Crossed Swords

by Mark Halpin



The grid may be completed as shown below. For a detailed explanation of the cryptic clues, click here. One diagonal reads YES, THIS X IS A HINT.

Wherever the letter X appears in the clues, it must be replaced with a different letter to make the clue's wordplay or definition half work properly. Letter changes result in legitimate words, although the surface sense of the clue may be lost. The new letters, in clue order, spell FIND HIDDEN EPISODES.

The hintful X and the references to sword fighting and apocalyptic battle suggest the anime series "X". Seven episode titles can be found in the grid as shown. Considering them in Across / Down order gives:


Alphanumerically, the episode numbers spell the solution POINTER (in the sense of either "hint" or someone honing a sword).

Note that some online sources number episodes a bit differently than as presented above. The "official" enumeration, as shown in the episodes themselves, begins with episode 00 An Omen. This is the counting used herein. Also, some online sources append leading articles to some episode titles. Since the original Japanese titles contain no articles, either might be considered correct.