Wednesday, December 24, 2008

25 days of crossword clues...

45 down Nights preceding
(PennyPress Nice and Easy Crosswords, June 2008, puzzle #27 )

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

25 Days of Crossword Clues



38 down Snowman of song
(New York Times, Aug 9, 2004, by M. Francis Vuolo, edited by Will Shortz)

Monday, December 22, 2008

25 Days of Crossword Clues

36 across Father Christmas
(New York Times, November 14, 2005, by Marjorie Berg, edited by Will Shortz)




Sunday, December 21, 2008

25 Days of Crossword Clues

38 across Holiday team leader
(New York Times, Jan 1, 1997, by M. Diehl, edited by Will Shortz)


This is a hard clue so I will give you a hint. The answer is related to yesterdays clue.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

25 Days of Crossword Clues

128 across Cupid, e.g.
(New York Times, Nov 23, 2008, by David J. Kahn, edited by Will Shortz)


Don't forget e.g. means for example. So, Cupid is an example of what?

Friday, December 19, 2008

25 Days of Crossword Clues

64 down Yule tree
(New York Times, Sep 16, 2008, byMichael Langwald, edited by Will Shortz)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

25 Days of Crossword Clues

21 across "The first ___, the angels did say...."
(New York Times, May 19, 2008, byMike Nothnagel, edited by Will Shortz)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

25 Days of Crossword Clues

56 down Brief holiday?
(New York Times, Aug 5, 2008, by Joon and Caroline Pahk , edited by Will Shortz)




Tuesday, December 16, 2008

25 Days of Crossword Clues

50 down Legendary toymaker
(Penny Press Favorite Fast and Easy Crosswords, Jan 2009)

Monday, December 15, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

45 down Gift from Santa, maybe
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

25 Days of Crossword Clues

39 across December's ____ log
(Penny Press Favorite Fast and Easy Crosswords, Jan 2009)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

58 North Pole Laborer
(Penny Press Favorite Fast and Easy Crosswords, Jan 2009)

Friday, December 12, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

43 across Christmas-dinner meat
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

57 across Santa-suit grime
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

45 down Part of a Santa costume
(Universal Crossword, Fare Game, by Henry Quarters, edited by Timothy Parker)


Picture Santa in your mind and think of all the pieces of clothes he wears. Which one fits?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

66 across Like Santa's cheeks
(Universal Crosswords, Fare Game, by Henry Quarters, edited by Timothy Parker)

Monday, December 8, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

49 across Christmas-candy shape
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

25 Days of Crossword Clues

59 across Contents of Santa's sack
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

21 across "_____ Christmas"
(Kappa Easy-to-do Crosswords, volume 133, puzzle #94)




Friday, December 5, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

29 down Christmas song
(Dell All Easy Crosswords, July 2008, puzzle #50)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

23 across Nick name?
(New York Times, May 4, 2008, by Richard Silvestri, edited by Will Shortz)







Wednesday, December 3, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

14 across December holiday, for short
(Trivial Pursuit for Kids Crosswords, by Trip Payne, published by Sterling Publishing, pg. 73)


"For short" means the answer is an abbreviation.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

1 down Exclamation from Scrooge
(Dell All Easy Crosswords, July 2008, puzzle #23)

Monday, December 1, 2008

25 days of Crossword Clues

Starting today I will do my best to find Crossword Clues that relate to the Holiday Season ...

24 across Santa's worker
(PennyPress Nice and Easy Crosswords, June 2008, puzzle #27)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Crossword Letters

10 across Drawer pull
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords Double Issue, volume 73)


Notice anything special about the answer above? Sometimes when you are looking at clues and answers you know some of the letters because of the crossing clues. In this case we have an N already filled in as the second letter. This gives you a big hint because there are only a few letters that can go before the letter N. It has to be a vowel or the letter K.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Foreign Crossword Clues

55 across Mexican coin
(PennyPress Nice and Easy Crosswords, June 2008, puzzle #27 )


This is a straight forward clue. The answer is what a coin is called in Mexico. If you don't know the answer try looking it up.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Your Serve Crossword Style

Here are 2 crossword clues that have something in common - Tennis serves. They are both common clues that you see often. Both clues are from PennyPress Nice and Easy Crosswords, June 2008, puzzle #27.

2 down Scorer on a serve


53 across Faulty serve

Friday, November 21, 2008

Crosswordese - EEL

May 29 I introduced the crosswordese EEL. Here are two more clues for this slippery Crossword answer.

54 down Wriggly swimmers
(Universal Crossword, Tinge of Puzzlement, by Tom Genners, edited by Timothy Parker)

30 down Snaky fish
(PennyPress Nice and Easy Crosswords, June 2008, puzzle # )

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tricky Crossword Clues

66 across Moccasin without laces
(Universal Crossword, Thinking Green, by Ken Swalls, edited by Timothy Parker)


This is a tricky clue so think of different meanings for all of the words. And if you need more help look at the hint.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

School Daze Crossword Clues

Here's a clue that comes straight from your Social Studies book. Remember when you see quotation marks, like in this clue, it means a title.

5 down "Common Sense" guy
(Universal Crossword, Thinking Green, by Ken Swalls, edited by Timothy Parker)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cross Passions

Two of my favorite things are crossword puzzles and The Simpsons. Sunday they came together in a fun and unique way. The TV show The Simpsons featured Lisa going "crossword crazy." The final puzzle she does is the New York Times crossword puzzle. The fun part is that the puzzle she does actually appeared in the Sunday paper.

You can read more about it at this link -
New York Times Wordplay Blog

Monday, November 17, 2008

Crossword School Daze

The answer to this clue is something all school kids are familar with ....

36 across They are current
(Universal Crossword, Thinking Green, by Ken Swalls, edited by Timothy Parker)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Crossword TV

Tonight on the Simpsons, Lisa goes Crossword Crazy! The New York Times Puzzle editor Will Shortz will make an appearance as an animated character along with puzzle constructor Merl Reagle. I can't wait to watch!

Here's a picture from the show.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Crossword Clue Words

44 across Counterpart of substance
(Universal Crossword, Thinking Green, by Ken Swalls, edited by Timothy Parker)


Counterpart is a crossword clue word that means the same as crossword clue word partner. Still don't know how to solve the clue, click here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In Other Words

46 across Sneeze need
(Universal Crossword, Thinking Green, by Ken Swalls, edited by Timothy Parker)


There are lots of words that could be the answer to this crossword clue but only one will fit. Make a list of all the possible answers. Here's a few to start...
  • tissue
  • Kleenex
  • ????

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Crossword Puzzle People

21 down "Of Thee I Sing" lyricist Gershwin
(Universal Crossword, Thinking Green, by Ken Swalls, edited by Timothy Parker)


This should be an easy one. If not review this post.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tricky Crossword Constructors

One way crossword puzzle constructors make a clue tricky is by hiding proper nouns at the beginning of a clue. Crossword clues always start with a capital letter. So, you never know for sure if the first word is a proper noun or just the first word in the clue. Take this clue for example....

14 across Crest holder
(Universal Crossword, Thinking Green, by Ken Swalls, edited by Timothy Parker)


Is it a crest (a design on a coat of arms) or is it Crest toothpaste?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tricky Crossword Clue

19 across One who's rubbed out?
(Universal Crossword, That's Hot, by Alfred Reeds, edited by Timothy Parker)


I don't have to tell you what the ???? means. That's right something funny is going on. Figured it out? Check your answer by clicking on the drop box.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crossword Presidential Trivia

President elect Obama and his wife will be visiting the White House today to see their future home. But do you know who lived in the White House first? I'll give you a hint ... it wasn't George Washington.

16 across The White House's first occupant
(Universal Crossword, That's Hot, by Alfred Reeds, edited by Timothy Parker)


Even if you don't know the answer for sure, you can take a guess based on the information you know. Which President's last name began with the letter A? If this was a full crossword puzzle you could pencil in the answer and check it against the crossing clues.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tricky Crossword Clues

23 across Half of the U.S.?
(Universal Crossword, That's Hot, by Alfred Reeds, edited by Timothy Parker)


Remember a couple days ago when we had the clue about Tyrannosaurus..... Well, this crossword clue is very similar. Your first hint that it's not asking for something straight forward is the ? at the end of the clue. The answer has more to do with the word U.S. (or what the abbreviation stands for) than with the U. S. itself. In other words, it's not a trivia question about the United States.

Hmmm....... I only "bolded" half of the U.S. do you think that's a clue?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Poetry Crosswords

Here is a crossword clue featuring a poetry word that we covered before. Do you remember it? If not go to June 24 .

49 across Above, to Shakespeare
(Universal Crossword, That's Hot, by Alfred Reeds, edited by Timothy Parker)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tricky Crossword Words

30 down Tyrannosaurus chaser
(Universal Crossword, That's Hot, by Alfred Reeds, edited by Timothy Parker)


This clue might make you picture a Tyrannosaurus crashing through the jungle with an even bigger and meaner dinosaur chasing it. But actually the chaser in this clue means a word that usually chases or comes after the first word. When you see the word Tyrannosaurus it is usually followed by what 3-lettered word?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'd like a vowel, please

Sometimes you just don't know the answer to a clue. You read the clue over and over again but you just can't figure it out. Don't give up, try something different. Instead of focusing on the clue, try looking at the answer. Don't even think about the clue. Just look at the word. Look at the combination of letters. Does it look like any word you know?

It's kinda like doing the puzzle in reverse. Give it a try. I'll give you the answer first, starting with 1 letter. Each clue will give you another letter. See if you can guess the word before the final letter is revealed. The last box is the clue.























Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Crosswords around the World



Have you ever wondered if they do crossword puzzles in different languages? I found this crossword puzzle in Arabic. I don't read Arabic so I don't know what the puzzle is about but it is interesting to look at.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Crossword Puzzle Files

Did you notice, except for Halloween, the last 7 posts all came from the same crossword puzzle? It's true and I did it on purpose!

All of the clues came from Universal Crossword, Fruit Cocktail, by Linda Hoffman, edited by Timothy Parker. They were all good examples of clues that I would save in my Crossword File or Notebook.

Just think.....what if you knew the answer to 7 clues in a crossword puzzle without giving them much thought at all. Wouldn't that be a big advantage? Of course, it would! You would have lots of letters filled in on the crossing clues to build off of. That's why it's a good idea to look over your puzzle when you are finished and make a few notes.

Here's one last clue from the pack. File it under crosswordese.....

19 across Pinnacle

Monday, November 3, 2008

Crossword Compass

Get out your Crossword Compass and a map and see if you can figure out this clue....

12 down Mobile - to - Cleveland dir.
(Universal Crossword, Fruit Cocktail, by Linda Hoffman, edited by Timothy Parker)



Find out where the city of Mobile is and then figure out where Cleveland is. Now draw an imaginary line between the two cities. Which way is that line pointing based on your compass? That's your answer!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tricky Crossword Clue

28 across Cabbage side
(Universal Crossword, Fruit Cocktail, by Linda Hoffman, edited by Timothy Parker)


Ok, I put this in my Tricky Clue category because I didn't get it at first. Now that I know the answer it seems easy. Do you know what the answer is?

My problem was the word side. I took it quite literally to mean the side of the cabbage. I tried leaf but it didn't work with the crossing clues. Then I realized it meant side dish. Always look for alternate meanings!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween! I hope you have a day full of fun treats...... like this Halloween themed crossword puzzle.

http://www.infoplease.com/xwords/halloween.html

Enjoy!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Crossword Puzzle People

I.M. PEI is todays Crossword Puzzle Person. He is a successful architect. He was born in Guangzhou, China and moved to the United States when he was 18, to study architecture.

You can see a picture of him and read more about his famous buildings on wikipedia.

Crossword clues about PEI usually mention architect or architecture along with his first two initials. Here's an example -

39 across Noted architect I.M.
(Universal Crossword, Fruit Cocktail, by Linda Hoffman, edited by Timothy Parker)

I first learned about PEI while doing the New York Times crossword puzzle. I put his name in my file of puzzle people. I'm glad I did because when I saw the clue above in a different puzzle, I knew the answer right away!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tricky Crossword Clue

When trying to solve a tricky crossword clue, use all of the information available.

24 across One of a storied threesome
(Universal Crossword, Fruit Cocktail, by Linda Hoffman, edited by Timothy Parker)


In this example, we know that it's one thing of three from a story. What stories do you know that involve threes.....
  • the three little pigs
  • the three musketeers
  • Goldilocks and the three bears
  • The three little kittens (who lost their mittens)

Do you know any more? Do any of these fit the space for the answer?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Foreign (Cross)Words

52 across So long, in Paris
(Universal Crossword, Fruit Cocktail, by Linda Hoffman, edited by Timothy Parker)


In America, we say so long, good bye, see you later. In Paris the say.......

Here's a hint they speak French in Paris. Use a English-French dictionary if you need to.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Crossword Connection

48 across A-E connection
(Universal Crossword, Fruit Cocktail, by Linda Hoffman, edited by Timothy Parker)


The biggest part of answering a crossword clue is figuring out what it's asking. In this case, the word connection in the clue above is simply asking what connects A to E. What connects the letter A to the letter E? A _ _ _ E

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fill-in-the-Blank pt. 2

POP QUIZ!

Just to see if you were paying attention to yesterday's post here's another fill-in-the-blank clue for you to try. Good luck!

30 down word with "doll" or "bag"
(Universal Crossword, Fruit Cocktail, by Linda Hoffman, edited by Timothy Parker)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fill-in-the-Blank

18 down Kind of rug or code



How do we go about answering this clue? Let's take a look - we have 2 words, rug and code, that have something in common. They both have one word in common, one word that will be our answer. It's a kind of rug and a kind of code.

In this situation I like to play fill-in-the-blank. I write down on a piece of paper each word with a blank in front of it. like this ...

_____ rug
_____ code

Then I think of words that could go in the first blank and then try them in the second blank. When I find a word that works in both and is the same number letters as my answer, I pencil it in the grid.

for example,
I think of shag rug
now fill it in the second blank....
shag code
right number of letters but what the heck's a shag code. I'll have to try again!

hmm.... what's another type of rug ..... do you know? Is it also a type of code? See if you can figure out the answer.

PS - you can start with types of codes and test it on types of rugs second.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crossword Puzzle Themes

Some crossword puzzles have themes. A theme is a set of clues that are related to one central idea.

One myth about theme puzzles is that all of the answers will be related to the theme. This might be true for themed Criss-cross puzzles, but not for Standard American-style Crossword puzzles. Theme clues and answers for Standard crossword puzzles are usually limited to 4 or 5 of the longest entries in the puzzle.

So, what's the big deal about themes? Themes are fun! It's like a brain teaser inside of the puzzle. If you figure out the theme before you finish the puzzle it can help you answer some of the other themed clues. (and that can help you answer other clues which can help you finish the puzzle!)

Here are the theme clues for Universal Crossword, Fruit Cocktail, by Linda Hoffman, edited by Timothy Parker. Try to figure out the theme. The title gives you a big hint.

17 across Lump in one's throat


56 arcoss "Maybellene" singer


11 down Head honcho


32 down Plaster ingredient

Crossword Notebook

This blog is sort of a Crossword Notebook. It's a place where I can keep notes about things I've learned while doing crossword puzzles. Things that will make me a better puzzler in the future.

You can do the same for yourself. You can use a notebook or whatever system works for you. When I'm not blogging, I use index cards to write down crosswordese, puzzle people, or other crossword clues I want to remember. That way I can keep similar clues together and it's easy to look up information when I need it.

Try it for yourself!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crossword Compass



Compass points come up often in crossword puzzles. But since 3 letters is the smallest word a puzzle can have, there are only 8 possible choices - NNE, ENE, ESE, SSE, SSW, WSW, WNW, NNW. If you are lucky, the clues gives you some information to help you narrow down the choices even more. Use the picture above or try to picture the compass in your head to help you figure out the answer.

Here's a clue that points to the right answer -

20 across 180 deg. from wsw
(Universal Crossword, Jingle All The Way, by Lizzie Swathmore, edited by Timothy Parker)




Sunday, October 19, 2008

Free On-line puzzles

Looking for a new source of crossword puzzles? I found this site called Boatload puzzles. They say they have over 40,000 puzzle to try on-line. I'll have to take their word for it because I lost count after 439. You can play on-line or you can print them out.
Click here >>>>>Boatload puzzles

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Crossword Puzzle People

Today's puzzle person is PELE.

PELE was one of the greatest all-time soccer players. He was originally from Brazil and that is where he started his soccer career. Later he moved to the United States and played for the New York Cosmos.

Crossword clues about PELE use words like Brazil, soccer, football, legend and champion.

Here are some examples -
36 across Brazilian sports legend
(Universal Crossword, Math Class, by Mary Genary, edited by Timothy Parker)

12 down Old Cosmos great
(New York Times, June 10, 2008, by Barry C. Silk, edited by Will Shortz)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tricky Clue

Our clue of the day has a ? at the end. You know what that means - Put on your thinking caps! Doing a crossword puzzle is like solving a brain teaser. Constructors try to trick you by using words in different ways. Tricky clues are hard but they can be funny when you figure them out.

18 down Bolt with no threads?
(Universal Crossword, Fighting Words, by Marsha Handley, edited by Timothy Parker)


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Crosswordese

Today's Crosswordese is AIL. It's what will happen if you eat too much candy this Halloween. It is a verb meaning to cause pain or trouble to or to feel pain or be ill.

Here are some clues for AIL (with one trick thrown in)

4 across Feel lousy
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords Double Issue, volume 73, puzzle #1)


58 across Not well
(PennyPress Easy Crossword Express, v.117, puzzle #52)


16 across Feel off
(Universal Crossword, Body Language, by Mason Lorry, edited by Timothy Parker)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Roman Numeral Crossword Clue

57 down 251, in old Rome
(New York Times, Oct 13, 2008, by Lucy Gardner Anderson, edited by Will Shortz)


Analyze the clue - We have a number and the phrase "in old Rome." So, the clue is asking how we would write 251 if we lived in Rome way back in olden times. That part is easy right, we would use Roman Numerals. The hard part is figuring out the Roman Numerals! Click on the drop boxes below if you need a hint.






Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I'm back with some crossword tips

I'm back from vacation and back to doing crossword puzzles. I like to do the New York Times Crossword puzzle but I don't want to pay $1.50 everyday so I thought I would share this tip with you. Instead of buying the newspaper just for the crossword puzzle, I go to my local library. I make a copy and do the puzzle at home. The copy machine only costs me 10 cents and saves the clean puzzle for everyone else. It's a great way to do the crossword puzzles from the newspapers.

Here's another tip - the New York Times crossword puzzle gets harder as the week goes on. Monday is the easiest and Saturday is the hardest. (Sunday is the biggest but not the hardest puzzle.)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Crossword Break

I'm going on vacation. I'll be back next weekend with more posts. Keep doing crossword puzzles until I get back!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Crossword Clue Connections

What does this picture have in common with yesterday's post about President Eisenhower?
They are both named IKE.

This picture is of Hurricane IKE that came through the Caribbean and made land fall in the United States at Texas in September 2008.

Crossword Constructors like to find new ways to clue common answers. Hurricane IKE is something that was recently in the news and recently in the New York Times Crossword puzzle!

34 across Hurricane of 2008
(New York Times, September 30, 2008, by Allan E. Parrish, edited by Will Shortz)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I like Crossword Puzzle People

Who is that man in the photo?

It's President Dwight D. Eisenhower. But his friends call him IKE.

I like IKE. Why? Because he's on my no-brainer list for Crossword clues. Is IKE on your no-brainer list? Here are somethings you should know about IKE -
  • He was the 34th President of the United States
  • His supporters wore buttons that said "I Like IKE"
  • He ran against Adlai Stevenson
  • Camp David, the presidential retreat, is named for his grandson.
  • He was General of the Army in World War II


Sample clues -
39 across Adlai's opponent in '52 and '56
(New York Times, by Leonard Williams , edited by Will Shortz, Sep 17, 2008)

52 down Gen. Eisenhower
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords, vol. 73, puzzle #1)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crossword Clues for Everyday use

Not all the answers to crossword puzzle clues are big $10 words. Some answers are the small 50 cent words that we use every day. Here are some examples. Hint #1 - don't over think it. Hint #2 - both clues are 2 words.

12 down ____ angle (tilted)


61 down Taking care of the situation


Today's clues are from
Universal Crossword, Start It Up, by Delores White, edited by Timothy Parker

Monday, September 29, 2008

Take a Second Look

74 down Molten rock
(US Airways magazine, Home Sweet Homeland, by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, July 2008)




When I saw this clue my first thought was LAVA. But LAVA doesn't fit. It doesn't have enough letters. Hmmm... I needed to find another word that means molten rock. Do you know? Check your answer by clicking on the arrow above.

hint: Molten rock is called lava when it is above the earth's surface but it's called something else when it is below the surface.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Crossword Puzzle People

Not all puzzle people are from the distant past. Some are popular right now.


27 down Jessica of Hollywood
(Universal Crossword, Jingle All The Way, by Lizzie Swathmore, edited by Timothy Parker)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Crossword clue -ER

Give me more, more, more! Yesterday we had RE- and that was good. But today we have -ER and that is "more" better. What I'm trying to say is if it was tall, more makes it taller. If it was short, more makes it shorter. Get it? Here are 2 "more" clues to try and you'll see what I mean -

35 down More delicious
(Dell All Easy Crosswords, July 2008)



66 across More green around the gills
(Universal Crossword, Jingle All The Way, by Lizzie Swathmore, edited by Timothy Parker)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Clued in to Crosswords

When a clue uses the words "a second time" or "again" you can pencil in the first two letters even if you don't know the whole answer. The first two letters will most likely be RE because if you are doing something for a second time you are RE - doing it. Filling in some letters will help you figure out the crossing clues.

36 across Lubricate a second time
(Penny Press Nice and Easy Crosswords, June 2008)




Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clever Crossword Clues

Give your brain a work out with this clever clue.

36 across Being number one?
(Universal Crossword, Body Language, by Mason Lorry, edited by Timothy Parker)




Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crossword Compass


27 across Baltimore to Philadelphia dir.
(Universal Crossword, Slow Down!, by Armet Kingsley, edited by Timothy Parker)










picture from the Coast Guard website

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take a guess

Sometimes you just don't know the answer to a clue. You read the clue over and over again but you just can't figure it out. Don't give up, try something different. Instead of focusing on the clue, try looking at the answer. Don't even think about the clue. Just look at the word. Look at the combination of letters. Does it look like any word you know?

It's kinda like doing the puzzle in reverse. Give it a try. I'll give you the answer first, starting with 1 letter. Each clue will give you another letter. See if you can guess the word before the final letter is revealed. The last box is the clue.
















(Universal Crossword, Ah, Come On!, by Joyce Winters, edited by Timothy Parker)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Clever Clues


Happy Fall! Today is the Autumnal Equinox or the first day of fall.
The picture above comes from the National Park Service website for Shenandoah National Park in VA. Check out their Fall color webcam.

16 down Gatherers of the fall fall
(Universal Crossword, Math Class, by Mary Genary, edited by Timothy Parker)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Puzzle Person



Today's puzzle person is Robert E. Lee. He was a Southern General during the Civil War. He fought for the Confederate States of America. His last name and middle initial sometimes appear together in crossword grids.

Here are some sample clues -
56 across Civil War General
(Dell Easy Crossword Collection, June 15, 2008, puzzle #5)

38 down Gen. Robert E. ____
(New York Times,July 27, 2006, by Ethan Friedman, edited by Will Shortz)


Bonus question
What does the E. stand for

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Poetry Words Crossword Style

We haven't done a poetry word in awhile. So here is a new one OFT. OFT is easy enough it means often, frequently, alot, etc...

Most often I see it clued as Frequently followed by something relating to poetry such as in verse, poetically, to a poet, etc.

Here's an example from Penny Press Good Times Crossword Puzzles

41 acrss Frequently, to Keats

So, when you see the word frequently in a clue think OFT.

Friday, September 19, 2008

In other words....

Here's a clue that is similar to yesterday's clue.

9 down Blade
(Universal Crossword,A Trip to the Zoo, by Roslyn Ashe, edited by Timothy Parker)


Both use the word blade in the clue. But do they mean the same thing?
Yeasterday Blade meant a single leaf of grass but today??? We don't know because we only have a single word to go on. That means we need to find another way to say blade that fits the space and letters available. Let's make a list of other words that could replace the word blade in a sentence.

Other words that mean something sharp
knife
sword
razor

Other words that mean an oar
paddle
propeller

other words that mean a blade of grass
leaf
spire

Can you add any words to the list? Do any of the words fit the answer grid? Check your answer by clicking on the arrow next to the dashed lines.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Clever Crossword Clues

57 down Blade wetter
(Universal Crossword, Body Language, by Mason Lorry, edited by Timothy Parker)


Crossword clues can be tricky. Remember flexible thinking is the key. A blade can be different things - a sharp sword, a rowing oar, a single leaf of grass.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Did you Know...

Did you know a person who makes or enjoys crossword puzzles is a......

Cruciverbalist.

Are you a cruciverbalist? I certainly hope so!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Foreign Clues

12 across Bullfight cheer
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords Double Issue, volume 73)



Foreign words, names or cultural events in a clue are a big hint that the answer will be in another language. Figure out the language and you are on your way to figuring out the clue. Good Luck or should I say buena suerte!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Crossword Links

The New York Times Learning Network publishes an on-line crossword puzzle for kids twice a month. This month's theme is Hurricanes. Along with the crossword puzzle are links to learn more about this month's subject. With all of the recent hurricane activity, I'll be clinking on those links to learn about this important subject. Try it yourself by clicking on the link above.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Kids and Crosswords

Last week the New York Times ran crossword puzzles constructed by teenagers. Every day of the week was by a different teenager ranging in age from 15 to 19. You can read an article about one of the teen constructors here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Crossword Trivia

Ever wonder how the crossword puzzle got it's start? Well, wonder no more! Here's a link to an article that will tell you all about it including a copy of the first ever crossword puzzle which, by the way, was called a Word Cross.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Clever Clues

2 down They're used in a row
(Universal Crossword, Count Out Loud, by Tracey Snyder, edited by Timothy Parker)

Crossword Constructors are a tricky group. They try to lead you away from the real answer. This clue tries to make you think of things that you use one after another or that are set out in a straight line. But that's just to confuse you. Instead of thinking "in a row" look at the word row by itself. Think about all of it's different meanings. Is it a noun or is it a verb?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tricky Clue

61 down Animal house?
(Universal Crossword,Does This Make Cents?, by Connor Blu, edited by Timothy Parker)



Your first guess for this clue might be den but that's not the answer. Think about other places where animals live.

Daily practice with clues is like a basketball player shooting free throws. Daily drills will build your skills!

Crossword Geography


In today's world it is important to know all you can about geography. No, not because it's important to understand what's going on in the world, because it might come up in a crossword puzzle!

52 across River through Russia
(Universal Crossword, Unusual Routine, by Roslyn Ashe, edited by Timothy Parker)


The answer to today's clue is the river pictured above. Not only does it flow through Russia but also Kazakhstan. It starts in the Ural Mountains and ends at the Caspian Sea. It is the traditional border separating Europe and Asia.

The photo is from wikipedia.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Clued in to crosswords

3 down Ravioli, e.g.
(Penny Press Crossword Express, v. 117, puzzle #2)


E.G. means "for example." When you see e.g. in a clue, you know the word it follows is an example of something. What is ravioli an example of? Figure that out and you've figured out the answer!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Foreign Words

57 across Nothing, in Nicaragua
(Universal Crossword,A Trip to the Zoo, by Roslyn Ashe, edited by Timothy Parker)




What do we know about today's clue? We know the answer will be a foreign word. How do we know that? The title of the post. Duh! Just kidding.... We know it is a foregin word because the clue says "in Nicaragua."

Nicaragua is a Spanish speaking country in Central America between Honduras and Costa Rica.

So, the answer to our clue will be the Spanish word for nothing. Do you know the answer? If not, look it up in a Spanish-English Dictionary or use Babel Fish to translate it for you.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Crossword Tip

The best tip for improving your solving skills is to learn something new from each crossword puzzle you do. After you complete a puzzle look it over and try to understand the tricky clues, look up information you don't know, etc. You never know when you will see that information again!

For example, on Wednesday I did the New York Times Crossword puzzle by David J. Kahn. This clue left me clueless -

42 across Cathedral city near Cambridge


I had to look it up because I didn't know the answer. Fast forward to Friday, I was doing the Universal Crossword puzzle Does It Make Cents? by Connor Blu and I came across this clue -

29 across English cathedral town


Guess what? It's the same answer as the NYT puzzle but this time I didn't have to look it up. I just penciled it in and moved on to the next clue. Do you know the answer? Click on the drop box to see the answer.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Crossword Link

Yesterday we had an internet link to a crossword puzzle and today we have a clue link.

47 down Happily - after link
(Universal Crossword, A Bit too Far, by Mason Lorry, edited by Timothy Parker)


When you see link in the clue it means the two words before it are linked by a third word. Think of it as a fill-in-the-blank with the line between the "linked" words.

Happily ____ after.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Crossword links

While surfing the internet for crossword news I came across this link. It is for a new puzzle activity book called Count Gravy's Horror Hall of Fun by Patrick Merrell. There is a link to a sample puzzle from the book called creepy crosswords that you can print out and try.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sometimes you just don't know the answer to a clue. You read the clue over and over again but you just can't figure it

out. Don't give up, try something different. Instead of focusing on the clue, try looking at the answer. Don't even think

about the clue. Just look at the word. Look at the combination of letters. Does it look like any word you know?

It's kinda like doing the puzzle in reverse. Give it a try. I'll give you the answer first, starting with 1 letter. Each clue will

give you another letter. See if you can guess the word before the final letter is revealed. The last box is the clue.

















Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Clued in to Crosswords

19 across Blvd. relative
(Universal Crossword, Math Class, by Mary Genary, edited by Timothy Parker)



Doing crossword puzzles means being able to analyze clues. What do you know about today's clue? Let's take a look.

First, we have Blvd. It's an abbreviation. So, that means the answer is going to be an abbreviation also.

Second, we have the word relative. No, Boulevards don't have brothers or sisters but they do have synonyms or words that are related to it. Such as street, cul de sac, avenue, or road. Can any of those words be abbreviated to fit the answer grid?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Clued in to Crosswords

14 across Designate(Universal Crossword, Math Class, by Mary Genary, edited by Timothy Parker)


Today's Crossword clue is a single word. That means the answer is going to be a word that means the same thing. That's called a synonym. A good way to find the answer is to make a list of all the words you know that mean the same thing as the clue. In other words, find a way to say the clue word in other words! Be sure you know what the clue word means. Look it up in a dictionary if you must.

Select
opt
pick
allot
represent
name
label
dub
specify
appoint

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back to School

It's back to school time and I was just doing a crossword puzzle with a very school like title - Math Class. Not all puzzles have titles but if they do they can give you an extra clue to some of the longer answers.

In crosswords with titles the longest answers will be connected by a common theme. If the puzzle has a title, then you have a big hint about what the theme is. That information can help you find the answers to those clues.

Here are a few of the themed clues for the puzzle titled Math Class. Besides the clues, now you know the answer will be a math word.

20 across Figure bound by straight sides



32 across 4, to 16, e.g.



59 across Geometeric shape


Universal Crossword, Math Class, by Mary Genary, edited by Timothy Parker

Friday, August 29, 2008

Clever Clue

53 down John on the piano
(Universal Crossword, Quite an Arrangement, by Luther Vakes, edited by Timothy Parker)


Today's tricky clue is looking for the name of a performer who plays the piano. That seems pretty clear. The tricky part is that John isn't necessarily a first name! Try it both ways to see if that helps you find the answer.

John _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ John

Thursday, August 28, 2008

AND and OR

Sometimes a clue will have two names separated by AND or OR. Which word separates them is important.

For example - Both of these clues show two last names and are looking for the first name that is shared by both people. But one answer is singular and one answer is plural. OR is singular and AND is plural.

48 down Novak or Hunter
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords Double Issue, volume 73, puzzle #1)


42 across Mesdames Tussaud and Antoinette
(Universal Crossword, Body Language, by Mason Lorry, edited by Timothy Parker)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Crosswordese - Jai Alai

Jai Alai - What is it, how do you say it, and why do I need to know it?

Good Questions my crossword friend and I'm going to tell you.

First, It's a sport played on a 3 sided court. A player wears a scooped shaped basket on one hand and they use it to throw a ball against a wall as hard as they can. The other player must catch the ball and throw it back against the wall as quick as they can. It all happens very fast. That is why Jai Alai is often called the fastest sport. The basket they wear on their hands is called a cesta.

Second, It's pronounced like Hi Lie.

And third, you need to know it because it appears often in crossword puzzles!

Here are some ways that Jai Alai has appeared in real puzzles

20 across Jai ____ (so-called world's fastest sport)
(Universal Crossword, Vice Squad, by Louis Henley, edited by Timothy Parker)

9 down Game with a cesta: Jai _____
(Universal Crossword, Body Conscious, by Lane Kafti, edited by Timothy Parker)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Crosswordese - sailor talk

We've talked about poetry words in past posts but there is another form of crosswordese that comes up from time to time - sailor words.

Here's an example -

47 down "Sure!", asea
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008, Puzzle #6 )


It's like a foreign language clue, you get a hint so you know which language to use. Here the hint is asea. So, we know it's the "language" people use at sea. Know what the answer is? Check the drop box to see if you are right.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Clever Clue

Here's a fun crossword clue with a ? What does the ? mean? It means the clue is going to use a little word play or have a twist to the answer. When you see a ? think of alternate meanings of the words in the clue, puns and other ways that the words can be played with. Good Luck!

47 across big kid?
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008, Puzzle #2 )




Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic Links

Well, the summer Olympics are coming to an end and we must say goodbye or zai jian, to China. The next summer Olympics will be held in London, England.

In London, the British enjoy crosswords too but they prefer Cryptic Crosswords. They look very similar with a list of clues and a grid with black and white squares but the clues are more like individual word puzzles. I really don't know that much about Cryptic Crosswords so I thought I'd find some handy links so we can learn together.

wikipedia - definitions and how-to guide
About.com - links to puzzles
Yourdictionary.com - online cryptic crosswords as well as American style puzzles and many more.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Olympic Crossword Clue

14 across Runner's event
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008, Puzzle # 12)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olympic Crosswordese

I've featured this answer twice before but this answer comes up often so it is worth repeating. If you get it quickly good for you. It is now one of your no-brainer answers you can fill in without giving much thought. If not thats ok too. I didn't get it right away for this clue, it's pretty tricky. It's a plural so you know what that means. (the last letter is S!)

8 down Pointless weapons
(Universal Crossword, Women's Wear, by Ammie Cooper, edited by Timothy Parker)




For more clues for this answer check out these posts
8-12-08
5-17-08

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Olympics History Crossword Clue

1 down '84 Olympics boycotter
(Universal Crossword, Women's Wear, by Ammie Cooper, edited by Timothy Parker)



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Olympic Clues

34 across Its symbol is five rings
(New York Times, 9-14-94, by Harvey Estes, edited by Will Shortz)


Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympic Roman Numerals

Okay, I confess... Today's clue isn't really a clue from a crossword puzzle but it could be.

1 across Number of the Beijing Olympics

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Olympic Clever Clues

34 across Slow boat's destination?
(Universal Crossword, Quite an Arrangement, by Luther Vakes, edited by Timothy Parker)


This clue comes from an idiom people use to describe something that takes a long time to arrive. If you've got the time it's one way to get to the Olympics.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympic Clue

33 down The Stars and ____, U.S. flag
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008, Puzzle #4 )


Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has seen the US flag lifted into the air from the gold medal platform more than any other Olympian. Go USA! Go Michael Phelps!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic Clues

54 across Soccer Coup
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008, Puzzle #4 )


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympic Puzzle Person



23 across Boxer Muhammad
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, August 2008, Puzzle #6)

Our Puzzle Person for today won the gold medal for boxing in 1960 at the Rome Olympics. At the time he was known as Cassius Clay. You can read more about him from my post on May 13, 2008.

pictures source Library of Congress

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympic Crossword Clues

Sometimes you just don't know the answer to a clue. You read the clue over and over again but you just can't figure it out. Don't give up, try something different. Instead of focusing on the clue, try looking at the answer. Don't even think about the clue. Just look at the word. Look at the combination of letters. Does it look like any word you know?

It's kinda like doing the puzzle in reverse. Give it a try. I'll give you the answer first, starting with 1 letter. Each clue will give you another letter. See if you can guess the word before the final letter is revealed. The last box is the clue.

The Olympic connection - the answer is a place where events are held. That's a pretty big hint!


















Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olympic Clues

Here's a clue about another Olympic sport - Fencing.

15 across Blade for fencing
(Universal Crossword, Come Around, by Clyde Cranepool, edited by Timothy Parker)




Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Clues Continue

I stayed up late last night to watch the the Men's 4x100 meter relay race. It was quite an exciting race. The US team came from behind to win over France by a fraction of a second.

11 down What stroke do swimmers usually use in a freestyle race?: 2 words
(Trivial Pursuit for Kids Crosswords, by Trip Payne, Sterling Publishing, page 67)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Clever Clue

Today's crossword clue is related to the Olympic hosts - China.

48 across Leaves in hot water
(New York Times, Nov18, 2007, by Patrick Berry, edited by Will Shortz)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Clue word

The Olympics have several of these! Remember "for short" means the answer is an abbreviation.

18 across Game official, for short
(Penny Press, Easy Crossword Express, vol. 117)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Clever Clue

In honor of the Beijing Olympics, all the clues for the next 2 weeks will be related to the summer games in some way. Keep that in mind when you see today's clue. (hint, hint it might be sports related.)

28 across Serves well done
(Universal Crossword, Nonstop Fun, by Luther Valkes, edited by Timothy Parker)




Thursday, August 7, 2008

Crossword Clue Words

55 down Art follower
(Universal Crossword, Proper Setting, By Dennis Halmet, edited by Timothy Parker)


Yesterday we learned that the clue word opener meant were looking for something to go in front of the clue word. Today we are looking for something to go after the clue word. So, in this clue follower does not mean someone who is interested in art but rather a word that follows the word art.

Picture it this way in your mind Art ____.

This is a hard clue unless you are an art follower or happen to live in Miami where this style is common in the architecture.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Crossword Clue words

15 across Chute opening
(Universal Crossword, Nonstop Fun, by Luther Valkes, edited by Timothy Parker)


Crossword Constructors love it when they can trick you and Mr. Valkes certainly got me with this clue. I couldn't think of a 4 letter word that meant a chute opening up in mid free fall. I forgot that opening is one of those special clue words that constructors use. It doesn't mean a chute opening up, it means an opening (or prefix) for the word chute.

Do you know a 4 letter prefix for the word chute? Check your answer above.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Clever clue

28 across underground worker
(Universal Crossword, Grin and ... , by Mike Tomkins, edited by Timothy Parker)






Monday, August 4, 2008

Roman Numerals

32 down Caesar's 8
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords Double Issue, volume 73, puzzle #2)


3 ways you know the answer is a Roman Numeral
1. The clue is asking for a number. Unless it's a special themed puzzle, crosswords can only include numbers written out or in Roman numerals.

2. Caesar would have written Roman numerals during his life time. (Back in the Roman days!)

3. The title of this post is Roman Numerals!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Puzzle Person - OLGA Korbut

In less than a week, the summer Olympics will get started in Beijing, China. I'm sooooooo excited I thought I would start the party early with an Olympic Puzzle Person.

OLGA Korbut is a gymnast who competed for the Soviet Union. (She is from Belarus.) She won 4 Gold medals and 2 Silver medals in the Olympics in 1972 and 1976. You can read more about her and see tons of pictures at her official website www.olgakorbut.com.

Clues with OLGA for the answer look like this -
48 across Korbut of gymnastics
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords Double Issue, volume 73)

26 down Gymnast Korbut
(New York Times, February 19, 2008, by Victor Fleming, edited by Will Shortz)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A clue on clues

20 across Alien aircraft (abbr.)
18 across alien's ride (abbr.)
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords Double Issue, vol. 73)


abbr. is an abbreviation for........ abbreviation. If you see abbr. after a clue you know that the answer will be an abbreviation.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Christmas in August

Happy August, everyone!

Here's a clue from a puzzle I did recently. I thought it was a fun clue to figure out. Give it a try.

9 across Gift on the eighth day
(Universal Crossword, In-Flight Entertainment, by Alice Walker, edited by Timothy Parker)








Thursday, July 31, 2008

In other words....

Sometimes a clue is just a single word such as in the example below. To find the answer try making a list of other ways to say the word that mean the same thing. A thesaurus can help you come up with words.

49 across Huge
(Penny Press Nice and Easy Crosswords, June 2008, puzzle #16)


Possible answers (Other words that mean huge)
enormous
giant
colossal
gigantic
massive
vast
tremendous

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crosswordese - EMU


The bird... oops, I mean word for the day is EMU.

As you can see from the picture, EMUs look alot like Ostriches. That's because they are related. Just like the Ostrich, EMUs can't fly and they get very big, over 6 feet tall! EMUs are from Australia.

Here are some clues for EMU

33 across Ostrich Kin

(PennyPress Crossword Express, vol. 117, puzzle #2)

4 across Grounded bird

(PennyPress Nice and Easy Crosswords, June 2008, puzzle #1 )

46 across Big bird of the outback

(NYT, June 18, 2007, by Randall J. Hartman, edited by Will Shortz)

And that ends this edition of Get a Clue EMU!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dinner Time

I'm serving up some crossword clues to feed your brain. It's all about food, glorious food. Why food? Because I have a craving for Crosswords!

40 across ____ and cheese (pasta dish, for short)
(Trivial Pursuit for Kids Crosswords, by Trip Payne, page 74)


18 across Zucchini, for one
(Dell All Easy Crosswords, July 2008, puzzle #11)


40 across Thick breakfast cake
(Dell Puzzle Lovers Easy Crosswords, puzzle#20)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Crossword Links

You may be surprised to learn this but I'm not the only person on the web who blogs about Crossword puzzles. Yes, shocking but true.

One blog I like to read is all about the New York Times Crossword puzzle. It's called Ryan and Brian do Crosswords. Their posts are about that day's NYT Crossword. They give away lots of answers so it's best to do the puzzle first and then read their review. They talk about how much they liked the puzzle or certain clues. They talk about how hard it was or if they had to google for any answers. They also have a weekly podcast where they talk some more about the NYT Crossword puzzle. The blog and podcasts are funny and informative.

Reading this blog helps me understand some of the clues that were tricky or about things I didn't know. It helps me become a better Solver next time. (like watching the game films after the football game.)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Foreign Phrases

Today's clue is a foreign word.

25 down Fifi's farewell
(PennyPress Nice and Easy, June 2008, puzzle #35)



The first thing you need to do is figure out what language. The hint here is the name Fifi. Where do you think someone named Fifi lives? Mexico? Germany? Japan? I'm thinking France.

Next, what language do they speak in France? You say, "French, of course!" And you would be right.

So, here comes the tricky part... How do you say farewell in French? If you know, then you know the answer to today's clue. If not, try this link to google translations.

Give me a hint

28 across Farthest down
(PennyPress Nice and Easy, June 2008, puzzle #35)


Here's a hint for you - when you see a clue like the one above you should think good, better, best.

It's not far down..... which would be deep

It's not farther down.... which would be deeper

It's the farthest down..... I can't give you this one but I bet you know the answer!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Geography Quiz

These 3 clues all have the same answer. How many clues will it take you to figure it out? Good luck!

6 down Pennsylvania's northwesternmost county
(New York Times, July 17, 2008, by Elizabeth A. Long, edited by Will Shortz)

*
*
*
*
*
12 across A great lake
(Dell All Easy Crosswords, July 2008, puzzle #1)

*
*
*
*
*
35 across Canal of song
(Penny Press Easy Crossword Express, vol. 117, puzzle #55)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Crosswordese - ELL vs. EEL

ELL and EEL are two words that look similar and appear in crosswords puzzles often. But don't get them confused or you could be in a lot of trouble!

For instance, you can sit and read inside an ELL, which is the part of a building that sticks out from the main part and looks like a big letter L, but reading inside of an EEL is dark and gets the pages all slimy.

Or you can enjoy a nice EEL meal which is good for your complexion but eating an ELL will definitely give you a tummy ache.

Here are some clues for the answer ELL

36 across Building wing
(www.Kappaonline.com)

55 down Building shape
(PennyPress Crossword Express, vol. 117, puzzle #1)

4 across Angled annex
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords Double Issue, volume 73)


for some EEL clues check out the post on May 29.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Clue know how

Here's a clue about clues...

If the clue is plural, the answer will be plural too. That means the clue usually ends in S. But not always!

8 across Rodents
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords Double Issue, volume 73)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Puzzle People

I haven't done a Puzzle Person in a while. So, here we go.... Today's puzzle person is ARLO Guthrie.

Let me tell you a little about ARLO so when you see a clue in a crossword puzzle that refers to him, you will know it right away.

ARLO is a folk singer and activist who hit the big time in 1967 with his song Alice's Restaurant Massacree. He is also known for his version of the song City of New Orleans.

He's the son of famous singer, writer and activist Woody Guthrie. Woody wrote the song This Land is Your Land. I bet you learned that one in school.

Most clues refer to ARLO's style of music -
33 down Guthrie of song
(Universal crossword, Gear Heads, by Hank Banks, edited by Timothy Parker)

16 across Folkie Guthrie
(NYT, 1-8-07, Harriet Clifton, edited by Will Shortz)

Some refer to the songs ARLO sang -
55 down Guthrie who sang about Alice
(NYT, 6-5-07, Barry C. Silk, edited by Will Shortz)

And Sometimes the clues refer to ARLO's famous father
117 down Woody's son
(NYT, 9-7-03, Alan Arbesfeld, edited by Will Shortz)


Now you know about puzzle person, ARLO Guthrie!




Monday, July 21, 2008

Clever Clues

Here's a clever clue to build your skills. Remember to think of other meanings for the words.

15 across One way to be washed
(Universal Crossword, Proper Setting, By Dennis Halmet, edited by Timothy Parker)


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Reverse-a-clue

Sometimes you just don't know the answer to a clue. You read the clue over and over again but you just can't figure it out. Don't give up, try something different. Instead of focusing on the clue, try looking at the answer. Don't even think about the clue. Just look at the word. Look at the combination of letters. Does it look like any word you know?

It's kinda like doing the puzzle in reverse. Give it a try. I'll give you the answer first, starting with 1 letter. Each clue will give you another letter. See if you can guess the word before the final letter is revealed. The last box is the clue.
































How did you do? How soon did you figure out it was 2 words?
Keep practicing everyday!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Puzzle People

All of these puzzle people have the same first name. See if you can guess it from the clues. I'll start with the hardest one.

34 across TV's Vigoda
(Dell Easy Crossword Collection, June 15, 2008, puzzle #5)







49 across Honest _____ (President Lincoln's nickname)
(Trivial Pursuit for Kids Crosswords, Trip Payne, p.75)



61 down Bart Simpson's Grandpa
(New York Times, October 6, 2007, Quigley and Quarfoot, edited by Will Shortz)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Roman #

22 across Caesar's 8
(Kappa The Original Easy Crosswords Double Issue, vol. 73)



If you didn't guess it from the title, today's answer is a roman numeral. How did I know this? Because the clue refers to Julius Caesar, an important general and leader in ancient Rome. So, I had to think if Caesar (or any ancient Roman) was going to write a number 8, how would he do it? Roman numerals, of course!

It wouldn't be much fun if the Constructor just came out and said, "write a Roman Numeral 8 for 22 across."

Forgot how to write your Roman Numerals? Click here for a list.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Theme

Some crossword puzzles have themes. A theme is an idea that unites several of the long clues. For example, all of the long clues might begin with the letter Z or words that relate to cats.
If you can figure out the theme it can give you an extra clue to find the answer.

Here are 3 themed clues from Universal Crossword, Proper Setting, by Dennis Halmet, edited by Timothy Parker.

Think about the title and what the theme might be. Try to solve one of the clues, this will help you figure out the theme and solve the other two clues. Under each clue I will give you a hint that includes the theme word. One last hint before you get started all of the answers are multi- word phrases.

17 across Not accountable






38 across Political position







59 across In custody



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Clever Clues

Let's keep the Clever Clues going!

Crossword Constructors ultimately want you to solve their puzzles. Afterall, you wouldn't keep doing their puzzles if you couldn't solve them. But they don't want you to do it too easily, either. Then the puzzle would be too boring and no fun. So, they make up clever clues. Clues that lead you away from the real answers.

Try today's Clever Clue from Universal Crossword, Fishy Business, by Alice Walker, edited by Timothy Parker. Remember Ms. Walker wants to try to trick you and lead you away from the real answer. Be on the look out!

66 across You may make your own at the bar



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Clever Clue

Some clues are like riddles. They use word play. Figure out the word play and you've figured out the answer.

29 across It can cause one to be a real jerk
(Universal Crossword, Grin and ..., by Mike Tomkins, edited by Timothy Parker)







Monday, July 14, 2008

Clever Clue

Try this clever clue. If your not sure of the answer look at the hints. Remember to keep an open mind and think it through.

15 across Where two tablets were taken






Sunday, July 13, 2008

links

Recently, I flew on US Airways to visit my father in Florida. I had some time to kill on the flight so, of course, I did the crossword puzzle in the magazine.

You can do the puzzle, too, and you don't even have to buy an airplane ticket. The latest crossword puzzle is posted on the US Airways Magazine website .

It's not exactly a beginner puzzle but it usually has a fun theme and some interesting clues. Give it a try. Doing harder puzzles will help you build your crossword muscles!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

In Other Words....

Sometimes finding the answer to a clue is as easy as finding another way to say the clue word. Try it out -

1 across Hit
(Penny Press Easy Crossword Express, volume 117)


Make a list of other words that mean hit. You can use a thesaurus to help you.
Here's a few words to get you started -
  • bash
  • whack
  • smack
  • clobber

PS - the answer is not one of the words listed above.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Clue Words

62 across Winnebagos, for short
(Universal Crossword, Proper Setting, By Dennis Halmet, edited by Timothy Parker)


What can we tell about the answer from the clue?

1. We know it's an abbreviation. How do we know that? The words "for short" clues us in.
2. We also know that the answer is a plural because the clue is a plural.

So, what's another word for Winnebago that only has two letters? (We know the last letter is S.)

Check your answer by clicking on the answer box above.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pick Your Puzzle

Success in Crosswords can be as easy as picking the right puzzle. For example, do you watch a lot of TV? Then try the crossword puzzle in the TV Guide, you'll feel just like Oprah on the day time Emmy Awards (a winner!)

Try a few clues from the June 30, 2008 TV Guide Crossword, puzzle #1007

34 down Walker, Texas _____



52 across Roberts of Heroes



5 down A Brady sister