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# PUZZLING #106 LETTERS AND LETTERS

By Peggy Oglesby |

Some days ago a letter came from a fan (Yes, there actually are people who enjoy working these puzzles!). Mr. Philip Sea-well of Commerce, Texas asked, “Do you create these puzzles yourself or select them from a battery of puzzle books?” I considered writing him privately to see if there were some collections to thieve from, but then, on second thought, decided to make him work for his answer. To add to the credibility of the MESSAGE, about half the CLUES involve Dallas in some way.

Instructions:

To solve the puzzle, first fill in the numbered blanks of any CLUES you can decipher. As an aid to the solver, the CLUE answers are in alphabetical order so that, for instance, the answer “Dallas” would precede the answer “Dalliance.” Each time you fill a CLUE blank, transfer the letters to the correspondingly numbered blanks in the MESSAGE. Each MESSAGE blank is characterized by a letter as well as a number -the letter indicates which CLUE the blank is to be filled from. Even with a very few CLUES filled in, you will begin to see words and phrases take shape in the MESSAGE. Use word lengths, arrangement, and punctuation to help in deciphering the MESSAGE. Work back and forth, from CLUES to MESSAGE and from MESSAGE to CLUES, until the puzzle is completed.

Each CLUE indicates the answer in more than one way. In addition to straightforward definitions, clues may also contain puns, plays on words, anagrams (“The ability to lead people in confusion is a charm” – CHARISMA), or embedded spellings (“How it zeroes in distinguishes a cannon”). Another common type of clue is word construction, where the answer is built of component parts. Example: “Directions: Halt! Turn around! Hold in!” Solution: “Halt” (STOP), “Turn around” (STOP becomes POTS), “Hold in” (put IN inside of POTS) and the answer is POINTS, which is also the straightforward definition answer to “Directions.” All abbreviations are acceptable as long as they are in current usage (e.g., TV, p.d.q., etc.). Isolated letters may be indicated in a variety of ways -as compass points (“North” in a clue might indicate the letter N, likewise for E,S,W); Roman numerals (the figure 1,000 in a clue might indicate the letter M, likewise for D,C,L,X,V,I); grades or scores (A,F,”zero” = 0, “love” as in tennis = 0); musical notations (P,F for soft or loud respectively). Parts of words may be used (IVE or just V might be indicated by “Midwives”).

The one paramount rule is that the clue sentence, with a little repunctuation, will tell exactly how to get the answer, with all letters accounted for.

An added hint: the CLUES contain three proper names.

Send the completed puzzle with name and address to Puzzling, D The Magazine of Dallas, 2902 Carlisle, Dallas 75204. All correct solutions will be held for one week, at which time a drawing will be held to determine the winners. First winner will receive a \$25 cash prize. Runner-up will receive a free one-year subscription to D. Winners and completed puzzle will appear in the April issue. Go to it, Mr. Seawell!

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