I have been constructing twice-monthly crostic puzzles on Vermont themes for the Times Argus and Rutland Herald for the past seven years. I also have constructed film-themed crostics for the Green Mountain Film Festival program, and Yiddish literature-themed crostics for Living Traditions’ “KlezKamp” for six years.

A crostic (or “acrostic” or “double crostic”) is a type of word puzzle, related somewhat to crossword puzzles, that typically consists of two parts. The first part is a set of lettered clues, each of which has numbered blanks representing the letters of the answer. The second part is a grid consisting of numbered blanks and spaces, representing a quotation, into which the answers for the clues fit. In most forms of the puzzle, the first letters of each correct clue answer, read in order from clue A on down the list, will spell out the author of the quote and the title of the work it is taken from. Here are two examples:

If you would like to receive a Times-Argus puzzle every two weeks or have questions about crostic puzzles, please contact me.

Here are a couple of samples: Sample 1 and Sample 2