In last week’s full-sized puzzle, “Do Like I Do,” I asked for a farm animal. The grid had six ten-letter entries, each an example of a thing that’s part of a familiar phrase of the form “[verb] like a [thing].” Hidden elsewhere in the grid were words that were one letter off from the verbs:
SALK -> WALK (like an Egyptian, such as OMAR SHARIF)
QAT -> EAT (like a bird, such as a KINGFISHER)
WOUK -> WORK (like a dog, such as a BLOODHOUND)
DEINK -> DRINK (like a fish, such as a RED SNAPPER)
LAVE -> LIVE (like a king, such as RICHARD III)
SLAKE -> SHAKE (like a leaf, such as a PINE NEEDLE)
The letters you need to change to make the phrases, in bold above, spell out (in grid order) SQUEAL, suggesting the phrase “squeal like a pig” – so the answer was PIG.
Puzzle #11a was simpler. It featured six entries with starred clues:
*Fish found in Louisiana bayous = GAR
*Cat found in India = TIGER
*King who founded a West African dynasty = KAYA
*City that’s the seat of Ecuador’s Napo Province = TENA
*Stone used to make arrowheads = FLINT
*Horn with a reed = SAX
The key here is that each thing can form a compound word or phrase if you add the kind of thing it is (which was also the first word of each clue), and as the puzzle’s title suggests, the compound word is not the same thing as the original word (nor does the newly formed compound word/phrase fit the clue). So, a garfish, while it is still a fish, is not the same thing as a gar and is not found in Louisiana bayous; a Tigercat is not a tiger at all but a fighter jet (or: a tiger cat is a much smaller cat than a tiger, not found in India); kayaking is a totally different thing from the obscure Ghanaian dynast Kaya Magan Cissé; tenacity is a totally different thing from Tena, Ecuador; a Flintstone is a cartoon character, not a kind of stone; and a saxhorn is still a brass instrument, but it’s not the same thing as a sax, and it’s played with a trumpet-style mouthpiece, not a reed.
So to what fruit can you add “fruit” and get a new and different thing? That would be the GRAPE, which is of course much smaller than a baseball – but a grapefruit sure isn’t.
I had a lot going on for the holiday weekend and haven’t run the numbers yet, but puzzle #11 in its original form was quite hard. The mid-week hint unlocked it for a lot of folks. #11a, meanwhile, vexed a lot more solvers than I would have predicted. Of those who clearly saw the first theme idea (make a new word with [thing] + [category]), quite a few apparently didn’t see the theme’s defining feature (new word ≠ original word); probably the most popular incorrect entry was KIWI. This surprised me a little, not least because while I’m no stranger to kiwis (I live in the heart of the main region for growing kiwis in the U.S.), and I’ve heard them called “kiwifruits,” it’s not (in my experience) a very common term vs. just kiwi itself; I’d have thought the first “[fruit]fruit” thing that would come to anyone’s mind would be grape anyhow. Another common pitfall was that solvers interpreted the prompt backwards, submitting e.g. grapefruit instead of grape (or kiwifruit, breadfruit, etc.) I’m not sure where my instructions went wrong but clearly this one was not presented in as straightforward a manner as I’d intended.
Next up is Puzzle #12, “Connect Five.” As always, you can either download the .pdf below, or click on the link for the .puz file which is shared from Google Drive.
The answer to the metapuzzle is a phrase formed by connecting two entries in the grid. Submit your answer using the contact form by Monday, June 3 at 11 p.m. Pacific Time. I’ll post the solution, and a new puzzle, next Tuesday.