TWO OUT OF THREE AIN'T BAD

by Dan Katz

Solution: SONDHEIM

Two clues from each triad make up the clues to two diagramless crosswords with slightly different grids (but the same Across/Down numbering scheme.) The third clues can't be fit into the grid, but one might notice that the first words of the first two are "Examine initials." Taking the first letters of all the spare clues gives EIGHT LETTERS CORRESPOND TO BLACK SQUARES IN THE OTHER GRID. CAESAR SHIFT THEM BY SIX. The letters that become black in the opposite grid (shaded below) in grid order are MIHXBYCG; Caesar shifting these letters six positions gives SONDHEIM, an apropos answer for a puzzle with "side by side" grids.

 A U K I B M S S R I S M E E O P T I C O P A L S S H R I N K Y E R T L E C A G Y A B O A R D E T D A G O B L O W I S M E N E V A D E R X E N A O K A Y R A R E O L L A E S S O A R A B A N D R E V L A S I C C L U B O U R A I L C E N T E R T U N A P A L A C E N A B O B S D I R A C E N A C T T U R K S I L K A S S S A D
 B B B P A W O R E O D I V A K N I T S E L A N D B O U G H T C O T T O N T E D S L O L I T A Z A P S T A D E N I M R E E V E R A K I S H V A N A N E W B L E D L A M S L A V A M E W Y I E L D S C B E R S G H O S T A R K M E G C O R O N A A G U A L A U R I E S Y S T E M S T A L E T E N O R A P E S A R I Z H E R R S T