Solution - Gravitational Pull

by Mike Sylvia and Tyler Hinman

Answer: Click here to reveal

At first, ignore the incomplete "Other" clues and focus on solving the 17x20 grid. The odd capitalization is meant to imply that the grid should be thought of as nine nearly-equal rectangular regions where letters should be entered in either all uppercase or all lowercase. Entries that exist entirely in one region have clues that are formatted appropriately to that region; entries that cross a border between two regions have clues with the first half formatted to match where the entry begins and the other half formatted to match where the entry ends. In each region, there is one square which needs to have two letters squeezed into it.

Each pair of letters that are forced to share a single square, assuming they're written in the right case, are written close enough together that they might be mistaken for another single letter - that "lo" looks a bit like "b", for example. What's more, this new letter forms new valid entries both across and down - that is, "loathe" and "loans" become "bathe" and "bans", and so on. This gives us the eighteen words we need to complete and solve the "Other" clues:

Given name of a noblewoman who famously CODED (3): ADA

Utter ___ (comedic party game Kickstarted in 2014) (8): NONSENSE

What Brits refer to as a JUMPER (7): SWEATER

Opposed of WANED (5): WAXED

He costarred with Larry as a member of the CHP (4): ERIK

Word for a BUZZARD or type of dinosaur (6): RAPTOR


STEM of a tree (5): TRUNK

Site of a SINUS node (5): HEART

One genre of them involves your MAMA (7): INSULTS

___-BANS (accessories since 1937) (3): RAY

You BATHE in one (3): TUB

Titular CARD protagonist (5): ENDER

Given name of the man who created NAN and her brother (6): EDWARD

A-HA's country of origin (6): NORWAY

Available via MODEM (6): ONLINE

What ARES was god of (3): WAR

___ OVERALL (ship measurement) (6): LENGTH

The initials of these answers spell "ANSWER'S THIRTEEN OWL". 13OWL is a bit weird to be a final answer, but re-spacing again gives the real answer, BOWL.