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

Safari Adventure


by Larry Hosken
Answers: IAMB, PACES

Teams filled in what seemed to be a spiral puzzle, albeit one that didn't specify which "squares" to write each word into. The crossword-answers fit in the snake, with one letter per cell and no gaps. But mixed in with the words were some extra letters—clued in one direction but not the other. The extra letters spelled this puzzle's solutions: the "tailward" extra-letters spelled PACES; the "headward" extra-letters spelled IAMB.

Tailward Answers

  1. BEER - Homer's Duff
  2. P - (Unclued first letter of solution)
  3. SAID - Pronounced
  4. NICE - Pleasant
  5. SENOR - Mister in Madrid
  6. A - (Unclued second letter of solution)
  7. EYE - Peeper
  8. MOST - The bulk
  9. C - (Unclued third letter of solution)
  10. AFTER - Post
  11. GERMAN - Nationality of crane that lifted the Spruce Goose
  12. E - (Unclued fourth letter of solution)
  13. LEHAR - Merry Widow composer
  14. S - (Unclued last letter of solution)
  15. SURE - Certain
  16. VOTE - Datum at MIT Election Data and Science Lab
  17. LOSS - Meme-ified four-panel comic strip
  18. ALI - The Greatest

Headward Answers

  1. I - (Unclued first letter of solution)
  2. LASSO - Wild West prop
  3. LET - Permit
  4. OVER - Past
  5. USSR - Cold War superpower
  6. A - (Unclued second letter of solution)
  7. HELENA - State capital
  8. M - (Unclued third letter of solution)
  9. REGRET - Halo prophet
  10. FACT - Not opinion
  11. SOME - More than none
  12. YEAR - New ____, new me
  13. ONESEC - "Hang on a mo"
  14. INDIA - NATO phonetic letter
  15. SPREE - Crime period or candy
  16. B - (Unclued last letter of solution)


Back in 2018, working with excellent PM Neal Tibrewala, I wrote a puzzle like this for Puzzled Pint titled "Back And." The "grid" looked something like a row of pint glasses. I say I wrote the puzzle; but really I wrote a computer program that could generate puzzles like this. I generated a few and picked the one that seemed best.

Puzzlers liked the "half the clues are upside-down" gimmick, so I wrote a whole set of those for Puzzled Pint, again with Neal. I still had that computer program handy, so I made another puzzle like this.

Soon after, Team Left Out was looking for multi-answer puzzles for this weird "Safari round" we were putting together. We wanted quick-solve puzzles because we worried Safari could turn into a big time sink. (We worried about this less as more not-so-long puzzles took shape.) This puzzle was on my mind, so I cranked up that computer program again and re-skinned the grid to look like a snake.