Solution to Racking Your Brains

by Jane Chronis and Aaron Dinkin

The puzzle is to reconstruct a series of Scrabble plays from clues for the words played and the full order of tile draws during the game. The first letters of all the clues spell THAT VERY FIRST O WILL BE DOUBLE-PARKED, telling you how the first word is positioned.

The answers to the clues are as follows:
1:To an approximationAROUND
2:Have a pigoutFEAST
1:Am able toCAN
2:Train partCAR
1:Very coolNIFTY
2:Exactly nothingZERO
1:Road adventureTRIP
2:You find it in dead treesROT
1:Faint ringTINKLE
2:In need of being returned to the libraryDUE
1:The present tense of mightMAY
2:Obscured by fine particlesDUSTY
2:I and othersWE
2:Let it out onlineBLOG
1:Definite articleTHE
2:Oriental gameGO
1:_____ upon the Congress!FIE
2:Bronze componentTIN
1:Learning opportunity [plus two other words]LESSON (incidentally also forming LETTERS and TRIPLE)
2:End goalOBJECt
1:Previous loverEX
2:A wad of tobaccoQUID
2:Kuwaiti's pilgrimageHAJ
2:"Drawing ____ his outworn life..."ANEAR

If you play the first word Across, the positions of the words on the board end up being as follows:

If you ignore the Down words and read the Across words, you get the message DRIVE THE ZANY NIFTY CAR WELL AROUND TRIPLE LETTERS DODGING OBJECT. If you follow these somewhat oblique instructions and read clockwise around the Triple Letter Score squares (shown in dark blue above), they spell TRAFFIC PyLON, the answer to the puzzle.