Rackenfracker #3: Surface Dive

Management is not responsible for solvers developing the bends.

A variety cryptic’s variety can come in many forms. In the previous Rackenfrackers, the clueing was straightforward normal standard but putting words into the grid was fraught. Here, the grid is standard and correct answers can be entered immediately … but the clueing is curious, so don’t forget to read the instructions.

Many thanks to this edition’s editor, kaybartplays, the real-life owner of the owl shelf from this puzzle’s 19-Down and an indie constructor that navigates nimbly between the straight and cryptic crossword worlds. (Her cryptic acrostic collaboration is a pip.) We won’t get into the argument about whether being in Kansas makes her a fellow Midwesterner, but we’re proud to at least share a time zone with her. She’s also on Twitch; as she says, “follow to be surprised whenever I happen to start streaming again!” Thanks also to John, Andy and Joe for the test solves.

The unclued entry at 24-Across is a two-word phrase. Six other uniquely similar phrases are also in the grid, split into 12 entries. The clues for those 12 entries share the same difference: The definitions are intact, but for the wordplay you have to dive into the 24-Across.

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