What are some stock crossword puzzle clues?

There are about a dozen ways to ask for Erie -
Penna. port
canal terminus
northern Indian tribe
battle site for Perry
shallowest Great Lake

I have done like…thousands of crossword puzzles. But I usually do them in tandem with my dad (I do it while I eat dinner, he does it when he eats dinner later, I finish when I eat breakfast). There’s one I always see:

“Seed coating” or “seed cover”

And…I don’t…know…whatitis…cuziletmydadfillitin



1 A night sky light
2 Twinkle, twinkle, little _____
3 ____ light, _____ bright
4 The sun is one
5 “_____ Trek” (TV series)
6 “_____ Wars” (TV series)
7 “_____ Search” (TV series)
8 " When You Wish Upon A " (song)
9 Garland’s “A ______ Is Born” (movie)
10 "Battle
Galactica" (TV series)
11 Texas is the Lone ____ state
12 Super____! (Molly Shannon movie)
13 Jesus Christ, Super_____ (musical)
14 the north _____ (astronomy)
15 very famous
17 highly celebrated
18 a self-luminous body
19 singular of stars
20 symbol on dressing room door

1 -board and -fish
2 -struck and super-
3 88 form a constellation
4 Abolitionist newspaper, “North ______”
5 telephone key
6 Metropolis’ Scientific Technology And Research Labs (abbr.)
7 Common vari. of SWAT
8 Standard Terminal Arrival Route
9 Toronto’s largest daily
10 asterisk
11 Sol
12 Proxima Centauri
13 Alpha Centari A or B
13 Wolf 359
14 Barnard’s is one
15 Either Sirius A or B

(I presume in these cases the scientific names of stars constitute a medium level of familiarality and difficulty.)

1 Cordwainer Bird series, “The ____ Lost”
2 1991 Jan Garbarek album
3 Merged with Minneapolis Tribute
4 Latin, “aster”
5 1952 Bette Davis film
6 Racing keelboat class
7 Xerox graphic interface
8 follows day- and super-
9 Nairobi’s Day____ University
10 Tarot XVII
11 North Carolina town
12 Groombride 34
13 Banard’s or Kapteyn’s
14 TAU Ceti
15 Van Mehaan

Let me know if I have a future as an editor, Twickster.

It may be a slight hijack, but I’m intrigued by clues for “star.” Let’s see how many I can manage:


–Polaris or Alpha Centauri.
–Twinkler in a children’s rhyme.
–Item on a US flag.
–With “board,” side of a ship.
–Take the lead role.


–With “On,” car equipment.
–Hollywood sidewalk feature.
–Before “struck” or “shell.”
–Gary Coleman, once.
–Sapphire type.
–Student’s golden reward.
–Reviewer’s rating tool.
–Moroccan flag feature.


–One of three in a hockey game.
–Continuous nuclear reaction.
–Lab animals that walk backwards.
–St. Basil’s topper, once.
–Drummer Ingo.

Well, if I can think of any more, I’ll post them (and on preview, I see Askia has posted a pile of them as well).

Twickster, you are a constructor? For whom, if I may ask?

Inter (ALIA) pops up a lot

One that just seemed odd was Face hole (PORE)

Take the B Train (CDEF…)

STAR (and what else, but stars showing toughness)

Toronto Daily (and a gaggle of other newpapers) *
Galaxy Item *
ATM Network **
Asterisk *
Twinkler *
Acting Lead *
Wildcard **
Stelliform Object *
Erstwhile PC ***
Lisa’s Inspiration ***
Constellation Denizen *
Red Dwarf **
Restaurant Rater *
Eight Shifted *

  • Crossed *
    Bell-LaPadula property ***
    Rock Follower *
    Gazer Introduction *

I’ve seen Hockey Great Bobby — used a bit. Must be something about ORR that helps pull the puzzle together.

Likewise EWER and EIRE and ERIE.

Kimono sash
Country siner McIntire

Some of the shorties fall into a category I call “dicwords”: yeah, they’re in the dictionary, but you’d have to be kind of a dic (or a word weenie) to know them. Like ASEA, meaning seaward or to the ocean. That guy who used to do the Times puzzle, Mollusca, Maledicta, whatsisname, he was big on dicwords.

Eugene T. Maleska, and yes he was. I’ll quote from the brief bio on the back of one of my New York Times Sunday puzzle collections:

I dunno about that “good sense of fun” part. A few of Maleska’s puzzles ended up being more frustrating than fun.

Editor, for a major magazine publisher. I’ve done some constructing, but mostly (for crosswords at least) I write clues.

I’ll critique everyone’s “star” clues later, but they deserve actual thought and consideration, and, um, right now I’ve got a crossword magazine to edit. :smiley:

I agree. I have a book of his Sundays and I’ve gotten to the point where if I can get one done with only 2 or 3 blank letterboxes, I consider it a good show. The puzzles where 4 or 5 utterly obscure clues intersect, leaving a huge blank area, remind me of the contemptuous professor addressing first-year law or med students in old movies, holding up some giant tome and saying: “You will memorize everything in this book, and when you are through with that, you will know exactly nothing, because you will never know enough.”

I’d say I come across “aloe” in about 1/3 of the puzzles I do.

Also seen “opt” a lot lately.

I wonder how much of a challenge it would be to construct a puzzle based solely on such clues? Obviously it would be much of a hard solve, but it seems it could be challenging to actually create.

jai ____ ALAI

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen “Jai ____” I, um, could buy more crossword books. At least OLEO has several possible (if easily solved) clues.

Don’t forget the other one – OLIO is “a jumble” or “mix”.

Definitely not a stock one, but truly amusing when you run across it:

This – CLUE

“Star Wars Planet” is almost always ENDOR
Asian Nurse - AMAH

I hate it when there are instersecting “name” clues. e.g. “film editor Gonzales” intesecting with “Ukrainian author Szervk” (made up names)


Ents and orcs are animals in that Trilogy of the Rings movie, apparently.
Not exactly on the same level as the Roc, the giant bird in 1001 Arabian Nights.

Egyptian gods Isis and Osiris and Aton

Many clues about asps, like deadly creature of the nile, Cleo’s bane

apse is the curved side room of a cathedral

albs are priests garb