Come Together

by George Barany

This Tuesday-ish puzzle was one of the prizes to our Enigma Variations crossword metapuzzle contest, and was developed in consultation with its recipient. Absolutely no specialized knowledge about the prize winner or his family is required to solve the puzzle. However, the 16 circle-containing squares, when read clockwise starting from either the east or west "equator," spell out a secret meta message of great import to the recipient's family, See if you can guess what it is, because its four parts are also hidden in this seemingly nonsensical sentence: Please keep honest good King Wenceslas, a local legend suffering from separation anxiety. Also, while solving the puzzle, you may enjoy listening, over and over, to this classic Beatles tune, in an unusual rendition . After completing the puzzle (spoiler), learn "the rest of the story" 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. For those wanting a specially hard challenge, we have a version with much harder clues, accessed here for the PDF, here for the puz file, here to download it as an ipuz file, and here for interactive play (answer grid is identical). We thank Martin Ashwood-Smith, Marcia Brott, Ralph Bunker, Noam Elkies, Michael Hanko, Brent Hartzell, Martin Herbach, Tom Pepper, and Arlene Romoff for test solving the puzzle and ensuring that the clues were pitched to the appropriate level.

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

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