Cryptic Puzzle

Crypto Acrostic

Crypto Acrostic

By Tom Toce

This issue’s puzzle was created by Bob Fink and Jerry Miccolis, two of my regular test solvers. For this one, Eric Klis and I served as test solvers, and we made some editorial suggestions.

For the most part this is a standard double acrostic puzzle, with all the clues being cryptic clues. Once complete, the grid will spell out a Presidential quotation. The first letter of each clue answer, when read top to bottom, will spell out the name of the speaker and the source of the quotation. There are no proper nouns, uncommon words, or variant spellings, and all words are playable in Scrabble. As always, beware of punctuation in the clues, which may be misleading.

There is, however, a wrinkle. There is one extra letter space in the set of letter spaces following each clue. These extraneous spaces, each of which occurs immediately following the first vowel (a, e, i, o, u, or y if used as a vowel) in each clue answer, correspond to grid squares which should be blackened-in; doing so will reveal an image relevant to the quotation. Note that these blackened-in grid squares serve no other purpose and may interrupt words in the quotation.

Should you need them, you will find two hints following the clues. The first hint provides the length of each word in the quotation (which may be useful for double-acrostic solving), and the second provides the grid location of each of the extraneous, blackened-in grid squares.

A Chewed up kishka is several shades of yellowish brown
53 94 41 115 21 156 129
B Dave confronted Ed face-to-face and got away
31 139 168 8 119 22 101
C Denim blend camouflages expert
5 112 137 51 16 58 153
D Party girl, not yielding at first, puts out after speed
166 15 127 7 109 27 50
E Wiped out after losing lead, Jeff served a winner
84 114 106 130 95 30 44 159
F Medium, caught between dance club and citadel, exhibits embarrassment
148 77 32 160 132 99 13 61 88 110 42
G Nary a Hoosier hides hayseed
169 4 136 76 105 64
H Fill in messy adhesive after he leaves
162 85 100 146 60 120 17
I ’Tisn’t corruption?
163 14 111 47 78 133
J Dig up nuts near hut
36 126 2 164 81 65 93 43
K Chic in concert for emir
19 40 102 138 28 79
L Bonehead twin fractured that thing
155 128 72 66 10 92 35
M With extremities severed, many howl indiscriminately
103 121 9 38 55 140 91
N Kyoto consort, appearing in mirage, is hallucinatory
96 62 34 74 165 11 131
O Bonus for sketch artist returned
145 73 124 39 167 83 48
P Gets around edges of Atlas Mountains
18 107 151 75 1 134 89 29
Q Waddle awkwardly and get no place fast
90 123 20 63 45 104 147
R Take it easy, Duane. Wait, Ned’s taking seconds
154 59 82 68 142 25 113
S Crazy iPod hater is wasted
117 46 161 37 97 87 67 56 144 3
T IT reversed the tax
49 149 122 26 69 158
U Malevolence without facade produces irritation
70 108 157 80 152 24 33 116 143 57
V Senior is most frigid after commencement
12 135 71 23 54 86 125
W Ann is in New York to become an au pair
150 52 98 141 118 6


Solutions may be emailed to

In order to make the solver list, your solutions must be received by Sept. 30, 2019.


Previous Issue’s Puzzle—Six and One


First row:

EMBARKS—EM (“Between the third and the sixth of November”) + BARKS (“tree parts”)

SUCCEED—C (“average”) inside “deuces” scrambled

Second row:

RELIANT—Anagram of “in later”

HAL—HAL(L) (“Shorter corridor”)

Third row:

TEASERS—Anagram of “a steer’s”

RAILWAY—Homophonic pun on RAY’LL WEIGH (“Charles’ll consider”)

Fourth row:

RIG—Inside “trigonometry”

ASS—Three letters from ASSIGNATIONS (“Trysts”)

HCL—Inside “Meth clients”

Fifth row:

NUTLIKE—Double definition

LEANING—Anagram of “angle in”

Sixth row:

DOE—Homophone of DOUGH (“money”)

DREADER—Pun on D-READER rather than E-READER (“earlier version of Kindle, perhaps?”)

Seventh row:

DRESSES—DR (“Doctor”) + ESSES (“twists”)

SERVERS—SEVERS (“Cuts”) around R (“resistance”)


First column

ERRANDS—ERR (“make mistakes”) + AND + S (“confess, at last”)

SETTLED—Outside “Seattle’s embattled”

Second column

MEASURE—Anagram of “A résumé”

Third column

BLISTER—Pun on B-LISTER (“Person overlooked”)

CHARADE—Outside “Charlotte’s promenade”

Fourth column

LAV—Reversal of “Val”

CASINOS—Anagram of “Caisson”

AIL—(M)AIL (“deliveries arriving late”)

Fifth column

ELEGIES—Homophonic pun of ELLA Gs (“Fitzgerald’s notes”)

RAWHIDE—RAW (“war turned ) + HIDE (“coverup”)

Sixth column

KNACKER—Last letters of “took in a classic mink one winter”)

Seventh column

DESIGNS—Pun on DE-SIGNS (“Removes billboards”)

STYLERS—STY (“Messy place”) + first letters of “look elegant, really” and “sumptuous”


Very few solvers used the hints, so I’m not showing the breakdown.

Team AALO (Kristen Bischoff, Danny Clark, Kristen Detwiler, Alec Pirritano), Jina and Michael Accardo, Steve Alpert, Anthony Amodeo, Dean Apps, Jack Brauner, Bob Campbell, Lois Cappellano, Victoria Carter, Daniel Clark, Tim Connor, Todd Dashoff, Mick Diede, Michael Dolan, Deb Edwards, Bob Fink, Mendy Friedman, Bruce Fuller, Phil Gollance, Ruth Johnson, Jason Helbraun, Pete Hepokoski, J & J Holloman, Eric Klis, Paul Kolell, Mike Kosciuk, Ken Kudrak, Philip Lew, Ben Lynch, Michael Manos, Dave McGarry, Jerry Miccolis, Jon Michelson, Becky Moody, Jim Muza, David and Corinne Promislow, Daniel Rhodes, Jay Ripps, Dan Schwallie, Bill Scott, Andrew Shewan, Sally Smith, Zig Swistunowicz, Doug Szper, T. O. C. E. (Josh DenHartog and Sean Donohoe), Betsy and James Uzzell, Jim Wickwire, Michael Zurhellen


TOM TOCE is a senior manager for actuarial services with Ernst & Young in New York and is a member of the Jeopardy Hall of Fame. Solutions may be emailed to him at In order to make the solver list, your solutions must be received by Sept. 30, 2019.

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