An entry in the 19th fortnightly challenge...

You sit down to breakfast this morning and open the paper. You had done the crossword from last Wednesday and the answers are supposed to be in here somewhere. You remember that the crossword was in a grid with a width of 9 and height of 8 and you had solved all 11 clues. However, when you turn to the solution, its a list of 12 words.

For all the puzzle lovers out there, we've added an additional word in the list of answers for last week's puzzle. If you can figure out which doesn't belong, we will reward you with $100,000 internet points. Here are the answers from last week:


  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure the [reverse-puzzling] tag is correct? It doesn't necessarily mean what you would guess from its name. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 16:34
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan I was unsure about it, removed. If someone else thinks it should be there, they can feel free to add it. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ Do you want to clarify whether this is the sort of crossword where words are separated by completely blanked-out squares, or the sort where there are bars between the squares and therefore words can abut one another? (I will entirely understand if you don't want to clarify that.) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan There must be a blank space between words. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 16:38
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan The grid was 9 x 8 and there were 11 clues. That wouldn't work in a barred grid, so it has to be a blocked grid. $\endgroup$
    – paolo
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


The word that doesn't belong is


The crossword looks like this:

enter image description here

How I solved it:

I realized there was a nine-letter word (LUNCHTIME) that could only go across (the height is only 8). There were also two 8-letter words (FOLKSONG and DRESSING) whose third letters corresponded with the first and last letters of LUNCHTIME. This led me to place those three words like this:

enter image description here

Then I started playing around with placing other words, starting with the largest ones. I got this far:

enter image description here

but then I realized that I couldn't fit FALLOUT, CRIME, or URGE, so there must be something wrong.
I really wanted the E in URGE to fit with the E in INCOME, and I finally realized that if I replaced FOLKSONG with FALLOUT, I could put URGE in there. Then I noticed that FOLKSONG could still fit in the grid, at the bottom. That brought me this far:

enter image description here

After that, it was pretty trivial to fill in the last few words and finish off the grid. The only one that didn't fit was CRIME.

  • $\begingroup$ I would suggest fixing the border in Excel before uploading next time. That missing thin border is a little... unsightly. :p Great answer though! I really liked the explanation. $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 1:30
  • $\begingroup$ @TheGreatDuck I didn't even notice it until you pointed it out. Now I can't stop seeing it... $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidStarkey sorry. I didnt mean to cause you grief. $\endgroup$
    – user64742
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ But you haven't shown that this is the only possible solution. Maybe there's a solution without LUNCHTIME? $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 6:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @msh210 Feel free to propose such a solution. The implication of the puzzle is that there is only one correct solution, so, having found a solution, I assumed it was the only correct one. If there is another, I'd love to see it. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 14, 2019 at 14:56

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