This puzzle took me less than five minutes to compose. With luck it will take you about the same time to solve.





Find two letters that, added to the above three pairs of letters, make three cross words.

You can move the above letters apart if necessary in a horizontal direction but you must not change their order or orientation.

The added pair of letters is the same in each case and stays in the same order.

What are the three words?

Please make sure that they are cross words, not just any old set of words.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Funny one! :-D Maybe the [wordplay] tag? $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2015 at 22:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is more than one valid answer, see below... it took me 10 sec to find and >5 min to justify all three of them as 'cross'... $\endgroup$
    – smci
    Aug 24, 2015 at 8:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Omega Krypton - 'cross' is a synonym for 'angry'. So cross words are words that you might say to express anger. The answers are all mild expletives that express anger or annoyance. $\endgroup$ Mar 17, 2019 at 13:10

3 Answers 3


Are the three words:

crap, drat, and rats? By adding ra, you get words that are spoken when one is cross.

  • $\begingroup$ This has the most up-votes and is therefore the winner. It also happens to be the one that I intended when I composed the question. $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2015 at 12:26

Just to be creative/contrary, here's a second equally valid solution:

letters A,R


CARP : to complain in a cross manner DART : a projectile whose tail ('flight') is cross-shaped ARTS : the main cross-disciplinary faculty in university

"Please make sure that they are cross words, not just any old set of words."

They bloody well are cross words :)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That's a good one +1. I think cross-discipline might be stretching it a little (?). I's interesting that you still used the letters A R. I wonder if any others are possible even for words that aren't 'cross'. $\endgroup$ Aug 24, 2015 at 7:48
  • $\begingroup$ @chaslyfromUK by all means please see if you can one-up me... $\endgroup$
    – smci
    Aug 24, 2015 at 8:21
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @chaslyfromUK cope, dote, toes? $\endgroup$
    – Gordon K
    Aug 24, 2015 at 9:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GordonK cape, date, tase (as in the verb to Taser) $\endgroup$
    – smci
    Aug 24, 2015 at 11:31

The two letters are

R and A


C R A P (excuse the profanity, but it's the answer)
and RATS

All three are words that

you may say when you are cross

  • $\begingroup$ Correct! Just pipped to the post by Quark! $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2015 at 22:13
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ crap is not profane. it's vulgar. $\endgroup$
    – moonbutt74
    Aug 23, 2015 at 22:31
  • $\begingroup$ I would have to say a bit of both. Also impolite. $\endgroup$
    – AJFaraday
    Aug 24, 2015 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ Really? Crap. Ive been saying this all the time $\endgroup$ Mar 17, 2019 at 0:59

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