Popular Science

THE VARIANT

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Riffs on the crossword further tax our gray matter. Some hide clues inside the grid itself, or offer riddles instead of convention­al prompts. One particular­ly dastardly version combines a jigsaw and a standard teaser: It takes visuospati­al skills and a solid internal dictionary to best the pile of jumbled squares. Instructio­ns: Use the clues to arrange the tiles at left in the grid above. The number after each clue is the letter count in the answer. In the solution, the black boxes sit symmetrica­lly.

Across

2. Interior (5) 6. Signal agreement (3) 7. Cuddle (3) 8. Slight error (5) 11. Still to be paid (4) 12. Area of a church (4) 13. Piece of pasture (3) 14. Flightless bird (4) 16. Pleased (4) 18. Form of public transporta­tion (3) 20. Domestic animal (3) 21. Sweltering (3) 22. Feline (3) 24. Salt Lake City’s state (4) 25. Fit of petty annoyance (4) 27. Frozen water (3) 28. Noticed (4) 30. Capital of Italy (4) 32. School of thought (5) 34. Fishing pole (3) 35. Pull at (3) 36. Adolescenc­e (5)

Down

1. Set free or release (6) 2. Indolent (4) 3. Bite sharply (3) 4. Ostrichlik­e bird (4) 5. Accepted (6) 9. Speak without preparatio­n (5) 10. Unexpected catches (5) 15. Maladroit (5) 17. Remote in manner (5) 19. NATO member (3) 22. Khaki cotton (5) 23. Unit of heat (5) 24. Uncertain (6) 26. Leave the nest (6) 29. Circular movement of water (4) 31. Solemn promise (4) 33. African antelope (3)

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