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Could you guys help? I bought a new fancy vehicle last month, and it came pre-fueled. All was well and good until a friend of mine asked if I could spare some gas. I had an extra FUEL TANK, so I poured the contents into his car and... weird. That was enough gas to fill my car, but not for his. Something is missing! He seemed to have an alternate model of my old car, but with different components and mechanisms!

When his car wouldn't work, he asked me about my new one.

"Oh, I'm familiar with that model!" he said. "There are several sorts of fuel that would make that puppy go. Make sure you stay away from name brands, though."

I chuckled; "I always do. I've been going for the Army of God variant recently. Now, let's take a look at your car..."

I popped the hood and took off the GAS CAPs, then I noticed the issue. Similar to my previous car, his car needed an extra bit of something to get going. But differently than my old car, his was incredibly one-dimensional.

Unfortunately, all I had was a toolbox, my laptop, and my lunch.

Do I have anything to mix with the fuel that might get his car going?

Note: Some of the words aren't necessarily Scrabble-legal, but they are all approved Crossword Clues, as per the official cryptic crossword dictionary.


Okay, it's been a day, here's a clue.

CLUE 1

Similarly to the previous puzzle, we're working on a word puzzle. Unlike last time, the new car only has excess letters spilling on one pair of sides - it's a 4x4 square with only two columns of given words (2x4 of unknowns). Your FUEL TANK only holds eight letters.

CLUE 2

Some of the words are a little obscure - but I do use the "Army of God" variant, which might clue you in on the two vertical clues in my tank.

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    $\begingroup$ This post has made me realize starting a post with "Hey" gets autodeleted! That's very silly, and ruined the initial surface of the flavour of the puzzle :/ I also didn't notice it, not expecting words to randomly be filtered, and the post looked poorly written for a day - that's just silly. "Hey, could you guys help" became "could you guys help" with no caps, comma, space. Silly little thing. $\endgroup$ – Mathgeek Mar 11 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ In the hint you say rot13(4k4 fdhner jvgu bayl gjb pbyhzaf bs tvira jbeqf). But I'd thought it would be rot13(3k3 haxabja jvgu TNF naq PNC ba gur fvqrf). Seems very different from the previous one then - I'm not even sure how the clues fit with 4x4. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 11 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Gur svefg gnax vf n 2k4 (gjb pby, sbhe ebj, jvgu jbeqf ba rvgure fvqr), naq znxrf n jbeq fdhner.) $\endgroup$ – Mathgeek Mar 11 at 14:16
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The solution methodology isn't fully clear from the bare question, but after hint 1 and some comments from OP, it's going to go like this:

First we need a 4x4 word square, real words going both across and down, made from FUEL and TANK on the two ends. From the eight new letters inside that, we should try to fill a 5x3 rectangle with GAS and CAP on the two ends, just three five-letter words going across and never mind about down.

Originally I found

F I S T
U L N A
E G O N
L E A K

giving the word GASOLINE from the letters in the middle. But that doesn't give a full word square.

Now,

the only reasonably common four-letter U??A words are ULNA and UREA, and the only reasonably common four-letter E??N words are EARN and EVEN. Also the second letter in each of the first and fourth rows has got to be a vowel. The only possibilities I could eke out, then, were

F U S T
U R E A
E V E N
L A N K

F A E
U L N A
E A R N
L E K

and the second one doesn't even work, while URVA is again not a common word. But the letters URVASEEN don't form a word by themselves - should they?

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  • $\begingroup$ As for your (2), remember that I stay away from name brands. And also, my car takes several types of fuel - his car tank takes my same fuel with an additional something. Also, rot13(ner VTYR naq FABN jbeqf?) $\endgroup$ – Mathgeek Mar 11 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Mathgeek Oh, you still want a full word square? I assumed the clue "differently than my old car, his was incredibly one-dimensional" meant you just need words in one direction. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 11 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ His car is incredibly one-dimensional. My car is a top-of-the-line model! $\endgroup$ – Mathgeek Mar 11 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Mathgeek Wait, are we supposed to solve two new cars here? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 11 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ You have to solve my car to figure out what gas I use, then put that fuel into my friend's car and find what it's missing :) $\endgroup$ – Mathgeek Mar 11 at 14:45

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