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