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A Twins baseball-themed cryptic crossword puzzle

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Turn it 45 degrees and it’s a baseball diamond.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Cincinnati Reds
If they make a mistake and start swearing at each other, they’ll be exchanging cross words.

If you didn’t already know from my previous articles here, I’m a nerd.

As such, I’ve passed a good portion of the week leading up to what would have been Opening Day by constructing a Twins- and MLB-themed cryptic crossword puzzle.

For those who aren’t as familiar with cryptics, such puzzles differ from those crosswords we Americans are familiar with primarily in their clues. While US crosswords almost exclusively use definitions as clues, cryptic clues include both a definition and wordplay leading to the answer.

To give an example from a recent r/crosswords community-compiled grid, take the clue

Endearing story about Blake Lively (8)

The solution is LIKEABLE, discovered this way:

  • A word meaning “story” (LIE)
  • containing (indicated by the word “about”)
  • an anagram (indicated by the word “lively”)
  • of the letters “BLAKE,”
  • which gives LIKEABLE, an eight-letter word meaning “endearing.”

Check out the Wikipedia page on cryptic crosswords for a fuller overview of how clues in these puzzles can work, and other common types of wordplay used.

The link at the top of the article leads to a solvable online version of the puzzle. (Many, many thanks to r/crosswords moderator Antagony for coding the grid in Exolve!) If you get stuck, there are buttons to check your answers below the grid.

One note: the puzzle introduction refers to three highlighted answers. If you’d like to know which three they are, click the “Show ninas” button below the grid. (I recommend this.) If you want a challenge, don’t click it.

Good luck, and good puzzling!