It’s Follow-Up Friday: The Wonderful World of Wordplay edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

By this time, you know the drill. Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and bring the PuzzleNation audience up to speed on all things puzzly.

And today, I’m posting the results of our #PennyDellPuzzleDisney hashtag game!

You may be familiar with the board game Schmovie, hashtag games on Twitter, or @midnight’s Hashtag Wars segment on Comedy Central.

For the last few months, we’ve been collaborating on puzzle-themed hashtag games with our pals at Penny Dell Puzzles, and this month’s hook was #PennyDellPuzzleDisney, mashing up Penny Dell puzzles and anything and everything having to do with characters, songs, theme parks, and all things Disney!

Examples include: The Jungle Bookworms, A Whole New Word Seek, or Lilo & Stretch Letters!

So, without further ado, check out what the puzzlers at PuzzleNation and Penny Dell Puzzles came up with!


Disney Puzzle Films, Shows, and Characters!

Crypto-Family Robinson / Swiss Family Ties Robinson

Beauty and the Beat the Clock / Beauty and the Word Seek

Zoo-Doku-topia

Abacus in Wonderland

The Throwbacks of Notre Dame

The Little Puzzler Mermaid / The Little MerMaze

Buried Treasure Island

101 Associations / A 101 Quotations

The Sword in the Stepping Stones

Mary Stoplines

Escape to Which Way Words Mountain

The Windowbox and the Hound

White Fan’ Words

These Three Musketeers / The Three of a Kind Musketeers

Oliver and Three’s Company

The Lotto King

Crackerella

Al-add-one / AladdIn the Middle

Crisscross-topher Robin

Crackerjacks Sparrow

Pollyanagrams

Peter Panagrams

National Treasure Hunt

Monsters, Incognito

Cruella De-V-Words

Monkeys Go Home Runs

The Lucky Star to the Right

Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey-comb Tree

The Three Little Piggybacks

Off with her Heads & Tails

Cross Aristocats

The Jumble Book

Disney’s Into the Tanglewoods

Sheriff Callie’s Wild Window Boxes

Mickey Mouse Cryptohouse

Minnie’s Mixed Bag of Tricks!

Pluto in the Round

Snow Whitelines and The Shadow Dwarfs


Disney Theme Park Puzzles!

The Wonderful Codeword of Disney

Anagram Magic Kingdom / Animal Crackers Kingdom

Epcot In the Middle (or is it center???…)

The Carousel of Progress-ions

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spinwheel


Disney Song Puzzles!

“When You Wish Upon a Starspell”

“Whistle While You Framework”

“Be Our Guest Star Framework”

“The Pairs Necessities”

“Some Day My Printout Will Come”

“Under the ABC’s”

“It’s a Small Change (After All)”

“Can You Paint with All the Color by Numbers of the Wind?” / “Color of the Wind-ow Boxes”

“Circles in the Square of Life” / “The Full Circle of Life”

“Do You Want to Build-A-Pyramid?”

“Let It Go Fish”

“Heigh Ho HeigHocus Pocus”

“A Whole New Whirlybird”

“Song of the North South”

“You’ll Fill-In My Heart”

“Little Puzzler Showers”

“Step by Step in Time”

“Kakuro Matata”

“Be True To Your Hearts and Flowers”

“Bibbidi Bobbidi Boomerang” / “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Book” / “Bippity-Boppity-Bookworms”

“Zip-It Dee Doo Dah, Zip-It Dee Ay!
My oh my what a Number-Jumble day!
Plenty of Sunrays Headings my way!
Zip-It Dee Doo Dah, Zip-It Dee Ay!”


Have you come up with any Penny Dell Puzzle Disney entries of your own? Let us know! We’d love to see them!

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Crossword Cameos!

When he was asked if his name had given him anything but grief over the years, actor Rip Torn replied, “Well, when I couldn’t get a job, everybody would say, ‘Where do I know you from?’ I said, ‘Crossword puzzles!’ That kept my name alive for years.”

And it’s true. Some names are simply crossword friendly and have shown up regularly over the years, transforming from pop culture reference to fully established element of crosswordese.

Many constructors have ETTA James, Arthur ASHE, Alan ALDA, IONE Skye, and Yoko ONO to thank for getting them out of a tight spot. Others owe completed grids to Mel OTT, Bobby ORR, ESAI Morales, Judge Lance ITO, and Robert E. LEE. (At this point, some of these actors could probably cite The New York Times or The LA Times on their IMDb pages.)

Then, of course, you have the numerous obscure ladies offering helpful three- and four-letter names to constructors. UNA and ONA and OONA and OSA and ENA and ESME and ISA and EWA, for starters. (Of course, INA and ANA have lucked their way into being more contemporary references, thanks to SNL’s ANA Gasteyer and Food Network’s INA Garten.)

(Una Merkel, someone many crossword solvers easily recognize
by name, but probably wouldn’t recognize from her picture.)

The one I’m guiltiest of overusing in puzzle editing is easily author ELIE Wiesel, because there’s only so many ways to clue ERIE before you start looking for other options.

If there was a top contender for person most frequently appearing in crosswords, I have to imagine it’s an ALI, ELI, or LEE, though each of these can reference multiple people, so the title would have to be shared.

Unless you also want to factor in fictional characters. I imagine ULEE of “Ulee’s Gold” or Mr. SMEE from “Peter Pan” would rank pretty high on the list of common crossword entries.

Unfortunately, some names are simply more suited for crosswords than others. Author Norman Mailer actually commented in an interview that he was disappointed not to be a common crossword entry:

“I’m hurt that I’m never in one of them. And I’ve got a last name with three vowels. You’d think I’d be hot cakes, but I’m not.”

Tough luck, Norman. But hey, maybe you’ll make a cameo in one of the puzzles in this year’s American Crossword Puzzle Tournament this weekend!

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