In the grid below contiguous cells of the same color all have the same letter. Cells that are the same color but are not contiguous need not contain the same letter, but of course do have the same letter as any same-color cells that are contiguous with them.
You start by solving the middle four rows using these clues for the 6-letter words that are to be placed there, not necessarily in order:
- making mistakes
- thin surface layer of wood
- more spine-tingling
The first and last words have a common bond.
Adapted from Mensa Puzzle Calendar 2018 by Fraser Simpson, Workman Publishing, New York. Puzzle for March 20.