Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Before it was Toyko

70 across Tokyo
Before Tokyo was called Tokyo it was called by this 3 letter name. You might want to remember this name because it comes up every so often in crosswords.
If you'd like to learn more about life in Japan check out this website Here and There Japan.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What the heck is a clave?

I always learn new things when doing a crossword puzzle and this time I learned the word CLAVE.

14 across Percussion stick
A CLAVE instrument is actual two sticks that when hit together make a sharp, clicking noise. See the photo above of a person playing CLAVE sticks.
(photo in the public domain from wikipedia.com)

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's like Crosswords and Suduko

9 across Orange's partner

When you see the word partner in a clue it means that you are looking for 2 words that go together with AND in between.

It will look something like this...

____ and orange
orange and ______

This common phrase is used when people are talking about comparing two things that aren't really alike and can't be compared.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crossword Clues

"What's another word for ..... "
That's what you should be thinking when you see these clues.

32 across Bitsy

3 down Couple

Make a list of all the ways you can say bitsy.
Here's my list. Any of them work with the clue above?

Now make a list for couple. Use thesaurus.com if you need help

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Crossword Puzzle of the week

I just finished doing Kentucky Easy Crossword #3 edited by VA Benge. Click the link and play along with me.

I love to do these crossword puzzles. The on-line program turns wrong answers red so I immediately know if I've made a wrong move. It helps me become a better solver to see where I've made mistakes and lets me fix them right away. Also the Kentucky Easy Crosswords always include Vocabulary Building Blocks that give a definition for one of the clue answers and an interesting Did You Know paragraph with more in depth information about a clue and answer. Since they also give you the answers, it's a good place to go if you need a little help getting started.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

Crossword Puzzle Grids

Before you do your next crossword puzzle take a moment to look at the grid. Crossword grids are neat to look at. The pattern of black and white squares makes a picture. But they aren't just random patterns. Constructors must follow a few rules when they design a puzzle grid.

Here are a few of the rules.
1. Grids must have rotational symmetry. That means if you turn the puzzle upside down the pattern of black and white squares should look the same as it did right side up. Try it and see.

2. Don't use too many black squares. Fewer black squares means more words and longer words.

3. No unchecked words. That means every square should have a letter from an across answer AND a down answer.

Of course, sometimes the rules are broken to make interesting Grid Art. Check out this link to see some examples.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Crossword Clues

Still working on the puzzle Odds and Ends

Here are a couple clues I enjoyed. I got the answer by visualizing the situation. Try it for yourself and see if it helps you.

8 down Go from little to big

Picture a seed first it's a little seedling and then it's a big plant.

24 down Kebab sticks

Picture a shish-kebab in your mind. It's a long metal stick with chunks of meat or vegetables. What is the name for that long metal stick?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Crossword Puzzle People

I spotted a Crossword Puzzle Person that we have covered in the past. That's exciting because it means we have an easy answer to get us started. Here it is from the Sportsmanship Crossword.

1 down Guitar-slinging Guthrie

and you can read the previous post here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Crossword Yum

19 across Layout with a little of everything

(Odds and Ends Crossword Puzzle)

Yum the answer to this one is making me hungry. It's a Swedish word that means buffet.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Crosswords on the go

One minute I'm shoveling snow in New Jersey and the next I'm sitting on a sunny porch in Florida. Life is grand! (Ok so it was over a week ago that it snowed and someone else did the shoveling for me but you get the point.)

I love to fly and here's one reason why -
The crossword puzzle in the airlines magazine.

This week I did the 2 crosswords in US Airways Magazine

Click on the link and give them a try. You will find the puzzles toward the bottom of the page.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Crossword Clues

4 down More mature

This is a good, better, best clue. Other people call it a comparative (people like your teacher.)
It's comparing one or more things. When we say something is better, we mean it is better than something else. We can also say it's more of something compared to something else. For example, more rude, more happy, more mature. And still another way to say it is ruder, happier or maturer...Okay so maturer isn't a word but there is another word that means a person who has lived longer than someone else. At the very least, you should be able to guess the last two letters!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Learn Something New

**Spoiler Alert**

I'm going to give you an answer so if you haven't finished the puzzle yet turn back now. (But don't forget to come back later!)
26 across Print Measures
The answer is ENS.

I knew this answer right away because it is crosswordese. I've seen it in many puzzles before but I didn't know what it meant.

Time to look it up. Thanks to the internet I was able to learn that en (pronounced "N") is a measurement word for typography or the art of designing with words and letters. En is the amount of space that the lower case "n" takes up (which is half as much space as em!) Unlike inches, the size of ENS can change depending on the size of font you use.
n n n

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Tricky Crossword Clues

34 down A Bird

Ok I had the first 3 letters of this clue. So I was thinking of birds that begin with the first letters LAR...the answer must be LARKS

But the clue isn't a plural so that means the answer is not going to be a plural. LARKS can't be right.

Then I noticed something interesting about the clue. The second word in the clue is capitalized. Usually only the first word is capitalized. That means Bird is a proper noun or another way to put it ... It's someones name!

Do you know who this guy is? He played basketball for the Boston Celtics from 1979 -92. His last name is Bird and his first name is ..... Well, you have to figure that out for yourself!

photos from wikipedia

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Poetry Words

18 down Before, to Poe

What do Poe, Shakespeare, and Keats have in common? They all wrote poetry (among other things.) So, when you see their names in a crossword clue it's a hint that the answer will be a poetry word.

Need more help? Check out this post.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dell Crossword Puzzle

This week we will do a Dell Magazine Sample Crossword. You can find it on their website. Click on the Sample Puzzles tab and print out puzzle Dell Traditional Crossword 1. Hide the answers until after you have finished the puzzle!

Give a quick look over the clues. Do any jump out at you as no-brainers?

There are lots of names in this puzzle. I bet at least one is someone you know.

The only fill-in-the-blank is a puzzle person. If you paid attention in history class, you know this one.
11 across Robert E. ___

Maybe cartoons are more to your liking. He chases Bugs Bunny.
18 across Mr. Fudd

Or maybe your more into music
1 down Singer Dylan