Welcome to Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up, a weekly opportunity to have a little fun and to get your brain in gear for the regular Sunday Puzzle (which now posts on Friday).
This is Mystery Month, during which I'll be using these puzzles to spotlight great mysteries. Some of the books will be well-known classics; others will be little-known gems.
Last night Mystery Month crossed over into the regular Sunday Puzzle diary. This week's topic in Monday Murder Mystery was mysteries set during World War II. I noticed that one of my favorite series set during that time wasn't included -- but rather than post about it in a comment, I decided to save it for use in last night's puzzle. If you're curious, check it out...
But first, perhaps you'd like to try your hand at solving tonight's puzzle. It's waiting for you right below the orange squiggle.
This is a JulieCrostic If you're not familiar with this kind of puzzle, don't panic -- full instructions, and an example of what a completed puzzle looks like, can be found directly below tonight's puzzle.
There are 5 rows (with 4 answers per row) in tonight's puzzle. Here are the clues:
2. tiny critters
4. what the gremlins sometimps make me do
6. unqualified to do the job (like certain Republicans office-holders)
7. guys who work in holes
8. might be found inside an olive
10. prepares to take part in Monday Murder Mystery
11. ropes of hair
12. talk to
13. evened the score
14. low-sodium, gluten-free, and raw foods
16. Venus and Mars
17. last name of Collins' Michael
18. member of a famous musical trio
If you're not familiar with this kind of puzzle, here's an explanation of how they work. And immediately following the explanation, you'll find an example of what a completed puzzle looks like.
An Explanation of JulieCrosticsAll the rows have the same word-length pattern. If the first answer in one row has 5 letters, then the first answer in all the rows will have 5 letters. For example, here's the answer diagram for last week's puzzle. That was a 7 x 3 puzzle (7 rows, 3 answers per row).
What you do is solve the clues and write the answers in rows. (Tonight's puzzle has 5 rows, 4 answers per row.)
Each word in a row contains all the letters of the previous word, plus one new letter. Write the added letters in the space between the word which doesn't have it and the word which does.
The vertical columns created by the added letters will spell out a word or phrase. The object of the puzzle is to solve all the clues and read the vertical message.
pea G gape S pagesThe verticals read GREATMY STERIES -- which, when properly spaced, spells out great mysteries.
hut R hurt T truth
ins E sine E seine
rob A boar R arbor
fed T deft I fetid
lap M palm E ample
car Y racy S scary