Stan Newman's Daily Crossword Tips February 19 - 25, 2023

Solving crosswords every day is a fun and healthy habit that will build and strengthen your problem-solving skills. Whether you're new to crosswords, or a seasoned solver, everyone can use a helpful hint now and then. Come back every week to see the digest of daily tips that will help you achieve the satisfaction of solving a crossword a day.


Sunday, February 19, 2023

ALTERNATE ROUTES: Both horizontal and vertical, by Gary M. Larson
Difficulty level: Medium
Some of the trickier clues: 43 Across, 130 Across, 37 Down, 109 Down

Today's Tip: 24 Across holds over 100 patents for a wide variety of consumer products.

Play more Sunday crosswords from editor Stan Newman’s archives.



Monday, February 20, 2023

PRESIDENT’S DAY by Sally R. Stein
Difficulty level: Easy
Easy clues suggested for you to begin with: 10 Across, 46 Across, 2 Down, 53 Down

Today's Tip: You might be able to fill in the three longest answers right away also.

Play more crosswords at this same level from editor Stan Newman’s archives.



Tuesday, February 21, 2023

TACO TOPPINGS by Billie Truitt
Difficulty level: Easy
Easy clues suggested for you to begin with: 28 Across, 56 Across, 1 Down, 13 Down

Today's Tip: A white one, and two greens.

 Play more crosswords at this same level from editor Stan Newman’s archives.



Wednesday, February 22, 2023

MOWN AND GROWN by Fred Piscop
Difficulty level: Easy-Medium
Easy clues suggested for you to begin with: 13 Across, 33 Across, 3 Down, 29 Down

Today's Tip: Note the clever double-homophone title; the theme has nothing to do with complaining.

Play more crosswords at this same level from editor Stan Newman’s archives.



Thursday, February 23, 2023

TOO EXPENSIVE by Steve Faiella
Difficulty level: Medium-Hard
Easiest clues suggested for you to begin with: 9 Across, 65 Across, 2 Down, 54 Down

Tricky clues to watch out for: 70 Across, 8 Down, 10 Down, 62 Down

Today's Tip: The rather subtle title and theme are based on what the four longest answers have in common.

Play more crosswords at this same level from editor Stan Newman’s archives.


Friday, February 24, 2023

RAP PARTY by David Karp
Difficulty level: Hard
Easiest clues suggested for you to begin with: 14 Across, 37 Across, 21 Down,
Tricky clues to watch out for: 17 Across, 43 Across, 29 Down, 32 Down, 36 Down

Today's Tip: A very tricky theme, very nicely executed, doubly described at 40 Down.

Play more crosswords at this same level from editor Stan Newman’s archives.



Saturday, February 25, 2023

Difficulty level: Very Hard
Most straightforward clues:  37 Across, 3 Down, 14 Down, 40 Down
Trickiest clues to watch out for: 19 Across, 25 Across, 2 Down, 24 Down

Today's Tip: The themeless Saturday Stumpers are deliberately designed to be the most challenging daily crosswords available anywhere, and are widely acknowledged by champion-level puzzle fans to be just that. The most important tip to always keep in mind: expect trickery everywhere, and consider the multiple meanings (and/or parts of speech) that any clue word might have.  If you have trouble getting started, you’ll find it highly enlightening to use the app’s “Reveal puzzle” feature, then compare each clue with its corresponding answer. This is how many have developed the skills to fully solve Saturdays.

Play more crosswords at this same level from editor Stan Newman’s archives.


How did it go?

Did you find this week’s digest of daily tips helpful? Did you find a clue that really stumped you? Join your fellow crossword fans in the comments. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page to the comments to engage with other puzzle solvers just like you.


About this week’s puzzle authors:

Stan Newman

Since 1988, Stan Newman has been the Crossword Editor for the Long Island, New York newspaper Newsday, where he is widely acknowledged as America’s preeminent expert in customizing crosswords by level of difficulty. During his career, he has also been Founding Editor for the popular “Crosswords with Friends” app, Managing Director of Puzzles and Games for Random House, and has authored or edited over 200 books - including crossword puzzle books, word game books, and crossword reference books.
Stan has written many thousands of his own crosswords over the years, including the first crosswords ever to appear in the Wall Street JournalPeople and Newsweek magazines.

As a puzzle solver, he has held since 1996 the world's record for the fastest completion of a New York Times crossword: 2 minutes, 14 seconds.

A headshot of Stan Newman

 Photo credit: Don Christensen


Gary M. Larson

Gary M. Larson is a retired comedian who lives in Edmonds, Washington with his wife, Amy.  He spends his days creating crossword puzzles, riding his E-bike, hanging out at the beach, and entertaining local residents with giant bubbles.  


Sally R. Stein

Sally R. Stein is a pseudonym for your humble crossword editor, which I use for the easiest Monday and Tuesday puzzles of the week. “Sally R. Stein” being an anagram of “it’s really S.N.”


Billie Truitt

Billie Truitt has been constructing puzzles for Stan since 2008, specializing in the easier Tuesday puzzles, expanding into Fridays and Sundays in recent years.  She lives with her husband and son in Windsor, Connecticut.


Fred Piscop

Fred Piscop of Bellmore, New York, has been constructing crosswords since the late 1980s. His first Newsday crossword appeared in 1992, and 2016 saw the publication of Fred's 1000th Newsday crossword.

 Fred is the former editor of the Washington Post Sunday crossword and the USA Today crossword.  He is also the creator of the popular Split Decisions® puzzle, which appears in the New York Times, GAMES World of Puzzles, and on Fred's website,

 When Fred is not busy creating puzzles, he enjoys solving the Guardian cryptic crossword, playing keyboards at jam sessions, biking, running, playing senior softball, and sampling excellent microbrews.


Steve Faiella

Steve Faiella has been a lifelong crossword solver. When he retired in 2019, after a 40-year career in Information Technology for one of the world's largest financial institutions, he decided to try his hand at constructing the puzzles that he's enjoyed since his teen years. Steve's first Newsday puzzle was published in March of 2020, and Stan has been amazing in mentoring Steve in his newfound craft. Steve hopes to continue making puzzles for years to come.  He lives in Western Connecticut with his husband, Mike Walker, and his very demanding basset hound Rudy. 


David Karp 

David Karp is from Victoria, B.C., Canada, where he lives with his wife and one-year-old son. He started making crossword puzzles as a pandemic hobby. In addition to making his Newsday debut in 2023, David’s puzzles have been published by several other publishers.

David is currently on leave from his job as an economic policy adviser with the B.C. provincial government to be a stay-at-home dad. Besides being a dad and making crossword puzzles, David’s hobbies include cooking, travel and playing piano and floor hockey.


Lester Ruff

Lester Ruff is a pseudonym for your humble crossword editor, which I use for Saturday Stumpers that are intended to be the least brutal of these weekly extreme challenges. In other words, “less rough.”