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Solution to Crewel

The Ministry

by Steve Kaltenbaugh

This puzzle begins with 24 nonsensical sentences. Upon closer inspection, solvers will realize that each sentence is actually multiple crossword clues, interwoven together. Most are 2 clues long, some are 3, and one is 4 clues. All the clues are in order, so the sentences need only to be pulled apart correctly to see the proper clues.

As solvers work through the clues, they discover that each answer has the same number of letters as its clue has words. For instance, the 3-word “stack the deck” leads to the 3-letter RIG. After all the clues of a sentence have been solved, teams must then reweave the letters of their answers in the same order that they originally appeared (The book Crewel is about a girl who can reweave reality, and crewel is also a type of embroidery using wool.). Doing so reveals that each sentence is in fact a world capital, minus one letter. As an example:

Dance young style originally strapping from Brazil boy

Breaks down into:

Dance style originally from Brazil: SAMBA
Young strapping boy: LAD

Which reweaves into SLAMABAD, which is one I away from the capital of Pakistan, ISLAMABAD.

Taking the missing letters, in order, spells out the instruction INTERWEAVE GOLF SOUK PESTLE. Applying the same logic to the words GOLF SOUK PESTLE, teams discover the correct answer, GOSPEL OF ST LUKE.

A full solution for each clue is included below.

Clue sentenceClue AAnswer AClue BAnswer BClue CAnswer CClue DAnswer DCapitalExtracted letter
Dance young style originally strapping from Brazil boyDance style originally from BrazilSAMBAYoung strapping boyLAD ISLAMABADI
Measure who weekly of muse pressure OraMeasure of pressurePSIWho Weekly muse OraRITA PRISTINAN
Actually give sib a of damn broActually give a damnCARESib of broSIS CASTRIEST
PBS chef eleven string Martin instrumentPBS chef MartinYANEleven string instrumentOUD YAOUNDEE
Moisten a viewer turkey of while the future cookingMoisten a turkey while cookingBASTEViewer of the futureSEER BASSETERRER
Take stack the to deck a chance put onTake a chanceBETStack the deckRIGTo put onDON BRIDGETOWNW
Heads bruin great belch of of bobby government twelfth nightHeads of governmentPMSBruins great BobbyORRBelch of "Twelfth Night"TOBY PORT MORESBYE
Puzzle game org set rule of over pencil all is to you spies paper you seePuzzle game "is you"BABAOrg of spiesNSASet pencil in paperDREWRule over all you seeREIGNBANDAR SERI BEGAWANA
Cows say Nancy game Drew's without boyfriend winner thisCows say thisMOONancy Drew's boyfriendNEDGame without winnerTIE MONTEVIDEOV
Latin word erotica which author means Anaïs livesLatin word which means livesVITAEErotica author AnaïsNIN VIENTIANEE
Madman grabbed of the Pequod a chairMadman of the PequodAHABGrabbed a chairSAT ASHGABATG
Beast of Frank's belonging Hollywood Boulevard restaurant partner to burden usBeast of burdenYAKFrank's Hollywood Boulevard restaurant partnerMUSSOBelonging to usOUR YAMOUSSOUKROO
Tiffany green type Haddish voices of economy her government orgTiffany Haddish voices herTUCAGreen government org.EPAType of economyGIG TEGUCIGALPAL
Dab at a sad music type no stain but in NeussDab at a stainBLOTSad music typeEMONo but in NeussNEIN BLOEMFONTEINF
MIT Japanese head sea owned audio of urchin corn companyMIT owned audio companyBOSEJapanese sea urchinUNIHead of cornEAR BUENOS AIRESS
2016 tiny kitchen pest blank arigato mister crooning animal film roboto2016 crooning animal filmSINGTiny kitchen pestANT"Blank arigato, mister roboto"DOMO SANTO DOMINGOO
Current Indian long deep prime minister open woundCurrent Indian prime ministerMODILong deep open woundGASH MOGADISHUU
Action pretty star creative works TonyAction star TonyJAAPretty creative worksART JAKARTAK
Boston butt in ingredient commonly found in various energy Bourgogne drinksBoston butt in BourgognePORCIngredient commonly found in various energy drinksTAURINE PORT-AU-PRINCEP
Nickname for some family of Canadian pirates wrestlersNickname for some piratesBUCSFamily of Canadian wrestlersHART BUCHARESTE
Alternate name Canadien for for short ArrakisAlternate name for ArrakisDUNECanadien for shortHABDUSHANBES
Brand sing of corn syrup without wordsBrand of corn syrupKAROSing without wordsHUMKHARTOUMT
King Bertie's letters number following musKing Bertie's numberVIILetters following musNUS VILNIUSL
Mercutio's not fairy queen allow anymoreMercutio's fairy queenMABNot allow anymoreBAN MBABANEE

Author's Note

Fun facts about making this puzzle:

  • The original inspiration was from the realization that DUSHANBE, the capital of Tajikistan, could be broken up into DUB and SHANE. Ironically, DUSHANBE was only added towards the end, when the answer changed from GOSPEL OF LUKE.
  • By far, the hardest letter to find a capital/clue set for was F. Go ahead, try for yourself.
  • This puzzle (and its constructor) nearly had a full breakdown in testing when I had a perfect set for BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, only for one of my testers to realize I had misspelled it as BANDAR SERI BAGAWAN.

My goal was, as [title of show] puts it, to be 9 people’s favorite thing, instead of 100 people’s 9th-favorite thing. If you’re one of my 9, thank you so much!