Sunday, February 17, 2019
puzzle 96: "winding numbers"
special solving instructions that are very important: some squares in this grid will be filled with different letters in the across and down directions. when read in the appropriate order, the across letters will spell out an apt shape, as will the down letters. i strongly advocate printing this puzzle out and solving it on paper; the puz file works, but be aware that it is programmed to accept the across answers only, and not the down answers, so it'll be harder to keep track of things, etc.
with that warning out of the way, i'd like to thank everybody who tested this puzzle. as i suspected, it had the potential to be a bit buggy, and indeed there were a few accidental traps due to the possibility of multiple answers. thanks to the test solvers, i cleared some up, but any remaining traps remain accidental, and are all my fault anyhow. but hopefully once you get to the end it's clear which squares are (or are not) part of this puzzle's theme.
otherwise: if it helps, this puzzle was made for the university of iowa's math department newsletter (which, for the first time in over three years, is not run by yrs truly).