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Crossword #9: Themeless?

Early Tom Waits albumMy own misunderstanding led to the creation of this puzzle. I was approached by a friend who contemplates the idea of running small crossword puzzle tournaments. He invited me to create a puzzle or two for this purpose. (He plans to introduce details of his idea soon.)

What I misunderstood was his timeline for a first trial of this idea. I assumed he meant this October (the second weekend, let the reader understand …). He meant next October. But under my misapprehension, I went ahead and created two puzzles for him. One features a theme closely tied to the event where I anticipated it would be used. I am holding this one back, because the puzzle will be offered “for fun” at that event–along with some discussion about his idea.[1]

Download the puzzle
PDF copy to print
Puzzle file for AcrossLite[2]
Solve online at XwordInfo.com


Checkmark iconThe solution to this puzzle was published on Tuesday, September 30.

The second puzzle is nominally themeless and is the puzzle I offer up here. While it has no theme, the six longest answers (with clues marked with asterisks) do share something in common. Something of particular interest to Scrabble players.

Those of you who are not Scrabble players should not be put off by this. The entire grid is quite free of Scrabble-ese.[3] This includes the six “themeish” answers. In fact, the few people who have seen this puzzle have found it to be decidedly on the easy side. Monday- or Tuesday-ish, I believe.

Please enjoy it. I will reveal the solution and an explanation for the six highlighted entries a week from today.

Recent Crosswords:
04/24/2020 #k1: Meadow’s First!
04/20/2020 #24: Roadside Attractions?
02/20/2020 #23: World’s Smallest!
06/20/2018 #22: Northern Dialect
01/30/2018 #21: Special Editions
10/10/2017 #20: Saints We’d Like to See

   Complete Crosswords


  1. I will publish this puzzle here after it is distributed at this second-weekend-in-October event. [^]
  2. The Across Lite program can be downloaded for free at Litsoft.com and runs on Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X. I can recommend it unreservedly. It is easy to install and use, and is free of any of the malware garbage that commonly plagues freeware. [^]
  3. Exposure to the online crossword community reveals that many serious solvers are “Scrabblephobic” and, a surprise to me, share the general public’s misinformed disdain for the supposed “weird words” in the Scrabble dictionary. [^]

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