Puzzle #27: Following Commands

Puzzle #27: “Following Commands”

Difficulty: Extremely hard

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF     Last Week’s Solution


Greetings, solvers!

I’d like to make a few announcements before I get to today’s puzzle, both of which regard similar topics. First of all, I hope to see many of you at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in less than a month! If you haven’t signed up already, it’s totally worth every penny; I know I may be a college student and, uh, may not spend so wisely sometimes, but this is a life-changing experience in which you’ll be surrounded by people of so many different backgrounds that all share the same puzzling passion. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Stamford, CT!

Similarly, I’m excited to announce that registration has opened up for The Indie 500 crossword tournament! And huge shoutout to my bro Finn Vigeland, who wrote yesterday’s lovely NYT offering, for winning the guest construction contest for it! Compared to the ACPT, this is a super cheap opportunity to solve high-quality puzzles made by the gods of the indie crossword universe. Like seriously, I wish I could better convey my excitement through this post (not about to be obnoxious with ALL CAPS), but it’s going to be so effin’ cool! Come join me in my home turf, DC, and get ready for an awesome event!

Now for today’s puzzle. It all started with the central entry, 25-Across. I tried to think of more exactly like it (you’ll see what I mean after the solve), but nope, that didn’t happen. So I generalized it a little more to what you see now, though I couldn’t find much more outside of that, given the tough constraints…hence the smaller grid. But smaller does not mean easier, that’s for sure! You all know by now that I’m horrible at judging my puzzle difficulties, but I’m going to go ahead and guess that this may be one of my hardest yet. So put on your thinking caps, enjoy, and let me know what you think!


The Grid Kid


5 thoughts on “Puzzle #27: Following Commands

  1. Really nice Sam. Although I’d only rate 4/5 on difficulty, especially compared to some others of yours. Loved the theme.


    • Howard,

      This was definitely a tricky entry to grok; several other solvers wrote to me saying the same thing, and I probably should have provided an explanation in my solution link on this current week’s post. The middle entry should be read as THE CHOSEN ONES, in which the last few letters are literally “echoed” off the block that they run into: T H (E) (C) (H) (O) S E N O [black square, so echo back] N E S. I personally thought this entry was a pretty unique find, since it also stopped “echoing” at the start of the circled ECHO command, although it probably would have made more sense with a word like “bounce” or “reverse.” Hope this clears up any confusion!


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