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April Cocktail: Margarita Solution

66 of you solved the April Cocktail puzzle, Margarita, with 33 solving the original puzzle without any help. Congratulations to all! Below is the solved grid and an explanation of the final answer. A full solution, including cryptic solutions to every clue, is available for download on my Patreon page. If you haven't joined, sign up at https://www.patreon.com/negronis_cocktails, which will also give you access to future puzzles. The next Cocktail will launch on Saturday, June 8, at 4pm Eastern.

Cheers!

Negroni

Five grid entries must pack the four letters NACL into a single square. The letters in the same square of the crossing entries are A, B, C, D, and E, signifying an order. In the grid above, these squares are labeled X* in red, with the * indicating NACL in one direction. New words must then be made from the crossing entries using the related letters SALT in place of A, B, C, D, and E, yielding:

SALTIRE, LOSALTOS, SALTON, BASALT, PSALTER.

These new words are alternate answers to the straight definitions at the start of the clues for the words:

RAVEN, OAKLAND, CASPIAN, KIMBERLITE, SACRARIUM.

The first letters of these words give you the answer, ROCKS, which is what you say when you want to order a margarita with ice.

About Me

My name is Martin Reinfried, and in some circles, I am known as Negroni. I have been writing puzzles for a long time, both for work and for fun, and I have always been enamored of cryptic crosswords, especially variety cryptics. I have written several variety cryptics, some for fun, some appearing in the MIT Mystery Hunt, and some published in the National Puzzlers League's Enigma magazine. Most of the variety cryptics I have written can be accessed at negroni.fun/puzzles. I am a software engineer, and I have been a co-founder of a couple of companies, including Shinteki, where I wrote a mobile app to run puzzle-based events. I live in Telluride, CO with my wife Dennise and son Max, and I look forward to providing you with a steady stream of variety cryptic puzzles.