I made a crossword, but this is no normal crossword!

Here's the grid:

enter image description here

And here are the clues:

24 grains, or 1/20 of a troy ounce
Acrophobia is the fear of this
An interconnected system
Holding of office or land
Imaginary or unreal
Intermediary floor
Juvenile felines
Longest side on a right-angled triangle
Pointed tooth
Sheen or lustre
The first to explore unseen territory
Unstable oxygen

Once you solve it, can you give me the name of the thematic confectionery the crossword hints to?


  • Yes, these are all words used in English. Most of them are commonplace.
  • $\begingroup$ Ooh, that's clever! $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ @xnor But you didn't upvote? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ I don't really understand. There are no spaces long enough for "hypotenuse"? $\endgroup$
    – McMagister
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ Absolutely fantastic question, meticulously constructed, wish I could upvote 20 times! This is exactly the kind of thing that makes Puzzling.SE great. Keep up the good work! $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 25, 2014 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


Great puzzle! It was fun to solve the whole way through.

I found the key realization from the clue "Longest side on a right-angled triangle". The answer is clearly

HYPOTENUSE, which is too long to fit

But, it can be made to work if you

treat the substring "TEN" as the single number "10", putting that number in a single cell of the grid. The idea is to replace a substring with its number.

Solving for other clues the same way gives the answers:

24 grains, or 1/20 of a troy ounce PENNYW8 Acrophobia is the fear of this H8S An interconnected system NE2RK Foolish ASI9 Holding of office or land 10URE Imaginary or unreal N1XIS10T Intermediary floor MEZZA9 Juvenile felines KIT10S Longest side on a right-angled triangle HYPO10USE Passionate IN10SE Past BYG1 Pointed tooth CA9 Sheen or lustre SHI9SS Susceptible PR1 The first to explore unseen territory PI1ER Unstable oxygen OZ1

and the grid

enter image description here

Finally, we extract by

reading the highlighed letters, which anagram to "SUM" and "ROWS"

This tells us to

find the sum of the numbers in each row, which gives letters: 8+8=16 P 1+2+1+1=5 E 10+10=20 T 9 I 1+10+9=20 T

Finally, this gives the answer

Petit four, from the clues that it's a confectionery and the theme of including a number in the word.

How did you make this? The whole thing seems really really constrained. I can't imagine there's many words to choose from, and the sums seem very restricting along with the intersection requirements.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Wow! Brilliant question and answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 14:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you're looking for words that fit a certain pattern, OneLook is a very useful tool. The set of numbers I could use was essentially 1 2 8 9 10, which made five (E) very restrictive, requiring at least three clues (although the 2 words aren't very good, so it ended up being four). Then it was a matter of fiddling with the words for an hour trying to get them to fit in the grid, and when I couldn't join the last one on I expanded the grid by one. $\endgroup$
    – Sp3000
    Commented Dec 24, 2014 at 14:25

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