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Puzzle Solution #21: Novelties

As far as I know, the following sequence of answers and questions has never occurred on Jeopardy. It might have, “Crossword Clues” is a recurring category, but I doubt it. I do know that all five clues appear in my newest puzzle. Coincidence?

(Those who have yet to do this Special editions puzzle will not find any answers revealed in the Jeopardy segment. Those here for the puzzle’s solution will find it after scrolling past this and the usual musical “spoiler space” offering.)

Ken Jennings has control of the board; Sean Connery and Jane Pauley stand to his left …

Jeopardy $200 graphic.$200 answer.

Ken: Crossword Clues for $200 please.

Alex: A politician with moving lips. Four letters.


Alex: Sean?

Sean: Who is Bush?

Alex: Sure, but no. Sorry.

$400 answer.Ken: Crosswords $400.

Alex: One learning to burp, maybe. Six letters.


Alex: Jane?

Jane: What is gauche?

Alex: Umm, no.

$600 answer.Ken: Let’s try it again. $600.

Alex: Arthur Miller’s Willy. Five letters.


Alex: Sean?

Sean: Uncut?

Alex: Phrasing?

Sean: What is uncut?

Alex: Sorry, no.

$800 answer.Ken: $800.

Alex: Linnaeus’s bird class. Four letters.


Alex: Sean?

Sean: What is duck?

Alex: [condescendingly] Oh, no.

$1000 answer.Ken: Let’s finish the category.

Alex: Bow down to kiss up. Six letters.


A musical interlude (spoiler space)

This is one more chance to do get my Special editions puzzle before you see its solution!

The solution

Puzzle solution. Image from www.xwordinfo.com

The theme is a novel one, right? I didn’t really have to check to see whether or not it had been done before. I have access only to puzzles of the NYT (using the xwordinfo.com database), but this one is certainly unique. Of course, “unique” might just as well be “unworthy,” but I have been encouraged by some enthusiastic feedback from serious cruciverbalists.

The theme answers explained:

♦ John Updike’s Rabbit at Rest becomes WABBIT AT WEST in an imagined Elmer Fudd recital.

♦ The citizens of Oceania in George Orwell’s dystopian 1984 would no doubt recognize Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace as PEACE AND WAR in Newspeak (soon we too might).

A is for Alibi, the first in a 25-novel alphabetic mystery series by Sue Grafton (who died recently before publishing a “Z” volume), I imagine as FOR ALIBI, A IS in Yoda’s characteristic syntax.

♦ Finally, Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying is Spoonerized as FLY OF FEARING.

I could go on about the puzzle’s weaknesses (too many three-letter answers, principally, in my view), but why? I just hope you enjoyed the playfulness of it all. Thanks for giving it a try!

Recent Crosswords:
04/24/2020 #k1: Meadow’s First!
04/20/2020 #24: Roadside Attractions?
02/20/2020 #23: World’s Smallest!
06/20/2018 #22: Northern Dialect
01/30/2018 #21: Special Editions
10/10/2017 #20: Saints We’d Like to See

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