Note: This is a slightly revised version of the cryptic I brought to the 2000 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, CT; this version originally appeared in the May 2000 edition of the Enigma, the main publication of the National Puzzlers' League. Members of the NPL are generally known by "noms" (pseudonyms); "Trick" and "QED" below are the noms of my roommates at that tournament, and "Ucaoimhu" is my own nom. "10C" is NPL-talk for the tenth edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

Qualifying But Not Round

by Kevin Wald

I recently attended the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, where I roomed with QED and Trick. I wanted to write them a welcome-to-the-tournament cryptic, but as a rookie, and the least constructorly person in the room, I didn't really feel qualified. So instead I wrote this cryptic, where the across entries (all of which are altered) are just divided evenly among the three of us. Trick's entries are extra-wily, QED's come to mathematical conclusions, and Ucoaimhu's . . . I mean, Uhaoimcu's . . . oh, never mind.

All but three of the clue solutions and grid entries are 10C, 10C-findable, or 10C-inferable. When the puzzle has been completed, the shaded squares (read from top left to bottom right) will give an abbreviated description of someone who would be very well qualified to provide words of welcome.


1. Near the middle of marathon
5. So crab is mixed with sugar and starch
10. Venison supplier includes a bit of loin portion
13. Time speaks of us
14. He's imprisoned by stern judge again
15. Fool mostly eats road-kill
16. They grow things that remove hair in your ears
18. Overturned hero's vehicle
19. One exiled some rebellious teenagers
21. Nun serenely shows what Noah's world was once like
23. Santa delivers more than one size of model train
25. Drink last shots of tequila and coke
28. On a westbound vessel
31. It's unclear why 007 takes orders from the A-Team, perhaps?
32. Chain letters
33. Mexican is endowed with power -- psychic power
34. How to start a radio station in the east or west
35. Picard's very abbreviated hairpiece?


1. Fail to unravel Scheherazade's first letter (4)
2. Travel to Chaldean city (4)
3. Turning over C-notes to a creditor is hateful (6)
4. Geekish, leaderless group in New York (5)
6. Rotten year for a philosopher (4)
7. Pop, however, has rights (5)
8. Army sergeant captures a river (4)
9. Detected hollow noises inside pit (6)
11. Left Dawn with newborns for part of the summer (4)
12. Rub couch's surface with an iron (5)
17. Sew me a flamboyant, feathery thing at the beach (3 3)
19. Sappho's latest love-game is naughty (5)
20. Drunk hugs partner's first husband, perhaps (6)
22. Take ID from gaunt stranger (5)
23. Ditch that hat when going shirtless (2-2)
24. Behead more tropical, semiaquatic carnivores (5)
26. Bones from 501 AD (4)
27. Topless Eskimo Night in Quebec (4)
29. What is exceptional and, ultimately, totally tubular (4)
30. They finally say assorted hurrah-like things (4)

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