Monday, December 4, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month



















November 2017
Clue: Good name for a funeral director?.....MORT
Constructor: Eric Agard; Editor: Rich Norris
LAT, Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Crosswordese Assessment

How long have you been following this site? Do you receive the crosswordese word of the day via email everyday? Has this site been helpful? It's time for an assessment. The New York Times posted a short crosswordese quiz this week. I trust those of you who've been following this site regularly will do quite well. Let me know how you do. Take the test here.

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from November (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Monday.

Prayer in the woods.....................MANTIS
Marco Polo's home?......................POOLAREA
Opportunity for people to act badly.....BMOVIE
Sport shoe for hoopsters, e.g. .........ANAGRAM
Good name for a funeral director?.......MORT
Sing like a child?......................TATTLE

Friday, November 3, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month

October 2017
Clue: Pit-y party?........................................BBQ
Constructor: Sam Ezersky; Editor: Will Shortz
NYT, Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from October (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Friday.

State secrets?..........................RAT
Pit-y party?............................BBQ
Joint rooms?............................CELLS
National defense goal?..................OUT
This answer ends in "T," e.g. ..........HINT
Mobile message media....................TEES

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month

September 2017
Clue: Components of ranch dressing?........STETSONS
Constructor: 'Marie Kelly'; Editor: Mike Shank
Wall Street Journal, Friday, September 8, 2017

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from September (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Tuesday.

Civic spaces?...........................LOTS
Components of ranch dressing?...........STETSONS
Execute camels, e.g. ...................FIGURESKATE
Go on and on, possibly about flying
robots..................................DRONE
Chamber of commerce?....................SHOP
Flight specialists?.....................COWARDS

Thursday, September 28, 2017

24 Years of NYT Crossword Answers

Here's a great article covering crossword data during the Will Shortz era of editing the NYT Crossword Puzzle. 'jtanwk', the author of the article, answers the following questions:

  • What are the most common answers?
  • Are words getting longer?
  • Average length of crossword answers by day

  • How does letter density vary by day?
  • What words have emerged recently?
  • How lexically diverse are crosswords?

Monday, September 4, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month

August 2017
Clue: Toy used on flights?.......................SLINKY
Constructor: Jeffrey Wechsler; Editor: Rich Norris
LA Times, Friday, August 28, 2017


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from August (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Labor Day.

Foment unrest, in a way?................SNORE
Toy used on flights?....................SLINKY
National defense figure, say?...........RELIEVER
Deadhead's hits?........................LSD
Double-digit figure?....................PEACESIGN
Ransom paid from the sale of 
automobiles.............................OLDS

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month


July 2017
Clue: Seat in a British pub?..........................ARSE
Constructor/Editor: Evan Birnholz
Evan Birnholz's Washington Post Crossword, Sunday, July 2, 2017

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from July (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Thursday.

Seat in a British pub?..................ARSE
Cooking class?..........................FOODGROUP
Chemistry test..........................HOTDATE
Kind of boid that catches the woim?.....OILY
Salt facility...........................SEALEGS
Second-hand item, perhaps?..............TIMEPIECE

Friday, July 28, 2017

Can crosswords make your brain younger?



A huge study of 17,000 people aged 50 and over has found that people who engage with word puzzles most often fare better on attention, reasoning, and memory tests than others who don’t complete similar brain teasers.

...Word-puzzle fans have brain function equivalent to 10 years younger than their age on tests of grammatical reasoning, speed, and short-term memory accuracy.

Read more here.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

When did the word 'nerd' evolve to mean cool?


I think you'll enjoy this article...

Being an avid fan of some of the challenging crossword puzzles in The New York Times, I occasionally even delve into the puzzle archives and attempt some of the ones from yesteryear.

Recently, I was working on a puzzle from Sept. 15, 1995, in which one of the clues was “teen outcast,” with its answer as “nerd.”


I sent an e-mail to New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz...

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month


June 2017
Clue: Domestic flap?...................................DOGDOOR
Constructor: David Alfred Bywaters ; Editor: Mike Shank
Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from June (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on the Fourth.

Refuse work?............................JUNKART
Little pen pals?........................PIGLETS
Free cash?..............................BAIL
Referral from dad?......................ASKMOM
Certain racing vehicle..................BURLAPSACK
Domestic flap?..........................DOGDOOR

Friday, June 2, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month



May 2017
Clue: Diamond mine?....................................IGOTIT
Constructor: Sam Donaldson; Editor: Rich Norris
LA Times, Friday, May 26, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from May (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Friday.

Bouncer's locale........................TRAMPOLINE
Dead reckoning?.........................ESTATETAX
Quick board meeting?....................SPEEDCHESS
One who might get down to Alabama?......LINEDANCER
It can carry rock and roll..............TRAM
Diamond mine?...........................IGOTIT

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month


April 2017
Clue: Arcade game consumer................PACMAN 
Constructor/Editor: Evan Birnholz
Evan Birnholz's Washington Post Crossword, Sunday, April 23, 2017


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from April (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Wednesday.

Not in a private area?..................AWOL
Hires for a float?......................ROOTBEER
Swiss air lines?........................YODEL
Collectors targets......................DEADBEATS
Problem addressed by counters...........INSOMNIA
Arcade game consumer....................PACMAN

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month


March 2017
Clue: Scatter in record stores?................ELLA
Constructor: Clive Probert; Editor: Mike Shank
Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Friday, March 31, 2017

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from March (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Tuesday.

Scatter in record stores?...............ELLA
Makeup of certain shakes................CEDAR
Actor who sucked in his most famous film
role....................................LUGOSI
When its second syllable is drawn out,
“Are you out of your mind?!”............HELLO
Our top story?..........................ATTIC
Protectors sent packing?................PEANUTS

Friday, March 3, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month


February 2017
Clue: Rule broken by deities?.........IBEFOREE
Constructor: Julian Lim; Editor: Rich Norris
LA Times, Saturday, February 25, 2017


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from February (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Friday.

Where you might catch a large-mouthed 
bass....................................OPERA
Idle laughter source?...................ERIC
What a loser brings up?.................THEREAR
Hit record?.............................SHINER
Tish cule is ridded with them...........TYPOS
Rule broken by deities?.................IBEFOREE

Monday, February 27, 2017

Puzzle containing the best clue nominees

In two weeks the 2016 Orca Award winners will be announced. The Orca Awards is the annual tribute to the best crossword puzzles of the year. One of the categories is the Bob Klahn Award for Best Clue. Sam Donaldson has created a puzzle incorporating all ten best clue nominees. Click this link for a PDF of the puzzle.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Youngest Crossword Constructor

A 13 year-old has just broken the record for youngest NYT crossword constructor. After eight rejections, Daniel Larsen created a puzzle that met Will Shortz's standards and was published last Tuesday. 


The seventh-grader's puzzle had a very fun theme: things Elmer Fudd might say: TWEEHOUSE (tree house), SWATMACHINE (slot machine), WHISKEYMOVE (risky move), WOWEDMOUTHS (loud mouths), and QUACKOFDAWN (crack of dawn). I also enjoyed the clever clue: Man's nickname that's just wonderful? MARV.

For more on this story and insight into Will Shortz's crossword selection process click on this article.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month


January 2017
Clue: They're going places?..............TOILETS
Constructor/Editor: Elizabeth C Gorski
Crossword Nation, Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Clever Clue Nominees

Please vote for the best clue from January (either by email or comments below). The Clever Clue of the Month will be announced on Friday.

Got loafers working better?.............RESOLED
Key to some fast exits..................ESC
Lady Gaga cover?........................WIG
Makes a lot of..........................PAVES
Sack cloth?.............................PAJAMAS
They're going places?...................TOILETS

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Clever Clue of the Month


December 2016
Clue: Lab coat?............................................DOGHAIR
Constructor/Editor: Evan Birnholz
Evan Birnholz's Washington Post Crossword, Sunday, December 25, 2016