Sunday, July 3, 2022 Jul 3, 2022
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PUZZLING Pentagon Paper

By Peggy Oglesby |

In the good old American two-for-the-price-of-one-every-once-in-a-while spirit, this offering is dual-purpose. If chins quiver and palms grow cold at the sight of the diagram you can cut it out and tape the edges together. It makes a neat little calendar when you put a month on each face. And what better way to start the new year?


Some intrepid souls will not want to inaugurate 1979 with a surrender, and they will cut out the diagram and fold it into a solid only in their minds. The twelve clues correspond to the twelve numbered pentagons. Each clue has a six-letter answer, to be entered in the allotted lines and box. When the clue answers have been filled in, the boxes taken from top to bottom will give an appropriate twelve-letter message (like maybe HEAVEN HELP US). The five underlined letters of each answer are placed in the diagram by putting them in order around the edges of the corresponding pentagon, either clockwise or counterclockwise. The solver will have to deduce both the direction and the starting place. Letters are matched so that if the diagram were folded up to make a polyhedron, wherever two edges joined the letters would match. To aid your structural visualization, a couple of letters have been inserted, together with their joined-edge companions. I chose these particular letters because a PEEP is what I do not want to hear out of anybody about how hard this puzzle was to get started on.

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: “American leader required identification in gift” (PRESIDENT = I.D. inside PRESENT). 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, Roman numerals, grades or scores (A, F, “zero” = O, “love” as in tennis = O), 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.

Hint: One clue answer is a proper name.

Send the completed puzzle (or reasonable facsimile) to Puzzling, D Magazine, 1925 San Jacinto, Dallas, Texas 75201. All correct solutions will be held for one week after receipt of the first entry, at which time a drawing will take place 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 February issue.

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