January 2015 Puzzle Solution

The replaced ingredients in the special orders always appear in the following sequence:

condiments, lettuce, tomato, cheese, meat

This is a feasible order in which these ingredients might appear from top to bottom in a hamburger, and since the menu answers are each seven letters long, we can identify the second through sixth letters with these five ingredients in order (with the first and last letters representing the top and bottom bun). The spices replacing ingredients each start with a different letter of the alphabet and in fact represent those letters, so that each special order is requesting a set of letter changes to a burger answer. Every answer has one special order that changes it into a new word or phrase. For example, applying the twelfth special order to SAGUARO (the first clue's answer) transforms the lettuce, tomato, and meat letters into P, S, and G, producing the word SAPSAGO.

Each of the transformed answers is the name of either a condiment, a lettuce, a tomato, a cheese, or a meat. In the order of the special order list (the menu list is alphabetized by answer), extract the condiment letter from each condiment, the lettuce letter from each lettuce, and so forth. These letters spell MALTED MILK CANDY.

Almost done! One special order, the last on the list, was not applied to any answer. The answer to the clue MALTED MILK CANDY is WHOPPER, and applying the remaining special order to this final burger gives the final answer, WRAPPER (which is all that's left once your burger is finished).

M = glaMOUr - glaCIEr - Slow-moving mass of ice
A = maRMiTe - maCHiNe - Thing that rose in Terminator 3
L = oIlSEed - oBlIGed - Indebted (often after "much")
T = stILTon - stATIon - Place where a train stops
E = kETChUp - kINShIp - Relation by blood
D = chEDdAr - chOWdEr - Stew that's white in New England
M = romaINe - romaNCe - Nicholas Sparks genre
I = juBILEe - juSTICe - Virtue that's seated in the Rider-Waite tarot deck
L = buFFALo - buRRITo - Chipotle menu item
K = oAKLeAf - oNESeLf - "To love _____ is the beginning of a life-long romance."
C = oSTRiCh - oBADiAh - The Iron Monger to Tony's Iron Man
A = saPSaGo - saGUaRo - Arizona national park named for cacti
N = heRRing - heLPing - Giving a hand to
D = reDLEAf - rePROOf - Criticism, or a second justification of a theorem?
Y = tInYTIm - tAnTRUm - Petulant child's outburst

! = wRApper = wHOpper - Malted milk candy

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