Total Eclipse (#100 and Variety Edition #3)


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 100!

Today is in fact #100 for Chris Words! We finally hit the three digit mark! To be honest, today’s puzzle set was not supposed to be what I was going to publish to commemorate it. Nevertheless, I’ll save that idea and use it for #105. I wanted to write this set, and there’s literally no better time than now.

I’ve written two Variety Editions already, and this set makes the third.

To quote the cover page:

On August 21st, 2017, the United States will be graced with a solar eclipse, and the path of totality will even cross through Columbia, SC, my own slice of America. With the insanity that is seeing a ring in the sky, we need to make sure we have everything ready to go when the day has come. What should I have when the eclipse happens?


And that is your question to answer for the next three weeks. Head over to where you can find the PDF of the puzzle suite, made of 8 puzzles plus the meta. Also there is an answer checker, so that can confirm any of your answers.

If you find any errata, please email me at cking.gow(at), and I will post them in the area below.

For “Syzygy”, replace the word Matisse with Rousseau.

The answer in the answer checker for “Syzygy” has been corrected. The answer is 10 letters, and not 12 letters.

The last two packets have had 3 week deadlines, and that tradition will maintain this time. By September 8th, be sure to send me your final meta answer. While you’re contacting me, please let me know the successes/struggles you have with any puzzles. I love feedback, and I like giving hints, so there’s never a bad time to shoot me an email.

Also, there’s bonus points available for finishing this packet BEFORE the eclipse. Good luck with your speed.

I hope to be back with #101 soon enough. I will be at Lollapuzzoola this weekend wearing my Chris Words shirt, so please feel free to come say hi and tell me about your puzzling so far with this set! Really looking forward to a great weekend.

Hey, I made it to 100! Let’s see if I can make it to 200!


Sick, Dude! (#99.4)

PUZ [If you solve using PUZ, be sure to at least check out the PDF]


Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 99.2!

Today’s puzzle comes from the Chris King archive. I’m sure those of you who write puzzles probably have puzzles sitting on your computer that you made for some special cause, and have seen very little light since then. Honestly, I’d love to solve some puzzles with some very specific targeting. Example, find the UVA Cavalier Daily from the last couple of years and enjoy some Charlottesville-specific clues by Sam Ezersky.

Anyway, today’s puzzle was made with a certain group at USC in mind. I told Twitter that if ten people liked my post, I’d share both the puzzle and the story. So, before you check out the story, solve the puzzle. The story is below, rot13. The link to the news article is not rot13ed.

Sbe gur ynfg lrne, V pbagevohgrq gb gur arjfyrggre bs gur HFP Ubabef Erfvqrapr Unyy, juvpu jnf zl ubzr ng guvf fpubby sbe svir lrnef. V jebgr n srj chmmyrf onfrq ba Ubabef Pbyyrtr fcrpvsvp guvatf, naq V ernyyl rawblrq guvf gval bhgyrg. Va gur snyy bs 2016, guvf unccrarq:

Daily Gamecock article

Ab bar tbg znwbeyl fvpx, naq gur vasrpgvba jnf pherq irel fbba nsgre guvf arjf gbbx cynpr. Ubjrire, gurer zvtug unir orra fbzrbar gung yvirq va gur Ubabef Pbyyrtr ohvyqvat gung fbyirq n chmmyr nobhg gur erprag bhgoernx nsgre univat gur prageny gurzr.

Fher, guvf frrzf yvxr n fgenatr guvat gb qb, naq qba’g trg zr jebat, V ybir gur Ubabef Ohvyqvat zber guna nalbar ryfr rire, ohg V guvax guvf vf n terng chmmyr naq va zl gbc 5 shaavrfg rire.

I hope you guys still like me. I’ve always enjoyed this puzzle, and I hope you do to. See y’all soon!


El Imperio Contraataca (#99.2)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 99.2!

So, I’m really looking forward to publishing #100 here on Chris Words, but today is not that day. Until I finally have it ready, I’m going to publish some 99s to fill that time in. Today’s puzzle is a nice clean grid with a theme that you might be able to figure out from the title alone. Hope you enjoy it!

Also, Paolo Pasco has a new crossword website! Hilariously called Grids These Days, sounds like it’ll be published every Sunday at noon PST, which is a timing mechanism I can get behind. We all collectively cannot wait for what this site is going to produce.

Also, within the next seven days, I’ll post my recap of the Indie 503! Going to be introspective and sarcastic. Be ready to relive glory days.

Enjoy the puzzle!


Educational Television (w/ Paolo Pasco) (#99)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 99! This website is getting closer to three years, and we are dangerously close to hitting three digits. I’ve been mighty proud of the last ten CW puzzles, and I’m excited to try out a couple more new things for the site: a co-constructor and a Sunday-sized grid!

I want to thank Paolo Pasco for helping me work on the puzzle for the last 9 months (well, really just in the spurts of September, February, and the last week). As I know many of you know Paolo is the real deal, and it was amazing to work with him for this puzzle. Believe it or not, not too much wordplay is involved with today’s theme, but I hope you’ll enjoy the connection amongst the theme answers, and I really hope you’ll enjoy the clues we came up with. We spared no expense on length, and I think you’ll find clues that are both classic Paolo and classic Chris.

Puzzle #100 is going to be a meta spectacular, and I’m not sure when it’ll go online. Gotta focus on school and writing non-crosswords.

Enjoy the puzzle! Any and all praise will be forwarded to Paolo, and I hope to see you very soon, both on here and in the real world. By the way, I’ll be at Lollapuzzoola, and I hope I’ll see you there!

Oh, and instead of doing the usual co-constructor interview, I let Paolo pick a video to end the post with. He chose the following, and I couldn’t agree more. Enjoy!


Themeless Twenty (#98)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 98! Today’s puzzle is the last themeless puzzle before this site turns double digits, and I really hope you enjoy it! True, it is a themeless puzzle, but there’s a challenge found within.

My days are numbered, and I’ve already picked my replacement for when I move on from Chris Words. Who did I select? Feel free to let me know at cking.gow(at) if I’m doing the right thing. You might need to do some research for the puzzle so you won’t be befuddled, but hopefully a couple of six-letter words can give you some assistance. 


As we get really close to the three-digit mark, I want to thank all of you who have been regularly solving my puzzles for nearly three years now. Matt Gaffney once wrote “This guy’s blog is like a neighborhood restaurant that does no publicity or advertising and has no tourist trade, but the same 200 people eat there every week because it’s phenomenal”, and it makes me so incredibly happy that you folks will put up with my need for making puzzles that you have to print out because some cutting assembly is required, or that you have to solve online because there’s links to gifs and Imgur. I so tremendously enjoy writing puzzles for all of you, and I look forward to keep on doing the same thing.

Hey, the Indie 500 is this weekend! Of course, be sure to read my strategy guide before you go, but besides that, I really hope to see you! I’ll be the one wearing the Gamecock hat. It’s going to be a blast, and hopefully, easy as pie!

See you (hopefully very) soon!


Continental Break (#97)



Hey everyone, and welcome to Week 97!

I sincerely hope you enjoy today’s puzzle, as I had a bunch of fun writing it. If I ever get around to making a Patreon account, I promise to deliver puzzles exactly like this one.

I would also like to thank friends Andy Kravis, Neville Fogarty, and Drew Dixon for helping craft clues 18-Across, 37-Across, and 22-Across.

If you have any questions about my time writing the puzzle, I’m sure I can regale you on some tidbits. Hopefully, you’ll get me started when we’re hanging at Indie 500.

Hope to have Puzzle 98 for you very soon. Also, after you solved this one, make sure you complete #96. The 90s have been great for Chris Words.

Thanks everyone! Enjoy the puzzle!