# Solution to ★

First we try to solve the clues. After researching a few of them we'll realize the following things:

- Each of the answers can be described as some kind of "miracle".
- The numbers of symbols in the parentheses are the number of words in each of the answers.
- ★—which is always the first symbol—always represents the word MIRACLE.
- Numbers represent words of the corresponding enumeration.
- The clues are sorted alphabetically by the final word of each answer—represented by one of nine unique symbols.

The answers are as follows:

Clue | Symbols | Answer |
---|---|---|

This fruit’s signature effect works via a protein that binds to certain mouth receptors in low pH environments. | ★ ✜ | MIRACLE BERRY |

The coiner of this term credits the result to a group of men who studied at his university and subsequently returned to their home country to implement economic reforms. | ★ 2 ✤ | MIRACLE OF CHILE |

This event was made possible in part by a lengthy halt order made by the leader of the opposition, which was considered to be an enormous tactical blunder. | ★ 2 ◉ | MIRACLE OF DUNKIRK |

Despite the fact that the vehicle involved in this incident sunk fully, it was eventually recovered and is now on display in a museum in North Carolina. | ★ 2 3 ‡ | MIRACLE ON THE HUDSON |

Although this event refers to a critical game played between the two geopolitical rivals, the underdog didn't clinch the gold medal until two days later. | ★ 2 ✿ | MIRACLE ON ICE |

This bird managed to survive the incident that made it famous largely because its jugular vein and brain stem remained intact and the wound itself clotted over. | ★ ⌘ | MIRACLE MIKE |

This local-area bar is known for its distinctive menu which is formatted like a periodic table. | ★ 2 ☉ | MIRACLE OF SCIENCE |

This condiment made its debut at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and quickly became a huge success. | ★ ❊ | MIRACLE WHIP |

Of the papers published during this time period, the author is best known for the last two, but won his Nobel Prize for the first. | ★ ◈ | MIRACLE YEAR |

Now we can turn our attention to the Sudoku. It's titled "★ Sudoku", and since we've realized that ★ represents "Miracle," we can conclude that it in fact is a Miracle Sudoku, a variant Sudoku format popularized by a viral *Cracking the Cryptic* YouTube video.

A Miracle Sudoku adds two constraints on top of the usual Sudoku ones:

- No two of the same number can be either a King's move or a Knight's move away from each other.
- No two consecutive numbers can be adjacent to each other.

If we treat our given grid (ignoring the symbols for now) like a Miracle Sudoku with two given digits, we can in fact solve it uniquely:

3 | 9 | 6 | 8 | 5 | 2 | 4 | 1 | 7 |

7 | 4 | 1 | 3 | 9 | 6 | 8 | 5 | 2 |

2 | 8 | 5 | 7 | 4 | 1 | 3 | 9 | 6 |

6 | 3 | 9 | 2 | 8 | 5 | 7 | 4 | 1 |

1 | 7 | 4 | 6 | 3 | 9 | 2 | 8 | 5 |

5 | 2 | 8 | 1 | 7 | 4 | 6 | 3 | 9 |

9 | 6 | 3 | 5 | 2 | 8 | 1 | 7 | 4 |

4 | 1 | 7 | 9 | 6 | 3 | 5 | 2 | 8 |

8 | 5 | 2 | 4 | 1 | 7 | 9 | 6 | 3 |

Finally, we can turn to the symbols in the Sudoku grid:

◉ | ✤ | ✿ | ⌘ | ❊ | ✜ | ‡ | ◈ | ☉ |

◉ | ❊ | ✜ | ||||||

☉ | ||||||||

⌘ | ‡ | |||||||

◈ | ||||||||

✤ | ✿ | |||||||

The numbers in the positions of the nine red symbols in the first row obviously span the numbers 1 through 9, and can give us an ordering. The numbers in the positions of the nine blue symbols can then act as indices into the word corresponding to the symbol:

Order | Symbol | Index | Word | Letter |
---|---|---|---|---|

1 | ◈ | 4 | YEAR | R |

2 | ✜ | 2 | BERRY | E |

3 | ◉ | 1 | DUNKIRK | D |

4 | ‡ | 3 | HUDSON | D |

5 | ❊ | 3 | WHIP | I |

6 | ✿ | 3 | ICE | E |

7 | ☉ | 1 | SCIENCE | S |

8 | ⌘ | 4 | MIKE | E |

9 | ✤ | 4 | CHILE | L |

The indexed letters in order give us our answer: RED DIESEL.