Something Different

Something Different crosswords are a crossword puzzle variant involving a lack of black squares and clue/answer pairs that don't make much sense. Specifically, entries tend to break the cardinal rule of 'dictionary words and phrases', instead featuring punny variations on regular words or 'phrases' made up whole cloth.

Background[edit | edit source]

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Puzzle Application[edit | edit source]

Something Different puzzles are somewhat difficult to both construct and solve, thanks to the high volume of long clues and entries that are unable to be looked up (for the most part). While 'normal' clues may be present as a way to help get things started, the longer entries are almost always punny or nonsensical, forcing solvers to think laterally and writers to get creative with their clue-writing.

For example the phrase 'SMALL EVEN NUMBER' could be clued by 'Two, for one', but being met with a normal-looking clue for a fifteen-letter answer can be jarring. On the other hand, clues like '“Get Guy’s Grocery Games off my TV right now!”' could clue 'NO FIERI', a phrase that has likely never shown up anywhere else and forces solvers to consider what 7 letters the strange exclamation could represent.

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Strategy[edit | edit source]

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Notable Examples[edit | edit source]

  • Erraticism (MITMH 2015) (web) - As is common in Something Different puzzles, this one contained several themed entries among the chaos that helped to extract an answer. Additionally, the constructors were nice enough to throw in some normal clues to short entries throughout, since some of the entries (including the themed ones) are completely out of the blue.
  • Far Out (MITMH 2019) (web) - A rare combination of crossword types, this puzzle merges both a Something Different puzzle AND a 'step too far' crossword, in which entries sometime are one letter too long to fit into their grid space, forcing them to extend into one of the few black squares in the grid.

See Also[edit | edit source]