Word▶️ #6: Man in the Mirror

You might enjoy this puzzle on one condition.

There are a million things to say about this puzzle, all of them spoilers, spoiler-adjacent, or spoiler-adjacent-adjacent. So: mum's the word, narrowly beating out "Grease" and "the bird."

Test solves have shown this is a puzzle that resists at every turn; we don't intend to do that to you, but some puzzles just want to be hard. So rather than setting aside some time to solve it, consider setting aside some times.

The pop culture here is even more incidental here than it was in Marvel Team-Up — some might say this approaches Pure Variety — but we think there's a nice payoff for the iykyk crowd.

Thanks to Andy Stilp, John Sams and joeadultman for their test solves, and to Bill MacDonald for his edits. Thanks also to @CrusaderDeleters, who was our inaugural clue intern.

[Update: We have put Man in the Mirror into the vault, to be released again this autumn in the Word▶️ collection. Subscribers can find a link to the puzzle in the emails we sent on Feb. 25, Apr. 25, May 25 and June 25.]

Our puzzle has this condition that affects three distinct groups of 12 clues. In one group, the condition affects the clues; in another group, the condition affects the entries; in the other group, the condition … well, it defies easy categorization.

The puzzle’s condition reflects a case study of someone who also has a deficiency associated with time (and, alas, each of seven entries do as well, in addition to any other condition it may or may not have). The name of the study passes through the center square.

In total, only six answers are totally unaffected, so we recommend caution before putting anything down in ink. Enumerations are withheld. Affected entries may not be words. One answer is obsolete.

Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

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