Cryptic Puzzle

May Yours Be True

May Yours Be True

By Tom Toce

Here comes another puzzle by the formidable team of Bob Fink and Jerry Miccolis. Sometimes when I run puzzles made by other constructors, I have a lot of suggestions regarding layout and concept. And then Eric Klis and I review the clues and edit them (which sometimes involves rewriting). Other times, a lighter touch is required, as was the case with this puzzle.

Bob and Jerry referred to it as their “unconstrained” cryptic, meaning that the clues in this one are just regular cryptic clues. Their last puzzle involved embedding sports teams into each clue, and their puzzle before that involved highly alliterative clues. Regular cryptic clues—that is, the normal weird, convoluted types you see in most other cryptic puzzles—need less editing than constrained clues.

It’s good to know when to get out of the way. So here is Bob and Jerry’s introduction to May Yours Be True:

Bob and Jerry’s Introduction

This puzzle is a straight-forward cryptic. Once the grid is completed, the highlighted squares—read left-to-right, one column at a time—will yield the puzzle’s theme, ten examples of which will have been hidden within symmetrically-placed entries in the completed grid. Your solution should include the six-letter theme and the ten relevant examples.

The grid entries contain an acronym and four two-word phrases, one of which is a proper noun (though its two component words are not). There are also three other entries clued as proper nouns (though one need not have been). All other grid entries are playable in Scrabble. As always, beware of punctuation, which has been known to deceive.

Thanks, as always, to Tom Toce and Eric Klis for test-solving this puzzle and offering valuable editorial advice.

 1 Outspoken moderate delivers lecture (6)
 4 Keeping leg tan is problematic (8)
10 Cremation attendee more upset about urn (7)
11 As to course introduction on the internet, are you joining IT trainee? (7)
12 Poles found in Novgorod-Severski (4)
13 Inquired about the health of dizzy deaf skater (5,5)
15 Croup symptoms found in children of Upper Greenwich High School initially (6)
16 Deeply-probed ump bled all over the place (7)
20 Cold ham and rye finally taken from beer hall (7)
21 Imagine Rocky without ego problem (6)
24 Coming and going, Tebow’s got Manning Sunday, for 25 seconds and 40 seconds (4,6)
26 Rescind University of North Dakota ordinance at the outset (4)
28 Ten deer milled about then went inside (7)
29 Strange single male trailed by an investigative reporter (7)
30 Abandoned dog, possessing large heart of dingo, gets endangered fish (8)
31 Peaceful place: Madrid’s outskirts (6)
 1 Emil and Rick go head-to-head creating bawdy composition (8)
 2 Our Doug gets into crust of sandwich bread (9)
 3 Possesses letters from Unknown Soldier (4)
 5 Canary returns and, we hear, rehabilitates North Carolinians (3,5)
 6 Saluting as accident left object in General (10)
 7 Learn timeless language of Greenland (5)
 8 Florida footballers found in surgery sites following Saturday night special (6)
 9 Characters from Figaro’s era appeared (5)
14 Glib hermit running con game (10)
17 For safety’s sake, right guard replaces center in commercial (9)
18 Northeastern woman, beginning to mingle, introduces wild idea for social network (3,5)
19 Dropped trou around Arkansas, exposing left behind (8)
22 Discussing cow teats in whispers (6)
23 Last place (5)
25 Maria from Mainz with German zwieback after we back out (5)
27 Missing area with round lake (4)

TOM TOCE is a retired FCAS living in New York City and is a member of the Jeopardy Hall of Fame. Solutions may be mailed to him at In order to make the solver list, you should send him your solutions by October 1, 2021.

Previous Issue’s Puzzle—Play Ball or Triskaidekaphobi


Steve Alpert, Anthony Amodeo, Dean Apps, Jack Brauner, Bob Campbell, Lois Cappellano, Laura Cremerius, Jared Dashoff, Todd Dashoff, Mick Diede, Deb Edwards, Phil Gollance, Jason Helbraun, Pete Hepokoski, Catharine Hornby and Bruce Harvey, Max Jackson, Eric Klis, Paul Kolell, Ken Kudrak, Ben Lynch, Michael Manos, Jon Michelson, Jim Muza, David and Corinne Promislow, Jay Ripps, Dan Schwallie, Bill Scott, Karen Skoglund, Sally Smith, Zig Swistunowicz, T. O. C. E. (Josh DenHartog and Sean Donohoe), Betsy and James Uzzell

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