Beekeeper Crosswords

Themed Puzzles from Beekeeper Labs

Archive for June, 2009

Crossword #102: “Play It Safe”

Posted by on 25th June 2009


We are pleased to announce that, as of this writing, the city of Pittsburgh is no longer under water. Thus, we can return to our previously scheduled schedule and publish our Thursday puzzle on Thursday. On the other hand, inspiration comes from all around us, so you might find an echo of our recent predicament in this week’s puzzle. Enjoy!

Title: Play It Safe
Difficulty: Thursday
Download: Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)

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Puzzle #101: “Drawing a Blank”

Posted by on 19th June 2009


Here we are, just one week into a new posting schedule, and already we are running late. However, we do have a new and exciting excuse. It seems that the region of the country that we were planning on posting from — Western Pennsylvania — has been ever so slightly…submerged. (Don’t believe us? We got a note from the newspaper.) Alas, we consider Advanced Underwater Cruciverbalism to be a grad-level course and we just don’t have the prerequisites, so we had to let the puzzle dry out a bit before posting. Also, as a result, the posting hasn’t been through it’s usual level of testing and prufreedinng, so we’re all flying without a safety net this time. However, in spite of all of this, we think that we still have a pretty good puzzle for you. So sit back, toss your soggy shoes into the mud room, and give our offering a try.

Title: Drawing a Blank
Difficulty: Friday
Download: Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)

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Puzzle #100: “Yes I Wood”

Posted by on 11th June 2009


The astute among you may have noticed that, being posted after 1:30am on June 11, this puzzle does not satisfy our promise of “A New Themed Puzzle Every Wednesday”. We’ve been at this nearly two years now — how time does fly — and things have changed in that time. Thus, we are taking a daring, unprecedented step and changing our tag line to “A New Themed Puzzle Every Thursday”. We hope to keep reliably putting out high quality puzzles on schedule — we’re just changing our definition of “on schedule”.

Even more astute readers will have noticed that this is puzzle number 100, so we’re putting on our party hats here at Beekeeper central. When we started we had high expectations of keeping it up for at least a year, and we’ve clearly accomplished that goal and more. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed what we’ve had to offer you, and will continue to enjoy our offerings on their new day.

Title: Yes I Wood
Difficulty (hard): Friday
Download (hard): Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)
Difficulty (easy): Wednesday
Download (easy): Across Lite or printable PNG

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Special Bonus Puzzle #1: Themeless

Posted by on 5th June 2009


We’ve got a treat for you this week. In addition to the normal themed puzzle which we promise you every week, we are giving you a bonus themeless puzzle featuring a guest cluer. Tuning Spork has just started publishing his own puzzles over on the Blather Review, and definitely has a wicked way with a clue. He consented to take it easy on us with this particular effort, thus keeping it down to a Thursday on the NYT scale. However, “relatively easy” certainly doesn’t mean straightforward or boring — you are still in for a treat. If you like what you see, head on over to his blog and give his puzzles a try. You won’t regret it.

Title: Themeless Special #1
Difficulty: Thursday
Download: Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)

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Puzzle #99: “Seeing Red”

Posted by on 3rd June 2009


The life of a crossword creator is all about letter counts. Since pretty much every weekday puzzle is 15×15, he’s constantly on the look-out for “lively” phrases that are exactly 15 letters long. But it doesn’t end there. The subtle constraints of building a perfect crossword grid make some lengths better than others: 15 and 10 are great; 9 and 12 are decent; 11 is ok; and 13 and 14 are awful. 16…is right out. This is why “down for the count” has appeared in print at least 9 times, but “down in the dumps” — an equally popular phrase — has only appeared once. When he is trying to come up with a perfect theme, you’ll frequently find a constructor searching through possible phrases and cursing when they don’t come out to the desired lengths.

This brings us to this weeks puzzle. The only way to make the theme work was to use 4 14-letter theme words — a total disaster. So how did we pull it off? We cheated. Unlike almost every weekday puzzle out there, this one isn’t 15×15. You won’t find us copping out like this very often, but sometimes that’s the way it goes. (Besides, we made up for it by shoving some 16 letter words into a puzzle around this time last year. It all balances out.)

Speaking of cop-outs: It’s been a long week, and we just didn’t get around to preparing a second set of clues for this weeks puzzle. Thus, you are stuck with just the hard set of clues. If you are feeling brave, pull out your Almanac and your Thesaurus (or just pull up google.com) and give it a try anyway. If not, we’ll try to have an easier experience available for you next week.

Title: Seeing Red
Difficulty: Friday
Download: Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)

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