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Solutions for Act II Scene 3 - D Pad

Trying to work out some of the clues should lead to the conclusion that the answers won't directly fit into the crossword. Most clues are purposely ambiguous, but some clues with only one logical answer are:

Mnemonic for the conventional orientation of 3D vectors RIGHT HAND RULE
Usually happens before rocket launches and on New Years Eve COUNTDOWN
Doctor-lite episode starring Donna Noble TURN LEFT
Status Quo hit turned ad campaign DOWN DOWN
Actor's version of house right STAGE LEFT
90 degrees RIGHT ANGLE
Form of treatment involving needles ACUPUNCTURE
User interface element which reveals a list of options when clicked DROP DOWN MENU
To release violently, most notably for volcanoes ERUPT
What bad dancers are said to have two of LEFT FEET

A quick scan of the list reveals that each answer contains either UP, DOWN, LEFT or RIGHT as a substring. The title D-Pad, which refers to the plus-shaped directional pad found on many gaming consoles, agrees with this, and we can expect the other answers to follow the same trend.

But how do we fit the answers into the crossword? There are many ways to realise this, but the most obvious clue is with DOWN DOWN - the answer has eight letters, but only two cells are available in the crossword. This suggests that each directional substring fits in a single cell. Trying the same with other clues confirms the idea, and the crossword can be filled out like so:

But now what? Given the theme of this puzzle, we can expect the directions to be important in some way. This is indeed the case - each direction represents a drawing instruction, and the three colours split the crossword into three sets of instructions.

Following the instructions produces the following:

We have three letters which spell "ddr". This is a reference to the game Dance Dance Revolution, which features an abundance of directional arrows and is played on a dance pad. The colours of the puzzle, which are the colours of DDR's current logo, serve as a further visual confirmation.


Design notes:

This is in fact the second version of this puzzle. The original version was much uglier as a crossword, only highlighted the first of each directional instruction using red (as opposed to colouring all in the same group) and had some stranger answers (such as LIVERIGHT, clued as "Dracula play producer Horace"). The main reason for the change though was to create a clue which points out of the grid (which in the final puzzle is PLAYWRIGHT) to deter teams from taking the letters pointed to by the directions.

And yes, "Konami code" was considered as either an answer or title (since DDR is by Konami), but would have been far too obvious in either case.

The answer is: dancedancerevolution