Beekeeper Crosswords Themed Puzzles from Beekeeper Labs

March 17, 2009

Puzzle #89: “Emerald Isle”

Filed under: Uncategorized — @ 9:42 pm

We’re posting this puzzle an hour early so that it will still by ST PAT’s day. But that’s not the only thing special about this puzzle. Put away your green beer and get out your four-leaf clovers, ’cause you may need all the luck you can get for this one. In response to audience demand, we’ve changed things up and made this puzzle annoyingly hard. Then again, in response to *other* audience demand, we’ve kept it just like it’s always been. The net result is that there are two versions of the puzzle: the hard one, which you’ll find in the applet above (unless you are in a non-java-capable browser or RSS reader) will hopefully annoy you; the easy one, which you can get by downloading the across lite puzzle or the PNG image, should be exciting yet comfortable. You can pick one or the other, or you can print out the easy version and use it to help you over the humps as you work the hard version on-line.

We’d love to hear whether you prefer the easy version, the hard version, or both. If you don’t want to comment for the whole world to see, you can always mail us.

In yet more exciting news, Beekeeper Labs is pleased to announce that it has just release version 1.1 of the CrossFire crossword maker. Amongst other new features, this release makes it much easier to create puzzles like this one, and gives customers access to the on-line solving applet that is used above. If this sounds exciting, you can download a trial version at the above link.

Title: Emerald Isle
Difficulty (hard): You tell us
Download (hard): Across Lite or printable PNG (w/ solution)
Difficulty (easy): Tuesday
Download (easy): Across Lite or printable PNG


  1. Woo hoo! Definately a Friday! In fact, I timed myself at 37:45 which is actually more like a Saturday time for me. Loved it! Bravo!

    Comment by Tuning Spork — March 18, 2009 @ 3:56 am

  2. And it’s a half an hour later and I tried the easy version. Took me 7:35 so I’d call it a Wednesdayish.

    No spoilers I hope, but I think “Steam-powered car eponym” at 27A is definately a tougher clue than “Big name in hand-tools”.

    25D had me stumped on both versions. 😀

    Comment by Tuning Spork — March 18, 2009 @ 4:44 am

  3. Spork: I’m quite pleased that you enjoyed it. I rather figured that the hard clue for 25D would prove sadistic enough for your tastes. 🙂 I agree that there are several clues where it is a toss-up whether the “easy” or “hard” version is harder — “A Brit’s ‘cuppa'” is very likely easier than “Word with yellow, rose, or Texas” as well. The goal — not necessarily an easy one — was to make sure that both versions were equally interesting, and that having both sets of clues would make for a puzzle that was even easier than either one on its own.

    I’ll still look forward to feedback from my “silent majority” to see whether they were pleased or terrified (or both) by the harder version, and if they found that they benefited from having two alternatives.

    Comment by keeper — March 18, 2009 @ 8:12 am

  4. Spork, thanks for the heads-up on Amy’s blog! I usually check in periodically and solve the ones marked Thursday and up… so obviously I would vote for more challenging puzzles.

    Today’s took 6:27, which for me is solidly Saturday. Great work as always, but I didn’t love the crossing of two WTF answers (for me), 24A and 25D.

    Comment by Dan F. — March 18, 2009 @ 10:41 am

  5. “A Brit’s ‘cuppa’” is very likely easier than “Word with yellow, rose, or Texas” as well.

    Yes, and it was appreciated as “Brit’s cuppa”, thankfully, gave me one of the first answers that I entered. With the harder clue the puzzle would have been much harder (if not impossible) to unlock.

    I believe it was Will Shortz who once said that the goal of a constructor is for the solver to win. Those little “gimmies” (to a crossword addict) that are scattered about the grid of a challenger are often the only footholds we have. I understand your choices.

    I’ll still look forward to feedback from my “silent majority”…”

    So do I. The thing about comments, I’ve found, is that too few people are willing to chime in first. They’ll read comments if they’re there. But, if the button says “0 comments”, they’ll just do the puzzle and move on.

    The truth, unfortunately, is that most people mistakenly think that they have nothing to say. Oh, well.

    Comment by Tuning Spork — March 20, 2009 @ 3:07 am

  6. Well it took both sets of clues for me, but I like the “Tuesday” clues usually. I am getting old and forgetful. 😉

    Comment by Mary — April 15, 2009 @ 10:41 pm

  7. Aye. I’m still finding that my solvers are pretty much split — I’ve gotten very nice encouragement for both the new “hard” level and the old moderate difficulty level — so I’m keeping both sets of clues for now and letting folks take whichever one(s) they like.

    As far as “forgetful” goes, just keep doing your crosswords. They’re a lot like doing a set of 25 mental sit-ups to keep yourself fit. Certainly it helps keep my whole household from getting soft.

    Comment by keeper — April 15, 2009 @ 10:48 pm

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