Word▶️ #5: Marvel Team-Up


We've got a fun one today for you, guys — and if your familiarity with the Marvel cast of characters starts and ends with a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, worry not: There's basically no truly thematic material here. This puzzle's variety gimmick was genuinely inspired by the MCU, but the clues are agnostic.

Given its ubiquity around these parts, it would be convenient to coin TTASJSAJFTTS as an initialism — which is to say, thanks to Andy Stilp, John Sams and joeadultman for their test solves — but we're genuinely appreciative and it's worth saying in full. Special thanks to Bill MacDonald for his edits — if you caught us on Will Nediger's January Twitch stream , you'll know that he's republishing puzzles from his '00s magazine Cryptics Monthly on a new website of the same name, bringing some lost straight and variety cryptics by puzzling superstars back into circulation. Congrats on the relaunch, Bill — that sound you hear is pencils the world over being sharpened.

[Update: We have put Marvel Team-Up 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 Jan. 25, Feb. 25, Apr. 25 and May 25.]

In Marvel Comics adaptations, one movie’s headliner showed up in someone else’s movie to create a shared “universe” of 23 movies over 12 years that, piece by piece, told a self-described “saga” of those characters stopping a villain from using a magic glove to do cataclysmic prestidigitation.

In this puzzle, 23 clues have cameos from the answers to other clues. (The other 23 clues were spared.) We did this in hopes that the puzzle wouldn’t 35-Across, for the benefit of the Marvel universe and, debatably, you. One answer is jargon.

Subscribe to The Rackenfracker

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.