How Smart Are You? Take This Crossword IQ Test


I’m a cruciverbalist. I solve crossword puzzles. Or at least try to. Here are some clever clues from one—-a New York Times Saturday no less—from 2009. No, it didn’t take me that long to solve it . It just happens to be one left from a desk calendar whose daily puzzles I saved to be worked on at a later date. Which turned out to be today. I wouldn’t expect you to figure all of them out. Especially out of context. You know, without any other crossword answers that may help out. So I’ll give you a letter or two. Take a go at it and see what you can do.  The answers—in case you give up—are at the very end, after a look at three people who got a perfect score. [Just kidding!].


1, Cooking product     _ _ _ _ A

2. They may come with socks    _ _ _ N_ R_

3. Enjoyed London and France    _E_ _

4. Swing set players?    B_ _ B_ _ _ _

5. Nose-In-the-air types    _L_ N_ _

6. Do without much daring?    _U_

7. Like it    _E_ T_ _

8. Provides with a seat    V_ _ _S _ _

9. Clothes hangers?    T_ _S_ _ _ _

10. Bath suds spot?    _ _B

[Puzzle by Joon Pahk. Edited by Will Shortz. 09/26/09]

1. Aroma

2. Shiners

3. Read

4. Big Bands

5. Planes

6. Bun

7. Neuter

8. Votes in

9. Tassels

10. Pub


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  • I wasn't that good at crosswords, but this method of presentation reduces it to Wheel of Fortune, I mean Merv Griffin said "hangman."

    I've found it occasionally (very occasionally) helpful to have some context and letters provided by the word in the perpendicular direction.

  • Whew! This guy is, well, serious about his puzzles. Some of those clues were mean (but I remember Jack London and Anatole France). Thanks for the challenge!

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