Solution: Swimming Area

Written by Jonathan

The first step is to solve the clues. We also notice they can be grouped into 4 sets of 5 words, each of which have a unique length in their group ranging from 3 to 7. Each set of words can have a word relating to one of the four swimming strokes used in Individual Medleys (as clued by IM in the flavor text) prepended or appended to them.

Clue Answer Stroke
Part of the skeleton Bone (Breast) bone
Pause in activity Break Break (free)
Uncontrolled growth of cells in the body Cancer (Breast) cancer
Baseball position Catcher (Fly) catcher
Antonym of go Come Come(back)
Abbreviation for central banking system of the USA Fed (Breast)fed
Wheat flour constituent Gluten Gluten-(free)
Feeling based on intuition Hunch Hunch(back)
Inculcate Implant (Breast) implant
Plane Jet (Fly)jet
What one is after three strikes Out Out(back)
No longer in progress Over (Fly)over
Dish Plate (Breast) plate
One-fourth Quarter Quarter(back)
Popular board game Risk Risk-(free)
King or queen, e.g. Royalty Royalty-(free)
Change over Switch Switch(back)
Tariff Tax Tax-(free)
Heavy burden Weight (Fly)weight
Rotating disc Wheel (Fly)wheel

Once identified, we note that in an individual medley race, the stoke order is butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and finally, freestyle. As clued by the flavor text, we fill in the grid with the words associated with each stroke, from shortest to longest. Noting that fly and breast is prepended to each of the words, while back and free is appended to each word, or just from the realization that in an IM the swimmers move forward in the first and third lap, and “backward” in the second and fourth lap, we enter the words forward in the fly and breast lap, and backwards in the back and free lap.


Finally, reading off the highlighted cells in yellow in swimming order yields the final answer, JOHN COLLIER.