How Hard Can It Be? (solution)

by Francis Heaney and Skuld

The title of a puzzle is acommon phrase uttered by Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC Television programme, Top Gear. Each clue can be filled with words from the picture grid to produce one of the ridiculous introductions Clarkson has given to Top Gear’s “tame racing driver”, the Stig. In each associated episode, the Stig tests one or more cars, which can be filled into the crossword grid. Car models may be referenced ambiguously, but the appropriate name to enter in the grid is the one Clarkson writes on the magnetic strip for the Power Lap board in the particular episode.

The descriptions in the pictures are here.

Filling everything in yields this grid:

Reading the letters and numbers top to bottom, left to right yields the string 8S1E6L7VE4AUS3H2X5TVA. Parse this as as 8S 1E 6L 7VE 4AUS 3H 2X 5TVA and sort by number to yield 1E 2X 3H 4AUS 5TVA 6L 7VE 8S, or EXHAUST VALVES.

William S. Bergman
William S. Bergman