In honor of Crossword Puzzle Day, which today marks the 105th birthday of the first crossword, we created one of our own — going totally old-school with one you can download, print, and dabble with real ink. It’s a full-on grammar-school flashback, complete with a blank for you to scrawl your name and space to doodle to your heart’s content. Will you earn a gold star or a scratch-and-sniff sticker?
It might not be on the scale of difficulty as master crossworder Brendan Emmett Quigley, but it could be a quick test for editors everywhere to send to their scribes. All the clues are editorial tips!
2. E.B. White and _____. Read up.
6. Ahem, don’t mis- these.
7. For the love of sanity, run this before you submit. (2 words)
9. To some, the only dictionary. (abbrev.)
12. This persnickety divider is known to fire up editorial fisticuffs. (2 words)
15. They matter. More than anything.
16. Not to be confused with et al.
17. Try to avoid these kinds of sources, lest you be a gossipy nit.
19. All writing is this until the instant it’s published. (abbrev.)
21. If this is 6 feet under, shame on your lifeless zombie soul.
22. ‘The road to Hell is paved with _____.’ – Stephen King
24. Always cite it when it is due.
25. What Gene Roddenberry notoriously split in his most famous mantra.
27. A common deadline you shouldn’t miss. (abbrev.)
28. Get it right the first time to avoid this.
29. Don’t tempt an editor’s favorite ink.
30. It is not, repeat, not rain on your wedding day, unless you are the Snow Miser and perhaps intended otherwise.
1. You can’t edit a _____ page.
3. A murderous phrase to describe what an editor might do if your writing sucketh. (3 words)
4. Sometimes it’s just a train wreck of conjunctions.
5. Vary it, or else your sentences will bore.
8. Never miss one. Seriously. Never.
10. What every editor wants, but alas, rarely gets.
11. Sam I Am never used these. Not here, not there, not anywhere.
13. If you don’t know this used to be the term for an emoji, you might be one as well.
14. Arguably, the worst crime a writer can commit, aside from murder by emoji.
18. It might be definite or indefinite, but you ought to know which.
20. Good things come to those who don’t use latitudes of these platitudes.
23. Don’t be a spiller and fluff your work with ______.
26. Three letters that infest passive writing.