For all of you puzzle lovers out there, and in the spirit of holiday giving, I’ve designed a full-sized crossword puzzle using geology themes. It’s the least I can do for those of you frequently visiting and linking to this site in your discussions on the age of rocks! Therefore, this crossword is free to download, share, and distribute, and I encourage you to do so. To complete the puzzle, click here for a PDF version or download the image below. The only downside (I hope!) is that you’ll need to print the puzzle to complete it, as I’m not able to digitize fields with my copy of Acrobat.
Using any one of the main theme clues (26-Across, 34-Across, or 43-Across), you may request an answer key by sending me an e-mail at email@example.com. Feel free to let me know if there are any blunders (or problematic clues), and I encourage you to evaluate the puzzle’s difficulty in the comments below. Otherwise, please enjoy!
“I’m stuck! What now?”
If you’re having a difficult time with this puzzle, but aren’t ready to see all the answers, consider these helpful hints:
- Words and phrases are commonly abbreviated and clues may refer to an acronym, rather than a word. Look out for hints within the clue, such as “briefly”, which indicate the puzzle answer is shortened from the full one.
- Answers always agree in tense and number with the clue. For example, “Ash containers” (4 letters) could be URNS, but not TRAY, because tray is singular. The same is true of verbs: “Despised” could refer to HATED, but not HATES, because the latter is present tense.
- It is possible for answers to be a phrase, rather than a single word. For example, “Cops demand” (14 letters) could be PUTYOURHANDSUP.
- Clues that end in a question mark (e.g. 13-down) generally refer to made-up phrases or witty takes on familiar terms. For example, “One who skips church for a meal?” (15 letters) could be SUNDAYBRUNCHFAN.
- Answers may consist of part of a word, including a common prefix or suffix. For example, “With bat, an ornamental font” (4 letters) could refer to Dingbat. Therefore, the 4-letter answer would be DING.
- Answers need not be in English (though they should be commonly known to English speakers), so beware of hints that indicate the answer is in a foreign language!
- Though rarely done, the answer could be spelled backwards. Look for hints within the clue that may indicate backwards spelling. For example, “African aid singer in reverse” (4 letters) might be ONOB, rather than Bono.