Monday, January 28, 2013

Super Bowl Spectacular: Just in Time for Super Bowl XLVII

I love Super Bowl Sunday. But I'm not a big fan of football.

I love the commercials, the junk food, and the halftime show.

And I love crossword puzzles.

For all the football fans, I've constructed a Super Bowl crossword puzzle. Over 80% of the clues are related to football and the Super Bowl.

Solve interactively online, or print for your Super Bowl party!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fandom Week Crossword Puzzle Spectacular: Day 3

The third puzzle in the Fandom Week Crossword Puzzle Spectacular: "Lord of the Rings."

The Middle-earth legendarium provided over 80% of the clues in this puzzle. Have fun, and watch out for orcs.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fandom Week Crossword Puzzle Spectacular Day 2

The second puzzle of the Fandom Week Crossword Puzzle Spectacular, Harry Potter!

Even more spectacular than the Firefly puzzle, over 90% of the clues in this crossword are related to the Harry Potter books and movies.

This may be the most enjoyable crossword puzzle I've ever created. The world of Harry Potter, as created by J.K. Rowling, has delighted and thrilled a generation of readers, and some of their parents, too.

Be sure to print this puzzle and save it for your next Harry Potter movie marathon.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Fandom Week Crossword Puzzle Spectacular BEGINS

It’s Martin Luther King Day, Inauguration Day, but far more important, it’s the first day of my week-long Fandom Crossword Puzzle Spectacular!

Today, the first of five spectacular crossword puzzles: “Firefly/Serenity.”

Visit my website ( and click on the Fandom Week Crossword Puzzle Spectacular link.

Ordinarily, themed crossword puzzles contain three or four theme entries, while the rest of the grid is made up of “fill” words. But this week’s puzzles are not ordinary puzzles. In today’s puzzle 70% of the clues are “Firefly” related.

Had “Firefly” lasted longer than one season and a movie, things would be very different.


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fandom Crossword Puzzle Spectacular

The votes are counted, and the winners are:

  1. Doctor Who
  2. Firefly/ (Tie)
  3. Star Trek (Tie)
  4. Harry Potter/ (Tie)
  5. Lord of the Rings (Tie)

Next week, I'll feature a new crossword puzzle every day, paying homage to the five winning fandoms.
What's so spectacular about these crosswords? Unlike traditional crossword puzzles, fully 60-90%* of the clues are related to the subject.
Unlike tradition crossword puzzles, with all of world history, literature, and pop culture from which to choose, the ouevre of work associated with the subject comprises the majority of the clues and grid entries.
Unlike crossword puzzle solvers who can usually figure out the answers from crossing words, only fans with an encyclopedic knowledge of their demense will be able to solve these crossword puzzles without Googling, I guarantee it.
These fandom puzzles are perfect for movie marathons and fan gatherings, so share them with your friends and print them to save them for later!

*Since the Firefly canon draws from one season and a movie, there are fewer likely clues.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fandom Crossword Puzzle Spectacular

Next week, StearsWords will feature five new crossword puzzles, one per day. Based on the results of this survey, I will create five crossword puzzles specifically for the five winning fandoms--not simply crossword puzzles, these will be spectacular crossword puzzles. Created in the American style (because I hate free-form puzzles), at least 50% of the clues will relate in some way to the subject. Many of those clues will feature esoteric and arcane trivia about the shows, things only a true fan would know, things like the name of the Shuttlecraft used to retrieve android B-4 ("Star Trek"), or the name of the TV show for which Joss Whedon's grandfather wrote ("Firefly"), or on which planet the TARDIS was created ("Doctor Who").

Voting ends at Midnight, Friday, January 18. May the Force be with you.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Drop-Down Menu

I can't believe I forgot to Tweet a puzzle this morning.

Oh, I had one ready, and it's a good one, too! I just forgot.

So instead of Tweeting the entire list of clues, I just Tweeted the five theme clues. Screw it. That's all you're getting this week.

Click here to solve interactively.

Click here for a print-friendly version.

Click here for a list of clues.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fandom Crosswords: YOU Decide

Which fandom do YOU think should be immortalized in a crossword puzzle?

Choose from this list, or suggest something else:

Harry Potter
Sherlock Holmes
Star Trek
Doctor Who
Star Wars
Lord of the Rings
James Bond
DC Comics
Marvel Comics

Fandom Crossword Puzzles

In the works: A week-long celebration of fandom, in the form of five original crossword puzzles.

Because someone thought it was a good idea, and I agreed.

So, here’s the question: Which five fan groups should I celebrate?

There’s no argument that Sherlock Holmes fans comprised the first modern fandom, while fans of Harry Potter and Twilight are among the most enthusiastic. If I choose Star Wars, I risk alienating (no pun intended) the Trekkies, and quite possibly the Browncoats. Whovians may be upset if I choose the Lord of the Rings over Doctor Who, and then there’s Bond-James-Bond fans, not to mention the supporters of all things anime. DC Comics or Marvel? That’s another pickle.

Clearly, there’s only one thing I can do: let the fans decide. You have one week.

I will construct crossword puzzles for the most demanding five groups of fans, and will share them on my website beginning on January 21.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jumping on the ZzzQuil Bandwagon

Yes, I'm jumping on the ZzzQuil bandwagon.

January 5, 2012: Rex Parker tweeted: “Has ZZZQUIL” been in a crossword yet? That would be epic.”

Brendan Emmet Quigley presented ZzzQuil in his “Themeless Monday” puzzle on Monday, 9/3/12, situated somewhere near the middle and not quite near the top.

On Sunday, 10/21/12, Frank Longo featured ZzzQuil at 1 Across, in the Washington Post crossword, “The Post Puzzler No. 133.” 

Then, on Tuesday,  12/6/12, Matt Jones’s Jonesin’ crossword “Into the Great Wide Open” featured ZzzQuil right smack dab in the center. 

Today, I present a themeless crossword puzzle, with ZzzQuil at the end. 

And now, I hope, the ZzzQuil puzzles have been put to rest.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Three Wise Men

Yesterday, January 6, was the Three Wise Men day, AKA Epiphany. 

Traditionally, of course, the Three Wise Men is a cocktail consisting of one part Scotch Whisky (Johnnie Walker), one part Tennessee Whiskey (Jack Daniels), and one part Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey (Jim Beam). 

As I pondered the wisdom of drinking such a concoction, I had an epiphany of my own and opted to create a crossword puzzle about three other wise men instead. 

Check my website on Friday, January 11, for the solution.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

The most popular New Year's resolutions involve self-improvement: stop smoking, exercise more, spend time with family, get out of debt, go back to school, volunteer, or get organized.

I'm not doing any of that. This year, I'm making New Year's resolutions I can actually keep, and I put them into a crossword puzzle. 

If, like me, you forgot to get a new calendar, just reuse the one from 2002; the dates are the same. Enjoy your annual do-over!

2013 New Year's Resolutions: Happy New Year!