How did I mess up on this crossword?

OK, so I’ve been trying to get good at crosswords, because often times during the day I have nothing to do so I need something to fill in a few minutes here and there, so I took to photocopying the crossword from the daily paper (the place I work at puts out a few copies of the paper, so I bring the crossword page to the photocopier so I only have to carry a small folded piece of paper in my pocket.)

Today’s crossword gave me some trouble, namely the kind of trouble where I know that the answer for one area HAS to be right, yet only if that one letter from it that carries over to the across clue were different, then I could fit in this word that perfectly matches the other letters there and the clue.

What I have done so far can be seen Here. (if that’s too small to read, let me know.)

Case in point. Look at 1-down (Mia of soccer) . Clearly, the answer is Hamm, right? And hey, it even fits for 14-across and 17-across (acts and mooshupork.) But the problem arises with 20-across. The clue is “Dispense, as justice.” If we look at the spaces for 20-across, and the last two letters, ‘dishout’ would fit perfectly…but because of ‘Hamm’, the first letter is an ‘m’, not a ‘d’.

Also, 1-across would be nice if the answer was ‘Hare’ (long-eared critter.) And hey, the a fits for a good answer for 2-down (skin cream ingredient, ‘aloe,’) yet, 14-across is ‘acts’, not ‘alts’. And ‘Hare’ would also work for 3-down if I could put ‘riot’ in for 3-down (hilarious character.) But again, ‘acts’ is getting in the way, and I don’t know of a word that is ‘interali_’, which would be the result if I used hare, aloe, and riot instead of act.

The next issue I had was with 18-down. The clue is ‘accumulate for later use.’ The first letter is ‘h’, and five letters, so it must be ‘horde’, right? And hey, if ‘dishout’ was the correct answer for 20-across, then that ‘o’ is in the perfect spot…but nope, the last three letters are ‘ard’. ‘A’ from 23-across (secretive fraternal group, clearly ‘masons’,) ‘R’ from 27-across (fairy tale ending word, ‘after,’) and the ‘D’ from 32-across (small hills, ‘mounds’) 27 and 32-across also fit perfectly with the rest of their area of the grid, so they MUST be correct, so what the fuck is 18-down?

Oh, and I realize now that excema (21-across) isactually spelled eczema, so that clears up the one issue I thought I had with 22-down and 21-across, and I also know that 29-down is ‘tuningfork’. When I first did it, for some reason my eyes told my brain that 29-down stopped at four letters, so I was left wondering what the hell a ‘tuni’ is. :stuck_out_tongue:

14a - Alia
20a - Meteout

One at a time: Try ‘meteout’

14-across is “alia”
2-down is “aloe”
3-down is “riot”
20-across is “Mete Out”
18-down is “hoard”

I don’t have time to study this at the moment, but 20 across ("dispense, as justice) is probably “mete out”

And ‘hoard’ is correct for 18-Down.

Sorry about duplicating an earlier post. I type slowly.

See, this is why I should just walk away from all crosswords. I can’t spell (I mixed up hoard and horde, fer christsake) and have a shitty vocabulary (never heard of the word mete, or inter alia. No, seriously, I haven’t. I’m a friggin idiot.)

Thanks for the help.

Just keep doing them. You will quickly learn the author’s favorite words and see them over and over. Also, use a pen. Pretty soon you’ll be doing one of those in less than ten minutes. Then you will get bored and never do one again.

Lawyers and crossword puzzle writers are the only people who use the phrase “inter alia”.

By the way, 11 down is Robert Bork.

If you’re is trying to get in a lot of crossword practice, you might try this MSNBC crossword puzzle and this Merriam-Webster crossword puzzle. Both of those are free.

59 Down is EKES; it’s going to screw you up on 61 Across if you don’t fix it. On a quick scan, that’s the only problem I see coming up.

I used to do crosswords all the time, and found One Across to be THE most useful site - provided I only used it when I was really stuck!

Of course, SMDB is probably a lot more fun!

Also, there are a lot of stock clues that you’ll get to recognize. “Ekes out” is a phrase that comes up all the time (paging twicktster: we’re tired of it. :wink: ) Inter alia is another very common answer. With those two and jai alai you should be able to do just about any puzzle…


And gynecologsts :smiley:

Actually, I’ve done less than a dozen…and “fireworks reaction” (ooh) has already come up twice. And already two clues referencing “Clan of the Cave Bear,” (one the author, the other the main character.)

Seriously, and I mean this in the most helpful possible way, this is where you went wrong:

You’re doing the quick crossword, and not the cryptic one.

Cryptic crosswords are satisfying: as long as they are compiled properly, there is only one possible answer that fits each clue. You get a nice “a-ha” moment when you figure it out.

Quick crosswords, on the other hand, I’ve never been able to see the point in, for exactly the reason you have discovered. It’s a case of trial and error to see what fits, which puts it somewhere below sudoku in the puzzle stakes in my book (and that’s saying something).

Ah, I see we do the same puzzle.

I don’t see the comparison, here… With sudoku, there’s also exactly one answer that can work, and if you try to do a sudoku by trial and error, you’ll never finish one.