Note: This is another in my sequence of post-Mystery-Hunt cryptics, which started with "Still There," "Post-Game Predictions," "The Sequel," "Power Lines," "A Lesson in Cryptography," "Yet More Villainy," "Further Escapades," "Time X*X," "Honeymoon in Segas," "If At First You Succeed," "Another One From The Vault," "Next Winter: Wonderland," "DAB," and "Some Extraction on the Side"; this one was written before the 2018 hunt and refers to the 2017 hunt. "11C" and "NI3," as is usual in the National Puzzlers' League, indicate Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Ed. and Third New International Dictionary, respectively.

Another Campaign

by Kevin Wald

DM: Okay, after all the trouble that new manual page and die caused on the last campaign, you three should be on guard for any new elements being snuck into this one. So, how do you four want to proceed?

Economist: My Wizard reads five Across clues and five Down clues, all of which work normally. For each of these, where the first word has m letters and the last has n, I'll put a Magic Circle around the grid square in the mth column from the left and the nth row from the top. Also, to protect the important items in the shaded entries, I have assigned a Word of Power to each, which is always related in the same way to the entry; in the corresponding clue, the wordplay yields the Word of Power instead of the entry itself.

Linguist: My Cleric reads ten Across clues, which require alteration before solving: Five must have one word transliterated into Hebrew letters as per 11C (writing only the consonant sounds, of course, and possibly respacing), and five must be uttered in the manner of a certain cleric … Oh no! My patron deities (in the shaded Across entries) say their sacred symbols have been taken! The letters in the magic circles (left to right) will say what, specifically, the perpetrator did — before combining those symbols to form a nine-letter name!

Chemist: My Fighter reads ten Down clues, whose answers must be altered before entry (altered entries include a phrase and an NI3 word): Five undergo a single-replacement reaction (with the last letter moving to replace an internal letter, which in turn moves to the beginning) and five put on D&D-style armor … Oh no! Two parts of my body (in the shaded Down entries) and everything in between have been sneak-attacked with a green potion! The letters in the magic circles (top to bottom) will say what, specifically, has become of them!

???: My character reads five Across clues and five Down clues; in each, the letter sequence the wordplay yields has one letter wrong. The "wrong letters" (in clue order) will twice describe my perfectly normal player character who has definitely been here the whole time, and would never sabotage the party …

Economist: Hold it right there! The five "wrong letters" from Across sequences are the displaced "right letters" from Down sequences, and vice versa! For each sequence, if its "wrong letter" is the pth from its start and qth from its end, take the pth letter from the start and qth from the end of its clue, and write these two letters next to the clue it sent its "right letter" to. All the pth letters, and then all the qth letters, both ordered by the clues they are next to, will say what you really are, you interloping villain!

???: It's a fair cop. [Vanishes to another dimension.]

DM: Well done, Economist; your Wizard has now leveled up. Specifically, each of the ten clues you originally read contains one word defining a shaded entry or its Word of Power, with (a) six of those eight words (entries or Words of Power) being clued in one clue each, and (b) two being clued in two clues each. All the first letters, and then all the last letters, of the six clues from (a) will say what your amazing abilities have now made you. And if each of the two clued words from (b) undergoes one pair of transformations one of your (real) colleagues mentioned, combining the results will give you even more powerful words!


1. Twirling neighbor's branned grass
6. Power lines surrounding ocean deity
10. Sot spun, perhaps, hitting your ear with salt-laced gas (2 wds.)
11. Loyal song precedes Chinese leader's return
13. Utilized Ted's stew
15. Drain 5 became obscured
17. Decorations for some go boxes back in wooded area before Sunday
19. After you drop the zee Doc's pal's name becomes red, to show disdain
20. Before third of triticale's outside of door Deb's near the sack?
24. Milliards of years after one destroyed half of SC
26. A frozen mass of unstuffed Bolognese ravioli
27. Ignoring Dee, Pat spun 90° twice to create a curvy-sided arch
28. Democrat at college with Minerva eviscerated Russian legislature
32. Addressing final pair of roseate leaders from Dubai, Papa did arithmetic (2 wds.)
34. At work, temporarily replace sinks, Jay
36. Note that woman one month after Elul
38. Every second of idealistic Gnats shows Don Draper or the Pope
39. The tail of that unshielded drone getting ripped and mangled
40. Diana, unclad, asks how Phoebus appears to you
41. Ecstatic Yule involving very loud person of great pulchritude
42. Deity that's originally winged female creature
43. Weren't curling about 3 ft. from Canadian


1. Body part of unenergetic philosopher David
2. Goddaughter's belly-dancing nene's not noted in a survey of peers?
3. Transmitted nonsense from Bishop Edward around the far end of Pallas
4. Entirely imaginary English roommate of Kate on a TV show
5. En France, surely Justice David mostly gets publicity about new member of subcommittee (2 wds.)
7. Figures of speech not involving tense lines
8. Stockholm-born actress Lena, on assuming Lear's raiment
9. Beer Roosevelt overturned as a warning
12. The author's one German device that creates pictures
14. Like that male tennis player named Arthur
16. Zeno's hometown is last to produce mead
18. Kind of dash and dot on that woman's male, warm-blooded creature
21. Toss Romanian coin over East African river
22. Blue lake grub makes sheeplike sounds
23. Every other part of Colum's wet British river
25. Appease us, ultimately, with a semi-tiny bean used to make sauce
29. Used to vibrate with purer, more lively D
30. To share out shilling and pound invested in supplier of ham
31. Of an earlier Time Orb of brownish-gray hue, containing liquid
33. Body part in back of trunk
35. A couple of Lutrillians — the last two to hitchhike with Skywalker
37. Maintain ownership of Dole bananas

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