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," "Some Extraction on the Side," "Another Campaign," "Mind The Sharp Bits!", and "Through The Wood"; this one was written before the 2021 hunt and refers to the 2020 hunt. "NI2" and "NI3," as is usual in the National Puzzlers' League, indicate the second and third editions (respectively) of Merriam-Webster's New International Dictionary. Also, when counting words as per the instructions, a number like "123," an isolated letter like "Q," a formula like "H2O," an abbreviation like "MTA" or "e.g." or "misc.," or an apostrophized or hyphenated expression like "we're" or "jack-in-the-pulpit" will count as a single word.

Newbie Toonie

as told to Kevin Wald

Ever since I was a youngster in Europe, I've dreamt of being a Loonie Toonie, and now that Penny has made Penny Park a success my dream is about to come true! Specifically, she has created a new non-corner area of the park for me, and its first four attractions will be three repurposed attractions from three surrounding areas, plus one other repurposed item on the park map. (Click here for the map, which may help with this puzzle.)

(A) The old attraction in one area needs almost complete redirection and recoding. Twelve clues in this puzzle work normally but have answers that must be altered before entry: (1) six will be almost complete and redirected, and (2) six will be encoded in Morse code, redivided in a specific numerical pattern, and decoded. (One altered entry will be a surname.) In each (1) or (2) clue, circle the first or second letter (respectively) from the start and end of the clue; in clue order, the circled letters will spell out the title and subtitle of the old attraction. Apply changes (1) and (2) to the first and second halves of the title respectively; the result will be the title of the repurposed attraction (which keeps the same subtitle).

(B) Another old attraction sounded too tame for its area. In six clues you must change one sound to another before solving, and then also perform that same sound change on the answer before entry. (One altered entry will be a brand name.) In alphabetical order by clue, the changed sounds will give the name of the attraction both after and before repurposing (they sound alike); the original sounds will give the spelling distinction between the new and old names.

(C) In the third area, the old attraction ran into Intellectual™ Property™ Issues™. In eighteen clues, the wordplay will yield a letter sequence containing an extra bigram (letter pair), which indicates the column and row (in that order) of one square in the grid. Then:

(D) One word in each of twelve clues must have a letter changed before solving. Where the altered word is the mth word from the start of the clue, highlight the mth letter of the answer in the grid. Reading these highlighted letters counterclockwise (starting where the item from (C) indicates) will give the name of the new attraction repurposed from what is in this location currently. Also, within the boundary formed by the highlighted letters, in a straight line, you can find the unifying theme of all these new attractions; if you also highlight that line, you will form my initial, and if you make a similar modification to the first letter of the unifying theme, you will get my name.

Now let's generate some buzz for the new park area! Order the (D) clues by the counterclockwise order used in (D). Then the original letters in forwards order, and the changed letters in backwards order, will spell two different flattering descriptions of me (relevant to the (A) and (B) park areas respectively). Also, in each (D) clue, if the altered word is the nth word from the end of the clue, highlight the nth letter from the end of the clue; in this same counterclockwise order, these highlighted letters will say what Penny and I have each publicly vowed to do with the new area (her vow indicates what sort of thing the new area is).

Finally, the remaining seven clues are normal; underline the middle two or three words of each (if the clue has an even or odd number of words, respectively). You can add the flattering descriptions relevant to the (A) and (B) areas, and the item from (C), in that order, after three of these underlinings so that (in clue order) all the underlinings and additions form three cryptic clues (each ending with one addition), not all of whose answers are dictionary entries. (The middle clue must be altered, and have its answer altered, as per (B).) Each of these three cryptic clues will incorporate a different number of underlinings; the numerical sequence from (A2) will thus hint at how to assemble their results into another potential source of buzz.


1. Tub smelled terrible after the start
4. Fluorescent mineral containing the twelfth element actress Moorehead fed to one of the six relatives
11. Chapter about code-cracking org. by little satirist Mort
13. Accompanying people's French street clothing and Italian tin
14. Joule abandons artist Johns at university where Quechua is heard
15. Buck's hundredth part is "Speechifier's Nose"
16. A Shakepearean character who may do court business loudly and stare lasciviously
17. Mystery author involved in Irish dance with Ma
18. Woks hang there quietly beside old path (2 wds.)
20. Father deity thar threw an apple west
22. Shot from a George C. Scott film whose Oscar is ultimately indefensible
24. Couple from Anaheim that's mating badly after reversal becomes fully committed (2 wds.)
26. Phrase meaning "Kevin's aspirins" almost supplies name for flapjack emporium (abbr.)
28. Senior getting the last quarter from Chip for a thousand dollars that might be counterfeited
31. Sajak adores couple, plus one loyalist
33. Energized heart monitor nine times as heavy as a Quarter Pounder (abbr., hyph.)
34. Birch or beech unrightfully leafed in Norway near southern adolescents
35. Combing vehicle with energy to get a payload
36. Identifying (at first) with disheartened Hera, complain about Indian leader
37. Entertainer Martin's street, at night
40. Texan community lay around discussing pooch
42. Spin reporter's authored "14 from '10 and '12"
44. Lincoln's face is on this part of a bonito
45. Canvas cloths that cover damaged stent
46. Kind of film of hot wax coating one muscle
47. Filmed Cuthbert, leader of Sumatra, in aide's Terminator 51 rehash (essentially)
48. La Femme Nikita director Besson meets wacko king of the English and Norse
49. C6H14 isomer in her ochre, ax-sawn reefer dissolves every other thing [NI3]
50. General Ximenez expelling eleven FBI people (hyph.)


1. Citizen who appeared in a Welles movie and announced the killer of the "Third Man"
2. Percussion instrument is capsule covered with graphite, diamond, or buckminsterfullerene, e.g.
3. Those who are goonlike TV hosts embrace and sob after evacuating
5. Pooch belonging to Nick and Nora and Charlie and someone who venerates Haile Selassie
6. Before sprint, go without nougat to provide lissomeness
7. Duo's other individual peeling device keeps Tesla new
8. Veto basketball franchise in New York vocally
9. Neighbors of the leads in ET tersely heeling Spot before he escapes shelters
10. Gofer and ER writer Ayn and athlete Oil Can initially reform (2 wds.)
11. Don't play topless musical featuring "One Wrong Glory"
12. Lyrical DiFranco meets Massachusetts lady's beasts
19. Deeply verdant box originally got taken by "Dr. Buddy," who was Jed Clampett (hyph.) [NI2]
21. Entering rough Thames, he becomes Scarlett's inamorato
23. Later terra cotta is produced blunderlessly and lovelessly (hyph.)
25. Acoustic sensors used by people who snooze outside the ordinary clothing company
27. Rising moon near Europe hovers over southeastern French river
29. Each Georgia ewe's mate … um, is where some ancient Greeks were
30. Relate, when drinking one third of Alabamian beer whose carbonation is not artificial (2 wds.)
32. Aimless Doctor Nick presents a term that means "C7H15COOH" when attached to "acid" [NI3]
34. G and N appear nowhere in tan, heathen rock group's name (2 wds.)
37. Manginess primarily possessed by semivolatile old Italian battery maker
38. Cutting from Esau of Idumaea's stunning
39. Immediately dismiss Guevara and relatives of Chet Atkins, before reflecting
41. Bottom half of fliers reinterpreted threefold, secondarily Biblical character
42. Check given by queens in Strasbourg
43. Snippet of genetic material from Texas penetrating node backwards

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