I've been wanting to do another crossword puzzle. But not one
that is too simple, one that is a little hard. Equal parts hard to
simple, you know what I mean? Not a cryptic-type format, those
have been so done, and not a Regex-type crossword, also. I want to
do one that is different, but the same, yet demanding, and yet not.
"Is it even possible, at this stage?" I asked. Certainly!
Then I told myself, of course it is. I believe in constant hope.
Maybe I should shut up and just start at this point.

enter image description here



4: {βœ”,07} Force that moves a compass needle  
5: {βœ”,02} I'm a Capricorn, but my sister is a different line  
7: {🚫,01} HBO show that has same name as '70s movie  
8: {βœ”,04} The opposite of "Confederates" during US Civil War  
10:{βœ”,10} The Star that Doesn't Move  


1: {🚫,03} Really bright star that sometimes shows up at dawn?
2: {🚫,05} The closest ocean if you live in Kinshasa, DRC  
3: {βœ”,08} Direct (a book, etc.) toward interests of a particular group  
6: {βœ”,09} The closest ocean if you live in Indianapolis, Indiana, US  
7: {βœ”,06} Thin crescent at dusk  
9: {βœ”,11} Sunday after full moon that's after the March equinox, usually  

So the question (of course!) is:

What is my favorite kind of Bird?

Hint #1:

This puzzle has 5 distinct, significant elements:

1. Opening inane commentary (in code block form)
2. Graphic puzzle grid
3. Instruction
4. Clues for Across and Down
5. Puzzle Question

Hint #2:

Each of the Clue/Answer pairs is indicative of something. (See Instructions)

Hint #3:

The clues have been discovered, and the puzzle has been filled out correctly. What's left to discover is:
a) significance of numbers/symbols in clues,
b) significance of instruction, and
c) significance of the opening remarks.

Hint #4:

I've looked everywhere for another hint to give: I looked North, East, West... Maybe I should just give up at this point.

  • $\begingroup$ I am not at all sure I understand any of what's going on here, but is it possible that 7d should say 07 instead of 06? (Note: I haven't made the most obvious class of error here.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 30 '19 at 12:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan Um, why? I double checked for the 4th time (octuple-checked?). All numbers, etc. are correct. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Sep 30 '19 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't want to say why for fear of spoilers. I'll explain later if you remind me. Thanks for checking! $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 30 '19 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ Ugh, all my attempts at extraction are failing and I should really be getting some work done :-). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 30 '19 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ Where can I send you a 80% solved image to cross verify? $\endgroup$ – m4n0 Sep 30 '19 at 13:36

Legorhin solved the crossword clues already. Here's how to find the favorite bird:

The commentary says to "start at this point", so you start at the period after the word "point". Then, use the crossword answers in the order of the number after the checkmark/not-sign, to move one letter at a time in a direction alluded to by the answer (see below). As you move through the letters, keep the letters with the check marks and ignore the letters with the "not" symbols, and you get:

1. West (Westworld) = t
2. North (Tropic of Cancer is in the north) = c
3. East (Venus is the "eastern star") = o
4. North (Yankees were the north in the civil war) = a
5. West (Atlantic is west of Kinshasa) = t
6. West (Waxing moon appears in the west) = r
7. North (Magnetic north) = d
8. East (Orient is the far east) = i
9. East (Atlantic is east of Indiana) = n
10. North (Polaris is the north star) = a
11. East (Easter) = l

This spells out cardinal, the favorite bird. This fits the theme because the four cardinal directions are used to find the solution.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice work :) You should probably mention the other meaning of the bird's name since it is so appropriate (and thus deliberate) here! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Oct 15 '19 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ Correct on all counts! I added Legorhin's answer as a link. $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Oct 15 '19 at 20:17

taking a stab at it:

The Kea


WANING->WAXING take the 1st letter of the solution marked 01, 2nd of 02 solution etc... (mod length)
remove the letters from 🚫 solutions
reorder: LARGE KIA
Kea is a large species of parrot which is pronounced "kia"

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think you should replace that first N with an X in 7D... $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Oct 1 '19 at 3:17
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @El-Guest WANIXG? ;) $\endgroup$ – LeppyR64 Oct 1 '19 at 10:57
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    $\begingroup$ @Legorhin one is visible at dusk, and the other is not $\endgroup$ – Matt Oct 1 '19 at 14:46
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    $\begingroup$ Some of the answers share their first 3 letters with common bird names: rot 13(jnkvat -> jnkjvat, pnapre -> pnanel, bevrag -> bevbyr, zntargvp -> zntcvr) coincidence or not? $\endgroup$ – Levieux Oct 9 '19 at 13:01
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe. There are also 11 sentence ending symbols in the rambling at the beginning, so that probably has something to do with the actual solution too. $\endgroup$ – Legorhin Oct 9 '19 at 14:30

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