Act VI, Scene 1

Bloody Oath

51 solves / 709 incorrect guesses

Solution: OPSHOP

Credits: Zoe Schwerkolt, Daniel Tao

This puzzle initially appears to be a regular (cross-shaped) crossword, alongside a number of clues. The clues quickly reveal themselves to be Australian slang, both in clue wording and in answer, and upon solving a few of them, we quickly notice that the number of letters in the answer doesn’t quite fit with the number of letters in the grid for a large number of the clues. This indicates that some letters may need to be removed, or donated. The title, alongside the Red Cross theme, indicates the concept of blood donations. If we try removing the letters O, B and A (letters used for blood groups) from the answers, they then fit in the grid. The answers to the clues are:

Across Clue Answer Down Clue Answer
1 Someone who whinges a lot SOOK 1 A bushman’s bed SWAG
3 Where 14-down goes after doing hard yakka TIP 2 Caught going over the limit BOOKED
6 “Great!” BEAUT 4 The chair of the ABC, after Justin ITA
7 Type of telly program typically shown on SBS DOCO 5 A member of parliament POLLY
8 A sheila who plays basketball for Straya OPAL 8 You might blow your dough playing these machines POKIES
9 Tucker that you fix in the morning BREKKY 10 Where you might keep 27-across cool ESKY
11 “C’mon, ____, C’mon!” AUSSIE 12 Where you send the ankle biters before they start prep KINDY
12 Skippy, for example KANGAROO 13 “Great!” BONZA
16 Someone who is annoying NARK 14 Someone whose job involves wheelie bins GARBO
18 Truckloads or oodles HEAPS 15 The time of day most people knock off ARVO
21 Rabbit or waffle YABBER 17 Buggered or knackered ROOTED
25 “Great!” BRAVO 19 Also a middy or a schooner POT
26 Played by the Pies and the Souths FOOTY 20 If you do this, don’t forget to Slip-Slop-Slap SUNBAKE
27 Alternative to a longneck STUBBY 21 You might catch one in a farm dam YABBY
28 From Moreton Bay, for example BUG 22 Passion Pop and VB, for example BEVS
35 Traditional tucker cooked on 26-down DAMPER 23 Wild horse BRUMBY
36 An affectionate insult for an unfashionable person DAG 24 To ditch class WAG
39 The captain who rediscovered Straya COOK 26 Redheads can be used to start this FIRE
40 “Ow ya goin?” GDAY 29 A marsupial missing from our dollars and cents WOMBAT
42 Grog shop BOTTLEO 30 To be really excited about something RAPT
43 A government payment you might bludge DOLE 31 Someone you often hang out with at Chrissie RELO
44 Not sheilas BLOKES 32 The night before he ties the knot BUCKS
45 What tinnies are commonly packaged into SLABS 33 Bathers or swimmers TOGS
46 Cheerio or toodle-oo HOOROO 34 The Yarra has two of these BANKS
47 Someone who never burns out from burnouts HOON 37 These are a species of cockie GALAHS
49 Fruity Lexia, for example GOON 38 Where someone who uses 1-down might camp BILLABONG
51 Comfy boot UGG 41 Snitches DOBS
52 Pants, commonly trackies DAKS 43 Someone who is incompetent DRONGO
53 What a billy can is used to brew TEA 48 Slagged off or copped a bit of flak BAGGED
54 Between a kickboard and surfboard in size BOOGIEBOARD 50 A small corner where you might find a daddy long-legs NOOK
52 A Blue Heeler, for example DOG

The solver might then notice four almost-complete words leading into/out of the central Red Cross: TUCKSH_, NWRRIE_, _UNTSMN, _ERHUSE. Filling the blanks, we obtain the words TUCKSHOP (canteen), NOWORRIES (no problems), HUNTSMAN (a type of spider), OPERAHOUSE (famous Australian landmark). The missing letters of each word is OP, S, H, OP spelling out the final phrase OP SHOP, which means charity shop or thrift shop. This answer is thematic with the puzzle’s concept of donations, Australian slang, and the Red Cross. If unsure whether the O’s should be counted, removing the O's lead to PSHP, from which the final answer should still be deducible.

Author's notes

Thanks to the teams who helped spot the misnumbering of the crossword grid. We hope that Australian teams found this puzzle really enjoyable, and that non-Australian teams enjoyed the chance to learn about our ‘culture’ ;)