Crossed Words: Finding alternatives


Answers to clues are placed horizontally in rows to reveal an answer written vertically. Unlike the familiar acrostic puzzle format, the final answer can be in any column.

Horizontal clues

1) Botflies do this to skin

2) Makes the material that bathes the brain

3) Performance-enhancing drug or ancient Chinese remedy

4) Microbiology test positive for P. aeruginosa

5) Inactive enzyme precursor protein, e.g., pancreatic products

6) To underlie, such as blood vessels

7) Statistical mean

Find in the vertical columns: Alpha-agonist assists in the amorous act. The puzzle grid is Table 1.

Bonus clue, find in the vertical columns: Supplemental boost

Answer: Yohimbe

The answer grid is Table 2.

The bark of the yohimbe tree contains a chemical called yohimbine, which has been studied for erectile dysfunction, and has been used in folk medicine as an aphrodisiac. Side effects may include high blood pressure, increased heart rate, headache, anxiety, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, tremors and sleeplessness. It's contraindicated in people taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors, high blood pressure medications and tricyclic antidepressants or phenothiazines.

(Source: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Accessed online Jan. 13, 2014.)

Bonus answer: Ginseng

Photo by Thinkstock
Photo by Thinkstock

Ginseng has been used as a medicine for more than 2,000 years, and about 6 million Americans use it regularly. Its Asian variety, Panax ginseng, contains substances called either ginsenosides or panaxosides. It is often taken for improving concentration and other mental performance tasks in otherwise healthy people between the ages of 38 and 66. (Source: Medline Plus/U.S. National Library of Medicine. Accessed online Jan. 13, 2014.)