Enigma Variations (CONTEST)

by George Barany, Ralph Bunker, and Michael Hanko

This "mid-week level" puzzle was released toward the end of calendar 2014, in synchrony with the rollout of a major motion picture. The puzzle includes a meta, as described below. While working on either the puzzle or the meta, you may enjoy listening to this.

Contest (Grandmaster Level):  There is a connection among all the five longest answers in this puzzle. If you apply yourself ___, you might come up with that connection, as well as a sixth answer that fits the pattern and also fills in the blank in the present sentence.

Contest (Master Level): Start as above, then e-mail barany@umn.edu with documentation of progress to this point, and request a hint.

Contest Deadline: Sunday (turning into Monday), January 11, 2015, midnight PST. Once you have your final answer, submit to the aforementioned e-mail. All entries acknowledged within 12 hours; otherwise resubmit. Update: The contest is now concluded.

Prizes: There will be multiple high-quality prizes, including crossword books (some autographed) and subscriptions, and two paid registrations to the 2015 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament [decisions of the anonymous judging panel are final, and thanks in advance to our generous sponsors].

While the contest was underway, participants were instructed to click here to view or download the puzzle in PDF format; here to download it as a puz file [disabled so as to not reveal solution]. Update: Now that the contest is completed, click here to view or download the puzzle in PDF format; here to download it as a puz file [requires Across Lite software to play]; here to solve the puzzle interactively (thanks to Jim Horne); and here for the solution (solution to the meta will be covered separately). We thank Martin Ashwood-Smith, Marcia Brott, Noam Elkies, Martin Herbach, Arlene Romoff, and Ellen Ross for their amazing beta testing contributions, but regret to inform them that they are not eligible to win any of the contest prizes.

If you want to tell others about this particular page, refer them to

More puzzles here (all), here (music), here (current events), here (science), and here (tributes).

E-mail barany@umn.edu to be added to a bcc distribution list.

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