Friday, August 30, 2013

"Common Bonds" Answers

This must have been a difficult puzzle. No winners this week. Here's the answer grid, and the list of theme entries:

Meryl Streep
Russell Crowe
Leonardo DiCaprio
Kevin Costner
Richard Gere

What was the "Common Bond"? All of them are top-earning actors who have never made a movie sequel.

My apologies to Denzel Washington, Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck and Jamie Foxx, who didn't fit the grid; also to Mark Wahlberg, who won't be on the list much longer, thanks to "Ted 2" and "Transformers 4."

Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson are both in the "Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire," which is scheduled for release in November.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Common Bonds" Crossword Hint

This must be one tough puzzle. No winners yet! Here's a hint:

Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson fit the category now, but won't in November.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Common Bonds

There are two things you need to know about this week's StearsWords crossword puzzle:

First, it's a day early. Usually, I post the weekly puzzle on Monday and send it to Team StearsWords on Sunday. But starting this week, I'm going to post the crossword on Sunday, and send it to my fans on Friday. This gives them two extra days to solve!

Second, this week's puzzle is another contest! There are five theme entries, and all five have something in common. Figure out what that "something" is, and you could win a signed copy of StearsWords: Volume 1 and a Starbucks gift card.

If you think you know the answer, send me an email. I'll select a random winner from the correct entries.

  • Click here to see the answer grid. *Check back on Friday, August 30 for the answer grid.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Announcing Big Changes at StearsWords

Usually, I post my StearsWords crossword puzzles on Monday, and I send Team StearsWords the same puzzle on Sunday, so they get it a day early.

Starting this week, I'm going to post my weekly StearsWords puzzle on Sunday, but that's good news for Team StearsWords. Instead of getting your crosswords a day early, I'm going to send them out on Friday--a full two days early. That includes the crossword puzzle contests, giving Team StearsWords members a distinct advantage.

There's a reason for this. I love Sundays. It's my favorite day. I love getting up early and watching Madonna Chism Pinkard on "Community Connection," followed by Charles Osgood on "CBS: Sunday Morning." It's the only day I get to spend with my family--we're all so busy during the week, but Sundays are family days.

And that's why I'd rather post my puzzles on Sunday, and then spend the rest of the day hanging out with my peeps.

And now for a commercial (skip this part if you want): Don't forget that StearsWords: Volume 1 is now paperless! And since I don't have to print or mail it, I can offer it at a 66% discount. It's better for you, better for me, and better for the planet.

Monday, August 19, 2013

StearsWords Goes Completely Digital

Since I'm a one-woman show, I decide how things are done around here, and I've reached a monumental decision: No More Paper.

Paper crossword puzzles books are fun, but let's be honest: once you've finished the puzzles, they're trash. Isn't there enough trash on the planet? I think so, and that's why I've decided to never publish a paper crossword puzzle collection ever again. Ever. 

However, you can still get your favorite StearsWords crossword puzzles in digital formats. You can still solve them using Across Lite or Crosswords for Android, and you can still print the ones you want.

Order StearsWords: Volume 1 today, and you'll receive a .zip file with a collection of 50 original, never-before-published crossword puzzles in both .puz and .pdf format.
And since I don't have to print or mail an actual book, I can offer it for a lot less: $5.00 gets you the entire collection!

It's good for you, it's good for me, and it's good for the whole planet.

Just doin' my civic duty.

Now for Something Completely Different

Some of my favorite crossword constructors like to post free puzzles on their websites, too.

Patrick Blindauer (whose name is an anagram for Brain Duel) posts a free monthly puzzle.

Matt Gaffney posts a new themeless puzzle every day, and hosts a weekly crossword puzzle contest.

Brendan Emmet Quigley, one of the most prolific constructors of all time, posts a themeless puzzle on Mondays and a themed puzzle on Thursdays.

Ben Tausig's Ink Well crosswords appear all over the North America in alternative weeklies, and on his website.

And Trip Payne posts them whenever the hell he feels like it, because he's Trip Payne, and he can do that.
Now, normally I wouldn't do a themeless puzzle. But this week I did.
And you know, I just had to put a StearsWords spin on it, so you'll find quite a bit more word play than you would find in a regular themeless puzzle. The majority of the clues end with a question mark, which solvers know indicates a bit of linguistic gymnastics.

  • Click here to see the answer grid.  *Check back on Friday, August 23 for the answer grid.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Why My Puzzles Are Free To Share

If you've ever downloaded or printed a StearsWords crossword puzzle, you may have noticed there's no copyright warning on them. It's intentional.

I want people to share my crosswords. If you like them, send copies to your friends. If you really like them, collect them in a .zip file and send copies of all them to all of your friends. And if they like them, they're welcome to send copies to all their friends, too. That's what free is all about.

In a month or so, I'll start putting collections on my website that anyone can buy, and I guarantee they'll be affordable. I'll also guarantee that you won't see a copyright warning on any of them, and that I'll never legally pursue anyone for sharing them. You can safely buy any StearsWords crossword puzzle collection and forward them to every single person you know, and I hope you will.

If you have a business, and you see a StearsWords crossword puzzle you think might help you promote it, feel free to print it out and share it with your customers, or include it in your newsletter or mass emails. If you're a member of a fan club, and you want to share one of my famous Crossword Spectacular puzzles, go for it! If you liked it, chances are, they'll like it, too. If you publish any kind of  newspaper or newsletter, and you want to add a crossword puzzle to it, feel free to use one of mine.

Oh, sure, you could download them and then try to sell them, but I think you're better than that.

I trust you.

Happy solving!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Flag for All Seasons

In honor of the USPS and postal workers everywhere, this week’s featured StearsWords crossword puzzle pays tribute to the latest philatelic delight: “A Flag for All Seasons Stamps.”

Illustrated by Laura Stutzman, the new Forever stamps feature “Old Glory” as viewed from below, flying from a pole at full staff against a background of trees, evoking the four seasons.

  • Click here to see the answer grid. Check back on Friday, August 16 for the answer grid.

Monday, August 5, 2013

"Adventure Time" Spectacular Crossword Puzzle

I recently discovered "Adventure Time." If you haven't seen it on Cartoon Network or Netflix, you should take eleven minutes and watch an episode.

Yes, it's a cartoon, but it's also a tale of heroism and doing the right thing simply because it's the right thing to do. And it's funny--not hysterically funny, but thoughtfully funny, although it does have some hysterically funny moments.

This week’s featured StearsWords crossword puzzle is a salute to “Adventure Time”!

It’s mathematical! Get ready to floop the pig, because it’s better than an Everything Burrito. Shmowzow!

Seriously, it’s some funky junk.

  • Click here to see the answer grid. *Check back on Friday, August 9 for the answers.