YA novels
Harbor protector


Name that fades out of existence?
What atoms desire
Sugar or red item

What game did they play? Who went first? And who eventually won the match, thus ruining their friendship?


I think the one who went first was


and the winner was

also Elliot.

They played

Tick-tack-toe with "E" and "T". (This is clued by "hugs and kisses", which refers to the use of "xoxo" in letters.)


a1. Give out punishment = METE
a2. Protagonists of many YA novels = TEEN
a3. Harbor protector = JETTY
d1. Name that fades out of existence? = PETER
d2. What atoms desire = OCTETS
d3. Sugar or red item = BEET

Finished grid:

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You got it right! For A2 (and I guess D2 as well), there’s a small correction that should be made in order to make it fit the clue better. And there’s another hint in the title, can you spot it? $\endgroup$
    – HTM
    May 13 '19 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ @PiIsNot3 Hmm... maybe this? $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    May 13 '19 at 8:25
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... rot13(abhtugf naq pebffrf -> abhtug pebff -> abg pebff)? $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    May 13 '19 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that was what I was going for; perhaps I made it a little too difficult to spot. Anyway, I’ll delete my previous comments and wait a bit before accepting this answer :) $\endgroup$
    – HTM
    May 13 '19 at 8:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That name is also a verb. $\endgroup$
    – Ben J
    May 13 '19 at 17:22

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