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

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'd like to buy a vowel...

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 hint 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, July 8, 2008

Clever Clues

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

52 across Lighter offense?
(Universal Crossword, Grin and ..., by Mike Tomkins, edited by Timothy Parker)




Monday, July 7, 2008

Puzzle People - ENOS

Some crossword clues refer to people and places in the Bible. Today's puzzle person is a great example.

ENOS is the grandson of Adam. Yes, that Adam, the one who lived in EDEN with EVE.

He was the son of Seth, and the father of Kenan, also.

Here are 2 clues for ENOS

19 down Genesis name
(Universal Crossword, Meal Time, by Andre Clarkson, edited by Timothy Parker)

64 across First-family grandson
(Universal Crossword, Adorable, by Henry Quarters, edited by Timothy Parker)

This last clue is a little tricky. You might think it refers to the first family in the Whitehouse (the First Lady et. al.) but it means the first family ever. Always be on the look out for alternate meanings.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Roman Numerals

Here's a clue from the Fourth of July Crossword puzzle by Dave Fisher. (See 7-4-08 post.)

It involves Roman Numeral math.

58 across IV tripled






Saturday, July 5, 2008

Clever clues

Try to figure out this Clever Clue. Remember to think of the different meanings of the words.

54 across Part of a pump
(Universal Crossword, Fighting Words, by Marsha Handley, edited by Timothy Parker)




Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Here is a fun 4th of July themed Crossword puzzle for you.
http://puzzles.about.com/od/themedcrosswords/qt/FourthOfJuly.htm

This puzzle has 2 fun 4th of July theme entries that run diagonal in the grid. As soon as you have some answers filled in, try to figure out the theme entries.

It's a hard puzzle so why not ask the whole family for help. Everyone can join in on the fun.

Enjoy and have a great holiday!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Crossword Trivia

When a constructor makes up a new crossword puzzle what do you think they do first? Do they come up with the clues and then fill in the answers or do the fill in the answers first and then come up with clues?



Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Clue Word MORE

The word more in a clue usually means it's a comparative. You know, it's more of something than some other thing is. Remember when you learned about good, better, best in school? Well, more is better. So, when you see more in the clue, the answer probably ends in -er. (But not always so use a pencil and check it with the surrounding answers.)

Here's an example -
35 down More delicious
(Dell All Easy Crosswords, July 2008, puzzle #1)


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Crosswordese

I'm not going to tell you today's crosswordese. I think it's something you will be able to guess from the clues. But just in case I'm also giving you a hint. Remember both answers are the same.

10 down Orchid Necklace
(Penny Press Easy Crossword Express, v. 117, puzzle #1)



52 across Flower garland
(Dell All Easy Crosswords, Jully 2008, puzzle #1)