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Winter 2003
Volume 40, No. 2

This Issue's Contents

PCM Issue Archive

PCMOnline Editor
Sarah Dolinar

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Alumni Puzzler: Pomona Cryptic #5

By Lynne Willems Zold '67

Cryptic Puzzle Directions
For novices, the important thing to remember is that each clue has two parts—a simple definition and a clue to the answer’s literal composition. Here are a few examples. (Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of letters in the answer.)
1. Anagrams – All letters are given, but out of order, and a word such as ‘wild’ or ‘upset’ is used to indicate what to do: Tree got mixed up in mess. Period. (8) = semester (tree and mess jumbled).
2. Charades – The answer is given in pieces: Tavern had a meal for native (6) = innate (tavern = inn; had a meal = ate).
3. Two meanings – Usually only two words, both of which mean the same thing. For example: catch pickerel (4) = fish.
4. Hidden answers – The answer is found in the clue itself: The phrase “don’t hew ash trees” holds sexy meaning for older Pomonans (3, 4) = The Wash (don’t hew ash trees).
5. Homophones – The answer sounds like another word or phrase, indicated by words like ‘heard’ or ‘vocal’: I’ve heard that you can take various pathways and nab award winning student (6, 7) = Rhodes Scholar (roads collar).
6. Deletions, additions, replacements – Word changed by altering letters: Our neighbor takes a deep hole and adds almost nothing. (6) = Pitzer (pit + zer(o)).
7. Letters indicated – Answer is spelled out in the clue: Some types of people die (4) = stop. (Some Types Of People)
Of course there’s no way to include all the rules. Part of the fun is being devilish and obtuse and combining types of clues in clever ways.

Click here for the puzzler solution.


1. Worshippers inside an ark. (4)
4. Parka Cover. (4)
7. Opposed to the commonplace; could be sorry. (8)
8. Apes cavorting wildly about building projection. (4)
10. Raves wildly and swears. (5)
11. Sounds like unadorned aircraft. (5)
12. Retraction includes a propaganda pamphlet. (5)
13. Orcas swimming around madly in order to get Hollywood award. (5)
15. To begin with simply toss it round to mix. (4)
16. Optional choice. (8)
17. Contrive easy answers. (4)
18. Decimated, only first four came back to be murdered by a gangster. (4)

1. Permanently damage part of escarpment interior. (4)
2. Sly eels hop around with no chance of succeeding. (10)
3. Enact sin? Deviate, for example. (8)
4. He really, really wants to rev car: schizophrenic. (6)
5. Pretty magnetic. (10)
6. Decadent ease: tray includes 6 matching pieces of silver. (6)
9. Otherwise, I heard “sailor twitch” is related to meaning in
language. (8)
11. Prepare to pare an evergreen shrub. (6)
12. Listen, sea sodium otherwise transmutes into baby powders. (5)
14. Tired without tea—sound brought on anger. (4)

Note: 11 down is an uncommon word

We welcome puzzle submissions of all types and on all topics. If you’d like to submit a math, logic or word puzzle for the Alumni Puzzler, please send your query or submission to: Mark Wood, Pomona College Magazine, 550 North College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711 ( Selections will be made on the basis of quality and originality.

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