Man of Letters

by Ralph Bunker

This reasonably easy "runt" (*) puzzle (7x7) was received on the eve of a special occasion in the life of a significant member of our friends group. It includes the meta challenge to determine the letter in the central box, i.e., the one that is unnumbered and unchecked. After completing the puzzle (spoiler), learn more about it by clicking here for our "midrash." 

Click here to view or download the puzzle in PDF format; here to download it as a puz file; here to download it as an ipuz file [requires the free Puzzazz app to solve]; here to solve the puzzle interactively (thanks to Jim Horne); here for the solution. Besides its honoree, the puzzle was looked at by John Child, Noam Elkies, Todd Gross, Michael Hanko, Peter Leopold, and Ellen Ross, as a result of which the posted version differs in a few places from what was received privately.

* Note: A "runt" puzzle, as explained on this site, tends to have dimensions that are quite a bit smaller than normal, and may contain unchecked squares, outrageous partials and pseudo-cryptic clues. In brief, a runtpuz's natural habitat is on the fringe of what is considered acceptable in a MSM crossword puzzle

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More puzzles here (all) and here (tributes).

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