Friday, January 23, 2009

Crossword Clues

What do these 3 clues have in common?

2 down Fruity drinks
15 across Succotash beans
8 down Words that end prayers

Need a hint? Look at the last letters of each clue.

Need another hint? It's the same letter that will end each answer!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Crossword Themes

Unlike traditional crosswords, this puzzle's theme is not limited to the longest answers in the grid. But like a traditional puzzle, they are all related to a single theme which can be summed up by the title - The Civil Rights Movement.

I bet you know some of the answers off the top of your head (like 67 across.) But others might not be familiar to you. Beneath the puzzle on the New York Times Learning Network website you will find links that will help you find the answers to theme clues.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tricky Crossword Clues

We are still working on The New York Times Learning Network Crossword Puzzle, The Civil Rights Movement, by Frank A. Longo, edited by Will Shortz. You can find the link to this puzzle in the sidebar.

Today's tricky crossword clue is a direction clue or what I like to call a compass clue.

44 across U-turn from SSW

For this clue you are going to need to make a picture in your mind. First imagine a compass. If you have problems picturing it, you can draw one on a piece of paper or look at this one. Now pretend you are on your bike and you are traveling SSW. Imagine a line coming from the center through the arrow that says SSW. Now you decide you don't want to go that way any more you want to return the way you came so you make a U-turn. You follow the line back to the center of the compass and you keep riding in a straight line. Now what arrow are you going to ride through? That is your answer. It is the opposite of SSW.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Last week it was 45 down Cookie that's often twisted apart. This week it's -

28 down Creme-filled cookie

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Crossword Puzzle

I am out of town this week so I'm having trouble posting. But I will do my best.

Hopefully, you were able to finish the last week's crossword puzzle and you are ready for the next challenge. Let's continue with the Crossword on The New York Times Learning Network.

Looking over the puzzle I see lots of fill-in-the-blanks. Those would be a good place to start but I also see a question on my favorite TV show The Simpsons.

41 across Bart Simpson's age

This is what I like to call a no-brainer because I know the answer without thinking about it. But maybe you don't even know who Bart Simpson is, let alone how old he is. For you, a no-brainer might be a sports related clue such as -

36 across Home of football's Dolphins

Scan the clues and look for your no-brainers. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go watch The Simpsons!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Crossword Puzzle People Bonus

Here is a link to a bonus crossword puzzle you can play online at Kentucky Crosswords. The reason I picked this link is because there is a blurb about Alan Alda. I hope the name sounds familiar because he is one of the Puzzle People who appeared in the crossword we have been looking at the last two weeks.

37 down "M*A*S*H" star Alan

That's why it's good to learn your puzzle people and crosswordese, you never know when you will see them again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Crossword References

15 down "Rebel Without a Cause" actor Mineo

What do we know about this clue?
We know it's the first name of an actor with the last name Mineo and Mineo was in the movie Rebel Without a Cause.

I don't know the answer so I have to look it up. Since this crossword clue is about a movie, I'm going to use the Internet Movie Database to look it up. You can find it here Type Mineo into the search box and the first item on the list is the answer to our clue.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Crossword Geography

19 across ____ de Janeiro, Brazil

Don't much about Geography? Try typing Brazil into Google and then clicking on maps on the toolbar along the top edge of the search window.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Crossword Clues Foreign Words

38 down "Yes, yes!", in Spain: 2 wds.

This clue gives us lots of information.
1. We have a phrase "yes, yes!" So, we need to find another way to say it.
2. In Spain... the answer will be in Spanish.
3. 2 wds.... this means the answer will have 2 words.

Put it all together and we are looking for 2 Spanish words that together mean "yes, yes!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Crossword Clue Analysis

67 down "It's freezing out here!"

What's another way to say, "It's freezing out here!" Try to picture it in your mind. It's snowing. The wind is blowing. You step out of your nice warm house to go catch the bus and your teeth start to chatter.....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Crossword Clue Analysis

68 down Cashew, pistachio, or pecan

What information is this clue giving us? We have 3 items - a cashew, a pistachio, a pecan. If we were going to put a label on this group what would we call it? I'm not going to give the answer away but I bet you know it.

The next thing we know from the clue is whether the answer is a plural or singular. Do we add an S to the end or not? The answer is no S because the word OR seperates the items. If it was AND then it would be plural.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Crossword Clue Analysis

We are moving right along with this crossword. For the next few days we will take a look at individual clues. We will analyze them for information that will help us solve them.

Here is today's clue -
54 across Four minus three

Obviously, this is a math problem. The first thing we need to do is solve it. (Lucky for me it's an easy equation!) 4-3=1

Okay, so the answer is 1. But how do we put numbers into a crossword grid? There are 2 ways - Roman numerals or we spell out the number.

We can rule out Roman numerals for the answer because the clue did not make any references to Latin, ancient Rome, Caesar, etc. It didn't use Roman numerals to show the problem either. Besides one in Roman numerals is I and that just doesn't work.

Thus, we must spell. And that's your answer.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Just for Fun

Check out this apartment building in Ukraine. It has a giant crossword puzzle on the side of the building.

It must make giving directions to your apartment easy.... go 1 across and 2 down ...

Crossword Puzzle Theme

Today we are going to look at the crossword puzzle's theme and title.

I bet you already know what the theme (or topic) of this crossword puzzle is. Hint, hint look at the title. That's right - Winter Weather! The longest answers in the crossword are where we find the theme entries. This puzzle has theme entries at 17 across, 34 across, 46 across, 63 across, 10 down, and 30 down.

Try working on these clues today. You already have alot of information to help you out. First, you know they all have something to do with Winter Weather. Second, you can read more about the subject with the links provide below the puzzle and third, you already have some of the letters filled in.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crossword Connections

Okay, we've got a good start to our crossword puzzle. Now it's time to start building off of the answers we have filled in.

Looking at the grid, in the upper left hand side of the puzzle I see we have answers for 1 down and 2 down. This gives us the first 2 letters for 1 across, 13 across, and 17 across. 1 across and 13 across are 4 letter words so they are both half done for us already. Let's look at those clues and see if we can fill them in.

1 across See 55-across
(55 across With 1-across, body in the atmosphere covering a wide area and containing uniform conditions of temperature and humidity)

13 across Last word of a prayer

Okay, now that we have those two clues finished, it gives us the first two letters for 3 down and 4 down. See if you can answer those clues and then continue on with the rest of the puzzle building off answers.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Puzzle People

Crossword Puzzle People fall into 2 categories -
1. Famous People we may or may not know.
2. Crosswordese - some people appear in crossword puzzles often. Usually because their names have lots of vowels and other popular letters that make it easy for constructors to fit it in the crossword puzzle.

In case number one, if you know the name great fill it in. If not, skip it. We'll deal with it later.
In case number two, hopeful you know a few names that pop up regularly in crossword puzzles and you know how they are commonly clued. (if not type puzzle people in the search box above. That should get you started!) These will be as easy as crosswordese to fill in the grid.

Look through the list of clues for puzzle people and fill in the ones you know. Here are the ones I filled in.
72 across Mao ___-tung
I knew the answer to this but I wasn't sure how it was spelled so I penciled it in lightly to start.

2 down Gospel singer Grant and Jimmy Carter's daughter
With 2 clues in one I was sure about this answer! But notice the word AND it means the clue will be a plural that gives us one letter without even trying.

37 down "M*A*S*H" star Alan
This one is a popular Puzzle Person.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Another easy way to get the puzzle started and to add more answers to the grid is to look for crosswordese that you know. Here are some that I knew -

43 across Yale student
This is the perfect example of crosswordese. It appears often in crossword puzzles but I have no idea what the word means or where it came from. I only know it as a crossword clue. If you don't know what it is check the hint for another way this answer word is often clued.

28 down Female sheep

We know there is an E for the third letter because it crosses with 39 across which we answered yesterday.

45 down Cookie that's often twisted apart

Monday, January 5, 2009

Where to Begin a Crossword Puzzle

We are working on the crossword puzzle Winter Weather, by Frank A. Longo, edited by Will Shortz. puzzle link

Where did you begin this puzzle? Did you start with 1 across? I like to start with fill-in-the-blank clues because they're usually pretty easy.

Here's a couple of examples from the puzzle
39 across ___-friendly (safe for the environment)

22 down Tickle-me ____ (Muppet doll)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

Welcome back to Crossword Tips for Kids!

I'm going to do things a little different this year. Instead of bringing you random tips and clues, we're going to focus on specific crossword puzzles. I'll post the link to a crossword puzzle site every other Sunday and then for the next 2 weeks we'll look at clues and discuss tips from that puzzle.

This week's puzzle is from the New York Times Learning Network, Winter Weather, by Frank A. Longo, edited by Will Shortz
puzzle link

Click on the link above, try your best to solve the puzzle and check back here daily.

Good Luck and see you tomorrow!