Monday, April 18, 2022

Puzzle #173: Let's Get Physical (variety cryptic)

In a change of pace, this week's puzzle is a variety cryptic (pdf, ipuz, pdf solution)! Instead of a .puz, there's an .ipuz, which can be opened on sites like the Crossword Nexus solver and

Don't be intimated by the complicated-looking instructions - I've tried to make this an accessible solve for people who are new to variety cryptics. Most clues use only one wordplay mechanism, and for theme-related reasons almost all of the entries are fully-checked. Plus, unlike in most variety cryptics, all the answers are entered in the grid normally, with no manipulation necessary until after you're done solving.

Thanks to Will Heisenberg - I mean Eisenberg - for giving this a test-solve.


Tired of the proliferation of "Schrödinger puzzles" when "Heisenberg puzzles" are nowhere to be found, a mad scientist who subscribes to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics has cursed this puzzle so that its clues and answers exist in a state of superposition until it is observed. When you opened this file, you collapsed that superposition into one of two possible states. Eleven squares are affected, but luckily, the clues to the eleven affected entries have also changed correspondingly, so the answers to all the clues can still be entered normally.

There's no way to directly observe the other possible state of the grid, but armed with the knowledge that every entry is a regular, uncapitalized English word or phrase, you should be able to figure it out. If you do so, you'll reveal the name of the culprit.

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