It's well-known that Shakespeare hid his name in the KJV translation of Psalm 46, but did you know that there's more to it?
A line-by-line analysis might uncover the cryptic excerpts he left behind.
enter image description here What do some cryptic crosswords and Shakespeare have in common?


Column 1 Column 2
Street sign (2 wds) 2 words
Distant 6 words
German wine region 3 words
Danube tributary 3 words
Casing 2 words
Center 2 words
Among Us adjective 3 words
Rage 2 words
Follows a certain recipe direction 4 words
Giggle 3 words
Go bad 2 words
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ This is an impressive puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Apr 8, 2023 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


What do some cryptic crosswords and Shakespeare have in common?

THEY'RE BARRED! (A 'barred crossword' is one which uses bars - boundary lines - between answers, rather than black squares; and Shakespeare is regularly referred to as 'The Bard of Avon'...)

How do we find this? First interpret the puzzle instructions to realise that we should be...

...looking for snippets within the verses of Psalm 46 (KJV) that could be the wordplay for cryptic clues. The column listing numbers of words tells us how many words within each verse make up this cryptic wordplay (e.g. the second entry tells us we need to find a 6-word snippet that leads to a word meaning 'Distant'). Note also that there are 11 entries in our list and 11 verses in Psalm 46 - we are likely looking for one answer per verse (and hopefully in order - thankfully, this turns out to be the case...).

This means our crossword clues can be interpreted as follows:

(Verse number: Clue {number of words from verse} = excerpt from Psalm 46 = Wordplay = ANSWER)

Verse 1: Street sign (2 wds) {2} = ...a very... = ONE (a) + WAY (very) = ONE WAY
Verse 2: Distant {6} = ...fear, though the earth be removed... = F(-e)AR = FAR
Verse 3: German wine region {3} = ...and be troubled... = ANDBE* = BADEN
Verse 4: Danube tributary {3} = ...is a river... = IS + A + R (river) = ISAR
Verse 5: Casing {2} = ...she shall... = SHE'LL = SHELL
Verse 6: Center {2} = ...earth melted... = EARTH* = HEART
Verse 7: Among Us adjective {3} = ...is with us... = 'S + US = SUS
Verse 8: Rage {2} = ...behold the... = SEE + THE = SEETHE
Verse 9: Follows a certain recipe direction {4} = ...the spear in sunder... = THESPEAR* = PREHEATS
Verse 10: Giggle {3} = ...among the heathen... = (-t)HE HE(-athen) = HEHE
Verse 11: Go bad {2} = ...is our... = 'S + OUR = SOUR

These words can be placed in the crossword as follows:

Completed grid

And the final answer can be extracted by...

...reading off the yellow letters in the order they are numbered in the diagram. This spells out: THEY'RE BARRED!

  • $\begingroup$ For reference, here's a link to the text of the Psalm in question. $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Apr 8, 2023 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ Amazing puzzle and an amazing answer! I got the link between 11 clues and 11 lines but thats how far my brain could go :) $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Apr 8, 2023 at 10:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.