- "Words fascinate me. They always have. For me, browsing in a dictionary is like being turned loose in a bank." ~Eddie Cantor
- "Leo (President's Chief of Staff): Margaret. Please call the editor of the New York Times crossword and tell him that Khaddafi is spelled with an h, and two d’s, and isn’t a seven letter word for anything.
Leo: [on the phone] 17 across. Yes, 17 across is wrong... You're spelling his name wrong... What's my name? My name doesn't matter. I am just an ordinary citizen who relies on the Times crossword for stimulation. And I'm telling you that I met the man twice. And I recommended a pre-emptive Exocet missile strike against his air force, so I think I know how...
C.J.: [in shock] Leo!
Leo: [looking at the phone, then hanging up] They hang up on me every time.
C.J: That's almost hard to believe." ~West Wing (Pilot)
- "A guy doing a crossword in a pub turns to his pal and says 'how do you spell paint'?
His mate thinks for a second and replies 'what colour'?"
- "Crossword Fan: I've been trying to think of a word for two weeks!
Friend: How about a fortnight?"
- "'Speak English!' said the Eaglet. 'I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and I don't believe you do either!'" ~Alice in Wonderland
- OREO is sometimes called the pseudo-official cookie of the crossword puzzle because its vowels help the constructor with ease of crossing words; also because it's black and white -- and similar in age? (to right, "Name that Decade" Jeopardy question)
- Summary: read a lot; learn vocabulary, (vowel-heavy) 'repeaters' (e.g., area, aria, oreo), and 'crosswordese' ("words frequently found in crossword puzzles but seldom found in everyday conversation") -- by osmosis or from lists
- the answer may be a phrase, rather than a single word -- if so, plural or verb tense in clue might affect the phrase before its end
- also know what you (usually) will not find: profanity, sad or disturbing topics, or overly explicit answers
- recognize letter sequences: tictactoe (O,X), 'alphabetic trio', Roman numerals, time zones, compass dir., phone keypad, cable networks, ...
- HSW 6: Double-check Your Spelling (var.); Word Buff: 3. Learn the Repeaters
- about.com: 2. Check the 3-, 4- and 5-letter Words; 8. Multi-word Answers
- Wonder 8. Memorize Commonly Used Words
- Word Buff Word Lists: most frequent; common 3-,4-,5-letter answers; alphabets
- Abbrev. (Wikipedia); An Englishman Solves American Puzzles: Pavlov's Guide to Crosswords 9/2012; Español para los crucigramistas 1/2012; From Aaron to Zion (Bible & Jewish refs) 1/2011; Alphabet Soup (US govt. orgs) 5/2010; The Crucy League (Amer. univ.) 2/2009; Cruciverbal Canines (dogs) 9/2009; A Monograph on Monograms (literary, presidents, others) 1/2011
- How to remember: Greek letters 3/2008; Roman numerals 4/2008
- Become a Crossword Super Solver by Will Johnston Commonly used words; Finding the easy ones; Method of attack; Ambiguous fill; [.pdf; p3]; 1/19/2010
- Crossword Trivia and Trip-ups 3/11/2005
- Wikipedia: frequently used examples; Crosswordese: word-of-the-day
- Some pissants have put me in 'Twilight Zone' Varble; 8/19/2012
- [LAT] Crosswordese 101 Summary 2/20/2011
- Playing in the Word Farm 11/3/2010
- The Myth of Crosswordese 3/20/2010
- My Crossword Life 3/3/2008
- Crosswordese Poetry 2/10/2008
- NYT CrossWorld Pantheon: A Hall of Fame for Crossword fill 11/22/2006
- Talking Crosswordese Blues 3/13/2005
- All I know I learned from crosswords Mail Tribune: Varble; 8/4/2002
- Partying with all the gnus that fit Mail Tribune: Varble; [.pdf]
- about.com; visualthesaurus
- Most Hated Crossword Entries
- Word Buff: A Crash Course In Crosswordese
- 30 Crossword Answers You MUST Learn