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A Figure in Hiding

· By Alex Sisti · Published 2024-06-10T12:00:05.833Z

Meta Prompt
The answer to the meta is a fitting symbol of victory.
Good morning Muggles, and welcome to Muggle Meta Monday!
This puzzle – titled “A Figure In Hiding” – is part 2 of my four-puzzle Detective Suite (the first one was “Elementary, My Dear Watson”). The topic of the suite is one of my favorites, fictional detectives. No intimate or complete knowledge is needed on any of these sleuths, but a visit with Mr. E… I mean Mr. G… might be required for corroboration.
This second puzzle is based on another of my favorites growing up (and continuing well into adulthood), The Hardy Boys.
Hardy boys? Having been introduced as 15-year old Joe and 16-year old Frank in 1927, these two centenarians are hardly boys! My test solvers fairly agree that this is a Week 3, so don’t lose heart if you don’t solve it right away; there’s always Nudge Wednesday. Please submit your solution by 10 PM on Saturday, and as has become the custom, I’ll post a couple snapshots of a leaderboard during the week.
Oh… and did I mention that this suite also has a mega-meta answer? Well, it does, so keep track of the puzzles as you solve them. And now, gather up Chet, Biff, Iola, Callie and the gang and fire up the jalopy… the game is afoot!
Checking for previous play data...

Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • Capn Rick solved 2024-06-10T12:58:38.088Z
  • Danny K Bernstein solved 2024-06-10T13:33:47.469Z
  • Darth solved 2024-06-10T13:52:59.459Z
  • Hector solved 2024-06-10T14:03:40.833Z
  • Pair O Ducks solved 2024-06-10T14:07:31.434Z
  • kurtalert solved 2024-06-10T14:25:08.960Z
  • woozy solved 2024-06-10T15:10:25.621Z
  • FrankieHeck solved 2024-06-10T15:25:05.773Z
  • boharr solved 2024-06-10T15:33:32.751Z
  • hoover solved 2024-06-10T16:04:11.437Z
  • JM solved 2024-06-10T17:18:41.455Z
  • Dave C solved 2024-06-10T17:26:37.341Z
  • LarsCaine solved 2024-06-10T17:39:54.166Z
  • markhr solved 2024-06-10T17:52:18.546Z
  • Wendy Walker solved 2024-06-10T18:04:33.972Z
  • Meg solved 2024-06-10T19:13:29.526Z
  • Cindy Weatherman solved 2024-06-10T19:41:18.506Z
  • whimsy solved 2024-06-10T20:04:59.222Z
  • Gutman solved 2024-06-10T20:23:41.597Z
  • Ergcat solved 2024-06-10T20:47:11.863Z
  • Anita and Steve solved 2024-06-10T21:07:17.284Z
  • heidi solved 2024-06-10T21:14:33.737Z
  • I K Snamhcok solved 2024-06-10T21:19:06.739Z
  • Alvibu67 solved 2024-06-10T21:44:23.803Z
  • Mwoychick solved 2024-06-10T23:04:54.254Z
  • DIS solved 2024-06-10T23:08:12.964Z
  • lbray53 solved 2024-06-10T23:26:21.916Z
  • Eric Porter solved 2024-06-10T23:38:50.821Z
  • Abide solved 2024-06-10T23:55:19.605Z
  • HeadinHome solved 2024-06-11T00:17:40.189Z
  • DebbieC solved 2024-06-11T02:02:15.546Z
  • KayW solved 2024-06-11T02:35:37.499Z
  • rjy solved 2024-06-11T04:25:51.628Z
  • DrTom solved 2024-06-11T12:58:05.682Z
  • Bird Lives solved 2024-06-11T14:53:47.012Z
  • Schmeel solved 2024-06-11T15:24:11.102Z
  • andeux solved 2024-06-12T01:05:26.589Z
  • MatthewL solved 2024-06-12T13:51:32.022Z
  • dannyvee solved 2024-06-12T14:13:28.844Z
  • bhamren solved 2024-06-12T14:16:06.817Z
  • DCBilly solved 2024-06-12T14:16:59.222Z
  • Sharkicicles solved 2024-06-12T17:37:42.179Z
  • Johnny Luau solved 2024-06-12T17:58:04.615Z
  • minimuggle solved 2024-06-12T18:13:46.641Z
  • ajk solved 2024-06-12T18:34:32.107Z
  • CPJohnson solved 2024-06-12T18:39:57.406Z
  • Jaclyn solved 2024-06-12T18:58:08.383Z
  • david solved 2024-06-12T20:21:50.213Z
  • LB800 solved 2024-06-12T20:39:15.604Z
  • Berto solved 2024-06-13T01:13:47.930Z
  • Susan solved 2024-06-13T02:14:07.517Z
  • Kulea solved 2024-06-13T05:04:10.401Z
  • omnilynx solved 2024-06-13T15:54:49.174Z
  • BarbaraK solved 2024-06-13T16:31:31.610Z
  • Sanna solved 2024-06-13T20:58:07.897Z
  • mardel solved 2024-06-15T02:22:30.376Z
  • Tom Wilson solved 2024-06-15T19:31:12.367Z
  • Laura M solved 2024-06-16T22:34:06.664Z
  • Tyrpmom solved 2024-06-18T20:06:22.211Z


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  • Capn Rick 🤓11:11 · 2024-06-10T13:00:46.463Z
    I had a lot of fun with this one, Al! Great clues in your Detective Suite.
    • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-10T13:50:21.431Z
      Thanks, Rick...
    • Hector 12s · 2024-06-10T14:05:24.347Z
      Count me a Stan of this one!
      • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-10T15:50:06.434Z
        I see what you did there!
      • Darth 22:58 · 2024-06-10T13:58:57.358Z
        Nice one, Al! The symmetry helped get me there.
        • kurtalert 🤓6:41 · 2024-06-10T14:26:38.589Z
          Very nice! I missed the words prefaced by BOYS initially, so I was left with UREL... anagram to RULE... BOYS RULE sounds like a victorious saying! Nope! LOL
          • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-10T15:50:34.082Z
            At least you didn't try to Google "LURE BOYS"...
          • woozy 🤓15:24 · 2024-06-10T15:12:04.850Z
            Oh, what a nice start to a monday!
            Good puzzle. Confess I never read on know surprisingly little about the Hardy Boys so I'm afraid I probably missed every reference. Would love to know what they.
            • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-10T15:51:46.509Z
              All will be revealed...
            • boharr 3s · 2024-06-10T15:34:10.710Z
              Very nice. Thanks, Al
              • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-10T15:51:18.573Z
                Thanks, Bob...
              • woozy 🤓15:24 · 2024-06-10T15:18:04.732Z
                Oh... I was going to comment about how odd it was 8D was described as a Spencer Tracy film rather than the more common description of a Tracy and Hepburn film. I that briefly the them was you you only going to mention the boys in entertainment but it became clear that wasn't it.
                Loved your clues.
                • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-10T15:50:58.327Z
                • hoover 4s · 2024-06-10T16:04:37.709Z
                  Fun one! Looking forward to more. Also, hmm, a mega-meta!
                  • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-10T17:00:13.627Z
                  • Dave C 5s · 2024-06-10T17:28:06.503Z
                    Nice one. I'm not sure I see the link to the Hardy Boys, unless it is Laurel and Hardy?
                    • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-10T18:57:28.475Z
                      Yeah, that was it... just my cute way of coming full circle, from a victor getting a laurel (coupled with "attaboys") for winning, to [Stan] Laurel -- the figure in hiding outside the grid -- partnering up with the Hardys. I got the idea from Blazing Saddles ("It is my privilege to extend to you a laurel, and hearty handshake...")
                    • Wendy Walker 5s · 2024-06-10T18:06:29.867Z
                      Excellent puzzle, Al! Thanks! Now to start on the mega-meta!
                      • markhr 🤓15:12 · 2024-06-10T17:59:43.169Z
                        Both of these have been great fun, Al. I look forward to the rest.
                        • Ergcat 11:57 · 2024-06-10T20:48:06.779Z
                          Very nice! I love a Detective mystery too! Thank you!
                          • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-11T03:42:49.882Z
                            Me too... and there's something about reading these on the porch during a rainstorm. Who says you can't go home again?
                          • Eric Porter 4s · 2024-06-10T23:54:09.086Z
                            I got 5/6 of it. I can't figure out if "life boys" / "boys life" is 33D or 54D.
                            • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-11T03:41:58.604Z
                              The "Boys" are always added on the outside of the border, so it's Boys' Life...
                            • HeadinHome 🤓6:22 · 2024-06-11T00:18:55.606Z
                              I detected it! You’re right.. no knowledge of the books needed, thank goodness.
                              • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-11T03:47:43.458Z
                                Might not have helped anyway. The first 38 stories underwent a major editing/rewriting phase from 1959 to 1973, to update the lingo, clothes and modes of transportation, and to "fix" the sadly-prevalent and cringeworthy un-PC content and stereotypes.
                              • KayW 🤓8:24 · 2024-06-11T02:38:31.691Z
                                So much fun! And I much appreciate the fact that someone who's never read a single Hardy Boys book (gasp!) could solve it. Thanks, Al!
                                • Bird Lives 8s · 2024-06-11T15:11:59.112Z
                                  Love it. The boys are hiding outside the grid. Also it's like two names in a name chain: Hey Jude ➛ Jude the Obscure ➛ Thomas Hardy ➛Hardy Boys ➛ Stan Laurel, etc. The only thing I remember about the Hardy Boys is that their car was a "roadster." I had no idea what a roadster was. Didn't all cars go on roads?
                                  Is ATTA BOYS supposed to be phonetically "add a BOYS"? Only in America, where we soften our Ts to Ds. The Brits pronounce a T like a T.
                                  • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-11T19:08:48.923Z
                                    I think that's why we declared our independence. But yes, and I might have stolen that metanism from one of you recent MMMs? Some Muggle, anyway.
                                    • Berto 1s · 2024-06-13T01:17:55.847Z
                                      I took phonetically a bit far and came up with 80 TA - the biggest truck stop in the world? I was totally 70ac with this one. (Do love that Corey Haims film though!!!)
                                    • DrTom 20:39 · 2024-06-11T13:05:15.586Z
                                      Oh I LIKE Laurel and Hardy!!! At first I thought Atta…hmmm, Henry Z atta from hidden figures, no too Google centric. Then I saw it as I should add a BOYS. No Google necessary for this fogey, I've read Look AND was a scout! The Choirboys was the hardest because I was thinking AA team. Great puzzle great fun, another fine mess you’ve gotten us into!
                                    • MatthewL 🤓15:20 · 2024-06-12T13:54:22.956Z
                                      Very nice. Needed the first nudge only, and then saw what to do. I don't know why I didn't see it sooner, as my first thought for 69A was Lost Boys, as that is the only Corey Haim movie I know. Thanks for the puzzle, Al!
                                      • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-12T15:56:48.815Z
                                        And thank you for sticking with it!
                                      • Sharkicicles 3s · 2024-06-12T18:01:12.550Z
                                        I feel this took some pretty clever cluing to throw the hounds off the scent. Thanks!
                                        • ajk 9:45 · 2024-06-12T18:37:49.337Z
                                          I suck at sound-alike things, so needed the first nudge. But much fun after that, thanks. :)
                                          • omnilynx 16:10 · 2024-06-13T15:56:56.231Z
                                            I needed the nudges. I can never make the leap to alternate clues.
                                            • Laura M 🤓11:07 · 2024-06-16T22:34:44.141Z
                                              Oops, I completely forgot about this one after I didn't solve it immediately. Very nice!
                                              • Tyrpmom 1s · 2024-06-18T20:06:59.006Z
                                                Better late than never. Sorry I missed this one last week.
                                                • Alex Sisti constructor · 2024-06-20T16:13:20.037Z
                                                  Parts 3 and 4 coming soon, and the mega-meta that involves all four...
                                                Compound sentence?
                                                1. 1A
                                                  Compound sentence?
                                                2. 5A
                                                  "___ the chain I forged in [1-Across]" (Jacob Marley quote)
                                                3. 10A
                                                  Work alternative
                                                4. 14A
                                                  "thirtysomething" actor
                                                5. 15A
                                                  Stranger, slangily
                                                6. 16A
                                                  "I can't believe ___ the whole thing!"
                                                7. 17A
                                                  River in France
                                                8. 18A
                                                  These, in Madrid
                                                9. 19A
                                                  Auction units
                                                10. 20A
                                                  Deadly hurricane of 2005
                                                11. 22A
                                                  Brunch potable
                                                12. 24A
                                                  "Pull up a chair"
                                                13. 26A
                                                  Angels' division?
                                                14. 29A
                                                  Syr. neighbor
                                                15. 30A
                                                  Fixture at many church services
                                                16. 34A
                                                  Biloxi Shuckers or Amarillo Sod Poodles
                                                17. 36A
                                                  Pie-cooling site of yore
                                                18. 38A
                                                  Santa ___
                                                19. 39A
                                                  See 12-Down
                                                20. 40A
                                                21. 42A
                                                  It's to dye for!
                                                22. 43A
                                                  Matterhorn, e.g.
                                                23. 44A
                                                  Where to watch "The Handmaid's Tale"
                                                24. 45A
                                                  Poach a pooch?
                                                25. 47A
                                                  One-eyed "Futurama" charcter
                                                26. 49A
                                                  On-line Learning Program (yeah, it's what you think)
                                                27. 51A
                                                  Muggles' destination on Mondays
                                                28. 52A
                                                  Asthma treatment
                                                29. 55A
                                                  California band
                                                30. 57A
                                                  Cigarette sponsor of "The Red Skelton Show"
                                                31. 61A
                                                  Jupiter's wife
                                                32. 62A
                                                  Query again
                                                33. 64A
                                                  Early SONY personal computer
                                                34. 65A
                                                  That ubiquitous cookie
                                                35. 66A
                                                  Jodie Foster, for one
                                                36. 67A
                                                  Cackleberries, in diner slang
                                                37. 68A
                                                  "___ Without Pity," Oscar-nominated song that lost to "Moon River"
                                                38. 69A
                                                  Corey Haim movie of the 1980s
                                                39. 70A
                                                  At sea
                                                1. 1D
                                                  Periodical no longer found on newsstands
                                                2. 2D
                                                  Pelvic bones
                                                3. 3D
                                                  Global symbol of solidarity
                                                4. 4D
                                                  Focused efforts towards a particular aim
                                                5. 5D
                                                  WWII heroine Sendler, soon to be portrayed by Gal Gadot
                                                6. 6D
                                                  Sushi condiment
                                                7. 7D
                                                  Tolkien creature
                                                8. 8D
                                                  Spencer Tracy movie
                                                9. 9D
                                                  WWII riveter of note
                                                10. 10D
                                                  Standalone shows used to try to sell a TV series
                                                11. 11D
                                                  Where kips are spent
                                                12. 12D
                                                  With 39-Across, kudos... and, phonetically, a hint to solving this meta
                                                13. 13D
                                                  "Close to the Edge" band
                                                14. 21D
                                                  God of scorched earth and pestilence ("Dude, I told you not to be late for 'God Assignment' class... but did you listen??") Oh, okay: found in AIRRAID
                                                15. 23D
                                                  Star Wars baddie Darth ___ (that sure narrows it down)
                                                16. 25D
                                                17. 26D
                                                  Secretive clique, generally formed for nefarious purposes
                                                18. 27D
                                                  In Hawaii, someone who is not a native Hawaiian
                                                19. 28D
                                                  Follower of Daguerre?
                                                20. 31D
                                                  Barbera's partner in animation
                                                21. 32D
                                                  Early mainframe
                                                22. 33D
                                                  "Green Acres" carpenter played by Mary Grace Canfield
                                                23. 35D
                                                  School attended by NBA's Magic Johnson
                                                24. 37D
                                                  Solute used in "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test"
                                                25. 41D
                                                  "Pink Panther" inspector
                                                26. 42D
                                                  Grouping category in human development studies
                                                27. 44D
                                                  A door-able dealer Monty
                                                28. 46D
                                                  Coin paid to Charon for passage to Hell ("W-wait... I'm going to Hell and I have to pay for it!? That's not fair... I demand a lawyer!" "Pay up and you'll find plenty...").
                                                29. 48D
                                                  Home of a 50s scaly creature
                                                30. 50D
                                                  Ancient Iran
                                                31. 53D
                                                  "The Adventure of the ___ Coronet," Sherlock Holmes story
                                                32. 54D
                                                  Ones engaged in promiscuous indulgence
                                                33. 55D
                                                  Currency born in 1999
                                                34. 56D
                                                  From the beginning
                                                35. 58D
                                                  "Othello" villain
                                                36. 59D
                                                  Band jobs
                                                37. 60D
                                                38. 61D
                                                  Make a quick note
                                                39. 63D
                                                  Part of ABV on a bottle of Guinness (btw, it's 4.2%, which is lower than Michelob Light. So there.)