Out of Shape #3: Tales from the Crypt

Your puzzlemakers attempt a tribute. Will they pull it off and/or will they cave?

Listen: You can stop writing your letter to the editor. We know that the first three puzzles in our suite about puzzles that are non-traditional shapes have been, uh, pretty square.

Not in their variety mechanisms, to be sure, but they have sadly been very normcore in their layouts. Next month, we promise to be as unorthogonal as we are unorthodox.

When jmsr525 works through his puzzle backlog, he tends to tackle all of one outlet or one constructor, gleaning what he can about their bounds of acceptability so he can wield that knowledge as a weapon against the trickiest clues they offer. Doing that over and over means he sometimes develops a specially tailored eye for style and ear for surface, which brings us to today's homage.

Thanks to Andy Stilp and John Sams with extra thanks to Will Nediger, who all pushed hard to make a difficult puzzle doable. Further thanks are due to individuals we can't name here, but whom you'll find in the answer key.

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