Note: This is another in my sequence of post-Mystery-Hunt cryptics, which started with "Still There," "Post-Game Predictions," "The Sequel," and "Power Lines"; this one was written before the 2007 hunt and refers to the 2006 hunt.

A Lesson in Cryptography

by Kevin Wald

In the year since the 2006 Mystery Hunt, your on-the-job training here at SPIES has continued; you have, as before, alternately been discovering the names and locations of our undercover agents, and deducing the passphrases you need to contact them. Why, just this morning you found a submarine captain, and now you need to determine what message to give him and his crew.

In the cryptic below, each clue has an extraneous letter that must be removed before solving; taken in clue order, these letters give the message you must deliver. However, this message has been encrypted (with a simple substitution cipher -- I didn't have the nerve to make it harder), and must be decrypted to get the (rather long, but instructive) plaintext message.

When you have filled in the grid, you will also be able to deduce the name and location of the next group of agents you must contact. There are a certain number of special squares in the grid, and the positions of all but one of them fit a common pattern. The contents of the in-pattern squares, enciphered, will give you the alias this group of agents will be using, which has been carefully chosen to disguise their identity as completely as possible. To find the location where they will be, recite (i) the contents of the special square whose location doesn't fit the pattern, (ii) the column that square is in, and (iii) the row that square is in.


1. Raised tonnes of small string instruments
7. Toad has to flee prejudiced individual
11. Spot cold beryllium brick
12. 1000 sources of mental rules for a social group
13. Stench of endlessly perverse cheater
14. Barrel of date extract from Cannes fermented
16. Attention-getter cleft by a transvestite in a Kinks song
17. Earlier Ono acquires real old Greek ship
19. Rocker from TV follows singer Cole at a birthday
20. Frail in the end, during mediocre Kournikova's last set (2 wds.)
21. Left rice for a potentate
23. Publisher's addendum about untimely lice
25. Group mostly containing old poops
27. Oceans Gert mentioned
28. Crises in brown-painted parts of buildings?
30. In a Balkan region, Iran's pursuing new places to race around
32. Boone has large map showing lotus, say
34. Son fastens enclosures containing scows
36. Attach more leather to Stuart to excite dweeb the wrong way
37. Originally, you made Cindy retrieve a mythical Norse giant
38. Its value is unclear during the summer
41. Detect fractions of dimers sonically
43. Compared to vacuous, tartish, nude fauns
44. Bravo sought to provide margarine
45. Stool that stabilizes six lasers, essentially
46. Lout, after dropping off lady, is the one to give us a lift?
47. Oliver perhaps reinvented genre
48. Brilliance of Dotty, Sal, etc.
49. Nude statue of Fairbanks briefly gets concealed by Mr. Flanders
50. Linens of gold and scarlet turned colorless, ultimately


1. Give lipo to ravening football player, heightening sorrow
2. Turn over brass instrument to get chit
3. Gutless person obnoxiously emailing Rover charts again
4. Freud's heart, surrounded by power lines and bubbling green fluid
5. Star's obscurer manuscript about Shogun's score
6. Porter the swordsmith crushes bones in a New Testament city
7. Broad, woken unexpectedly, exhibits deterioration
8. Abraham's clad, afterwards, primarily in one bottomless bag
9. Republicans will have radical freed on a hiking trail
10. Rued missing Kentucky's races
15. She-sheep that is producing fiber
18. Gust drops shilling in front of lass overturning a penal institution
22. Speak deliriously of desire to start latte
24. A red clip's twisted and curled
26. Burt Lancaster, up front, sports award given for performing topless
28. After wild fun, the German roue from the south is less liked
29. Sox at times headed up avenues
31. Little wobbling that is somewhat delayed
32. Gym class with Seth's man had rankled
33. Toff with author Martin Short's head
34. Inverted symbols that may follow , or will spell out ATTACK (2 wds.)
35. Stone-producer doesn't finish making toast
39. Tut holds the head of raging Job
40. Upset at low comedian on The Tonight Show
41. Spout where you sit right up until this moment (2 wds.)
42. Talked about nephew's sins in a French city

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