Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"

Can you believe it's already been seven years since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published? And if that doesn't make you feel old, how about this: The first book in the Harry Potter series was published seventeen years ago.
When the first book came out, I started reading it to my daughter, who was in elementary school at the time. By the time the final book in the series came out, she was reading them by herself and no longer asking me "What does this word mean?" We even went to a Harry Potter party in honor of the Deathly Hallows, and she was delighted to be permitted to stay up until midnight--she even dressed up like Professor Sybill Trelawney!
This week's StearsWords puzzle pays tribute to the final book in the Harry Potter series, with a Trivia 101 crossword. The puzzle features 101 trivia questions related to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I hope you'll share it with your Potterhead friends; that's why my puzzles are always copyright-free.

Happy solving!

  • Click here to see the answer grid.  *Check back on Friday, July 25 for the answer grid, or join Team StearsWords.

Friday, July 18, 2014

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" answers

Here's the answer grid. Yes, I know, the puns were terrible. Thank you to everyone who pointed that out.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"

I loved the old “Planet of the Apes” movie series, and I’m loving the new series just as much. Clearly not playing second banana to its predecessor, it’s chimply awesome! Gun-toting, horseback-riding chimps and gorilla warfare…it’s a great ape movie.

If you think those puns were bad, wait until you solve this week's puzzle.

And would somebody please give Andy Serkis an Oscar already?!

Happy solving!

  • Click here to see the answer grid.  *Check back on Friday, July 18 for the answer grid, or join Team StearsWords.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Much like corduroy pillows, Transformers are making headlines this weekend! "Transformers: Age of Extinction" opened last Friday, and StearsWords pays tribute with a crossword puzzle. And because I really like Transformers, it's an extra-large puzzle.
But it's not a trivia puzzle. Just something for fun. I hope you enjoy my sense of humor as much as I do.

Happy solving!

  • Click here to see the answer grid.  *Check back on Friday, July 4, or join Team Stearswords to get the answers.

Friday, June 27, 2014

"It's a Contest!" Answers


These are all things that drive left-handed people crazy.

Nobody won the contest, so I'm going out for coffee by myself. :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Everybody’s a Winner, or Why I’m Giving Away a Crossword Collection

This June marks a very special anniversary for me. Twenty years ago, I constructed and submitted my very first crossword puzzle—about a year later, I actually got paid for one.

It all started in August 1991, when my daughter was born, and I decided I wanted to be home to take care of her. My husband and I left our home in New Hampshire, and moved to Ohio to be near my family, and for about two years, I was a moderately happy stay-at-home mommy.

But I could feel my brain turning to cottage cheese. I’d always been active, and I’d been working a steady job of one kind or another since I was 14 years old.  I needed something to do to fill the naptime/preschool hours, and I turned to solving crossword puzzles. I filled up dozens of crossword puzzle books, and my mother suggested that I try to construct a puzzle.

Armed with a stack of dictionaries, graph paper, pencils, and erasers, I finally managed to construct a reasonably interesting 15x15 puzzle in about a week. I typed it on a typewriter and filled in the black spaces with a Sharpie marker, and mailed it. Then, I set to work on the next one. I’d spend hours at the library, researching and looking things up. Eventually, I got pretty good, and it only took me a few days to make a 15x15 puzzle; but it still took more than a week to make a 21x21.

I saved up the checks I received, and bought a computer. The first thing I did was create a clue database. The second thing I did was create a template for the grids. And then I started making more puzzles.

These days, thanks to Crossword Compiler and the Internet, I can whip together a reasonably interesting 21x21 puzzle in less than an hour. I’ve long since given up the stacks of dictionaries in favor of The Free Dictionary and Wikipedia.

So, that’s why I’m giving away this collection of crosswords to anyone who enters my contest this week. It’s an anniversary present, from me to crossword lovers.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

It's a Contest!

This week's StearsWords puzzle has a mystery theme. The seven theme entries all have something in common. Figure out what it is, and send me an email.
Your email should contain a few words explaining the theme, not a completed grid. Emails that contain picture files or have picture files attached will not be eligible to win.
Everyone who enters will receive StearsWords: Volume 4, a digital collection of 50 original crossword puzzles.
A randomly selected winner will receive Starbucks® gift card.
Answers must be received by Thursday, June 26, 2014, 11:59 pm (EDT). Answers will be posted on Friday, June 27, 2014.
Happy solving!

  • Click here to see the answer grid.  *Check back on Friday, June 27, or join Team Stearswords to get the answers.