School-Safe Puzzle Games

Hokey Pokey

Tom Lion is a puzzle writer from Australia whose works regularly feature in puzzle magazines in Australia, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. He also maintains the puzzle blog, Gridless- www.gridlesscrosswords.blogspot.com.  Smart-Kit has previously published a Gridless puzzle called Deduction.

Tom’s Gridless puzzles are like crosswords in that they feature crossword-like clues but there is no Grid. The answers to the clues share an elusive feature in common and when the solver discovers that relationship, a vertical answerline reveals itself which neatly ties the puzzle title, clues, and theme together. Check out this latest Smart-Kit contribution from Gridless called “Hokey Pokey”.

Someone (perhaps prone to wild imaginings) once likened Tom’s Gridless puzzles to a complex song and dance.

“[They] are like asking someone to perform a dance to music they are hearing for the first time. The clues are the unfamiliar notes; their answers, the dance steps. Uncertain foot-tapping leads gradually to ever more confident sashays until finally the Gridless solver, despite his initial confusion, finds not just his foot but his entire body in a whirl of beautiful word music!”

Perhaps then the answerline is a mighty crash of cymbals at song’s conclusion? It reads down and as usual provides a neat finish to the puzzle.

Time to dance. Or foot tap, at least. Start by putting your answers in…

1. I think Salsa go-between prepares to stamp. (4)
2. Ground from a grand ball. (5)
3. The warning is a ballroom ceiling visible in the block. (3,4)
4. Check square dance barn, is finally enthusiastic. (4)
5. Characters are shimmying around a big stage. (3)
6. “….can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its (dancing?) shoes.” (Mark Twain) (1,3)
7. Square and Tap, perhaps, or back to back Swing starts. (5)
8. Makes known the artful Members of Parliament and I dance. (7)
9. More vulgar Eightsome Reel started after six left! (5)
10. Forms a successful group with extreme lambadaists after long dance finales. (4)
11. Rumbas so oddly around, drives into another! (4)
12. Jostles the Mexican Hat decorations. (6)
13. Lets out weary sounds, nags, or jigs. (6)
14. I leave unpartnered and unsullied. (8)
15. Fits easily with a production stage of vending machines? (5,2)

6 Comments to “Hokey Pokey”


  1. cheddarmelt | Profile

    1 inkS
    2 eartH
    3 bAd omen
    4 Keen
    5 Earth
    6 a lIe
    7 rooTs
    8 impArts
    9 viLer
    10 geLs
    11 rAms
    12 elBows
    13 grOans
    14 Unmarred
    15 T



    …still working on 15…


  2. bizarette18 | PUZZLE MASTER | Profile

    Shake it all about.


  3. cheddarmelt | Profile

    After a week of looking for a better answer, I’m back to my original for 15: Co-opt In. I guess I’ll know for sure once everyone’s comments are posted. Maybe someone else has a better answer.


  4. Cryptogram for week of 3/30/2009 | Smartkit Puzzles and Brain Teasers | Guest

    [...] Cheddarmelt and Bizarett18 have solved the Gridless Crossword, so will hold off a bit longer before posting the [...]


  5. RK | Founder | Profile

    Very nice work Cheddarmelt & Bizarette18!


    Here are the answers.

    1. INKS –> SKIN
    2. EARTH –> HEART
    3. BAD OMEN –> ABDOMEN
    4. KEEN –> KNEE
    5. ERA –> EAR
    6. A LIE –> ILEA
    7. ROOTS –> TORSO
    8. IMPARTS –> ARMPITS
    9. VILER –> LIVER
    10. GELS –> LEGS
    11. RAMS –> ARMS
    12. ELBOWS –> BOWELS
    13. GROANS –> ORGANS
    14. UNMARRED –> UNDERARM
    15. SLOTS IN –> TONSILS

    First letters of body parts spells the answerline: SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT


  6. LaDana | Profile

    Nice Puzzle.
    Been working on this puzzle since you posted it – even started dreaming about it :)
    Had the overall SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT and answers to 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10,
    11 and 15. Didn’t catch the body part anagram though – that might of
    helped :)
    More please :)


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