This is a cryptic crossword built from a table game.


The clues in this cryptic don’t always completely conform to the standards for cryptic clues. The clues in bold were written by teams in Jen’s “Five Word Alphabet” game, with the following constraints:

  • The clue must be 5 words long
  • Teams had 10 minutes to write a clue and couldn’t use outside sources
  • Answer words had to be in MW
  • Teams were awarded points based on how many unique letters of the alphabet they included in their clue

These clues each include the number of the authoring team; the phrase [Team N] is not a puzzle.

The non-bolded clues were written by me using the first and third constraints above. Because it was more fun, I prioritized using more letters over having clean surface readings. I apologize for the ugliness of the grid; it was the best I could do given that I needed to include the nineteen words clued by teams during the game.

Jen didn’t know I was going to put this together into an actual crossword with additional clues when she asked me to look at the team submissions. I did it because I love writing clues but not coming up with grids and theme ideas or shenanigans. So this is basically a classified ad: clue writer seeks long-term collaboration with gridder and variety shenanigan planner. -Ange