GC SF Sp WH BV YL BT CP SA CB CC Back to puzzle

Balloon Vendor

The Scrambler

by Asher Walkover
Answer: CORTES

Each clue has been scrambled up, and needs to be unscrambled before it can be read and solved. In every case the solution has the same number of letters as the number of words in the clue. This allows the solution-words to be rescrambled in the same order that the original clue was scrambled. The new words produced by the scrambling process will be synonyms of one of the words in the clue. Extract the corresponding letter from the clue's solution.

For example, the clue "Competing friends groups of together" should unscramble to "Groups of friends competing together", which solves to TEAMS. The original ordering of this clue was "4th word, 3rd word, 1st word, 2nd word, 5th word". Apply this same "4 3 1 2 5" ordering to the letters of TEAMS to get MATES. The word MATES is a synonym of the word FRIENDS in the original clue. FRIENDS was the third word in the unscrambled clue, so extract the third letter of the unscrambled solution TEAMS, to get an A. (Equivalently, FRIENDS was the second word in the scrambled clue, so extract the 2nd letter of the scrambled solution MATES, still an A.)

look for these symbols at McDonalds ARCHESSEARCHlookA
cyclonic weather system that's much wilder than a squallHURRICANERAUNCHIERwilderC
absence of all warm feeling towardsHATREDDEARTHabsenceH
groups of friends competing togetherTEAMSMATESfriendsA
one who is a supporter of the crownROYALISTSOLITARYoneR
unplanned route travelled to avoid constructionDETOURTOUREDtravelledT
like a judge on the highest courtSUPREMEPRESUMEjudgeP
an Everest or K2 ascent might count among his proudest accomplishmentsMOUNTAINEERENUMERATIONcountI
place where you might hear neighsSTABLEBLEATSneighsE
take oppressive action to not permit speechSILENCELICENSEpermitC
someone whose job is to apply coatsPAINTERPERTAINapplyE
animal reputed to show affinity for SlytherinsSERPENTPRESENTshowP
amusement park sideshow workers, as a groupCARNIESARSENICasI
puts through one's blank (trials) PACESSPACEblankE
economic penalty on a country that has transgressedSANCTIONCONTAINShasO
fierce burst of solar radiationFLAREFERALfierceF
boxing seats for those wanting the best view RINGSIDEDESIRINGwantingS
tolkien fans know it's "middle"EARTHHEART"middle"H
planar shape that's needed to construct a tetrahedronTRIANGLEINTEGRALneededA
crews of swashbucklers who terrorize the seasPIRATESPARTIEScrewsP
drill instructor who might antagonize the new recruitsSERGEANTESTRANGEantagonizeE

Extracting a letter from each clue gives a new clue, A CHART PIECE PIE OF SHAPE. Repeat the same process that's been used so far. Unscramble this to make a clue, SHAPE OF A PIE CHART PIECE, solve it to get SECTOR, and rescramble SECTOR according to the way its clue was scrambled to produce the final answer, CORTES.