# Solution to Grid with a Hole in the Middle

This is a standard cryptic crossword, with a hole in the middle. Solve the clues and you will notice that there is only one O in the entire grid.

Read down the initials of the Across clues and they spell out ROLL THE BALL TO THE HOLE. So, treat the grid as a tilt-maze: the O is the "ball", and let it "roll" orthogonally until it hits a wall, at which point it changes direction. The shortest path from the O to the hole in the middle of the grid is as follows: down, right, up, left, down, right, down, right, up, left. The letters at the points at which the ball changes direction spell out ONE HUNDRED, which is the answer to the puzzle.

Solutions to the clues follow:

Across:

``` 2. TESLA: raTES LAboratory
6. BLEAK: B[lack] + LEAK
10. CENTER: CENT + E.R.
11. EASE: CEASE - C
12. ENNUI: mEaNiNg + WE homophone
14. EATERY: HEATER - H + Y
18. NICHE: N(I + CH)E
19. LASHED: AS HELD anagram
20. INLAY: IN PLAY - P
21. SUEDE: SUE + D[esigner] + E
23. EVENER: EVE(N[ic]E)R
27. AIDED: A.I. + DEAD - A
29. LAGER: LARGE anagram
31. SANDED: hackS AND EDitors
32. STARE: STA([b]R[ains])E (EATS reversed)
33. LAIN: LA(I)N
34. APEXES: APE + X + E[at]S
36. RANGE: RAN(G)E (EARN anagram)
```

Down:

``` 1. OCEAN: double definition
2. TENPIN: NIP NET reversed
3. STUN: NUTS reversed
4. LEI: multipLE Idol
5. AREAL: ARE+ [h]AL[f]
6. BEAT: BE(A)T
7. LATHS: HALTS anagram
8. AERIE: A + ERIE
9. KEYED: K + EYE + D
13. NUCLEIN: A CELL UNSEEN LI'L anagram - ALLELES
17. HEY: H + EY
21. SAG: GAS reversed
22. DECREE: DE + CREE
23. EDSEL: unmatchED SELler
24. VEALY: belieVE A LYnx
25. NUDIE: NU + DIE
26. RADAR: RA(f) + D + A + R
28. DRESS: DURESS - U
29. LENS: L + ENS ("various cardinal points")
30. ETEN: lEaThErN
32. SPA: deSPAir
```

The completed grid looks like this:

2006 MIT Mystery Hunt