Take a 4-letter name of an African country, a 4-letter word meaning "grand" and a 4-letter word meaning "young kids". Alternate using the first letters of the above in order, then the second letters of each in order, then the third and finally the fourth, so the sequence is CGKCGKCGKCGK, for Country, Grand and Kids. The letters of each word are taken in order.
The full word means an abstract discussion of governance. What is it?
New York Times puzzle by Will Shortz, published September 16, 2020.
There are only two African countries named with four letters: MALI and CHAD. There are several synonyms of GRAND with 4 letters. Young kids, being plural, however, immediately suggested only TOTS to me. Putting the letters of TOTS in the correct places in the solution, and realizing that the first letter must be either M or C, makes the second letter a vowel, and this is the first letter of the synonyms for GRAND. From a list of synonyms, I found EPIC, and then things fall into place nicely. The answer is METAPOLITICS.
Posted by Kenny M
on 2020-10-07 13:49:17