30 Crossword Answers
You MUST Learn

"Automatically, the seasoned solver gravitates to
repeater clues to gain entry into the grid."
Michelle Arnot

Crossword answers that turn up frequently in crossword puzzles are called repeaters. Many repeaters are very common everyday words, like ERA and IDEA. Don't be fooled by appearances though. Knowing a word and finding it from an obscure clue are two very different things.


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Other repeaters, like ANOA, are very obscure words that turn up frequently because their vowel-consonant patterns make them very crossword-friendly. These repeaters are called crosswordese, and I'm afraid you just have to learn them.

Here is a list of the most frequent repeaters appearing in a selection of major American newspaper crosswords. I've included a range of clues for each crossword answer to give you a feel for the variety of clues you are likely to meet when attempting a crossword puzzle.

I've organized the crossword answers in order of increasing word-length. The smaller words turn up much more frequently than the longer words, so you should learn these first. And remember, don't skip over the easy words! Check that you understand all their sneaky clues first. Would you have guessed the answer ARE to the clue [Cost]?

NOTE — If you're interested in two-letter words, the reason there are none here is that most major American newspaper crosswords do not allow words shorter than three letters in length.

Top Ten 3-Letter Crossword Answers

ALE
Relative of beer
It might help wash down a banger
Bass, for one
Old Foghorn, e.g.
Lead-in for house or wife
Schooner's contents, maybe
ALI
Muhammad ___
2001 role for Will Smith
Clay, now
Foreman's superior
Poetic pugilist
His won-lost record was 56-5
ARE
"___ we there yet?"
Exist
"You ___ There" (50's TV show)
Is for two
Cost
Be a different way?
ATE
Had a meal
Supped
Put away
Took the cake?
Had a little lamb
Came to a fast stop
ELI
Pharmaceutical giant ___ Lilly
Yale student
Harvadite's rival
Letter "Y" wearer
Bush or Taft
Descendant of Aaron, in the Bible
ONE
Last number in countdown
Digit in binary code
No longer divided
Wedded
Simple ticket order
Next to nothing?
ERA
History segment
Time worth remembering
Pitcher's stat.
Oft-nicknamed period
Diamond stat.
Time piece
ERE
Before, poetically
Bard's before
Poet's preposition
"___ Time transfigured me": Yeats
Before, before
It may appear before long
ETA
When the pilot is due in, for short
Greek H
Hellenic vowel
___ Pi (dessert lover's fraternity?)
Viscosity symbol, in physics
Touchdown info
ORE
Valuable rocks
Bauxite or magnetite
Something to slag
It's found in veins
Swedish coins
It might be found in a rush

Top Ten 4-Letter Crossword Answers

ALOE
____ vera
Healing balm
African lily
Yucca plant cousin
Cure for being caught red-handed?
ANTE
Card player's stake
Prefix with chamber
Vide ____ (see before, in Latin)
Buy in
Stud fee?
AREA
Nonsmoking ___
Neck of the woods
Bailiwick
It may have a code
Side by side?
ARIA
Song that's often in a foreign language
"Celeste Aida," e.g.
Operatic offering
Air on stage
Number for one
EDEN
Adam and Eve locale
Barbara who played a genie
Scene of a fall
Paradise lost
Perfect plot?
ELSE
Otherwise
G. & S.'s Lord High Everything ___
End of a warning
Choice word
It may follow something
ERIE
Toledo's lake
Niagara's source
War of 1812 siege site
Iroquois foe
Buffalo water
IDEA
"What's the big ___?"
Something to think about
It may be half-baked
What a germ may become
Coconut yield?
OLEO
Margarine
Muffin topper
Spread out on a table?
It's sold in bars
Promise output
OREO
Nabisco cookie
It may get a licking after dinner
Dunkable treat
Hydrox look-alike
Snack since 1912

Top Ten 5-Letter Crossword Answers

ALONE
Solo
"Home ___"
One way to go it
Like an eremite
ARENA
Play area
"In the ___" (Nixon book)
It often has a ring in the middle
Bowl
ATONE
Make amends
Do penance
Observe Yom Kippur
Square things
Do more than rue
EERIE
Spine-tingling
Appropriate for Halloween
Poe-ish
Like some coincidences
Like King's English
Causing horripilation
ENTER
Door sign
Stage direction
Key in
Butler's request
Cry from within
Long key
ERASE
Rub out
Remove one's slip
Blank tapes?
Prepare for reuse, perhaps
Get the lead out?
ERATO
Poet's muse
Lyre-playing muse
Sister of Clio
Calliope relative
IRATE
Furious
Seeing red
Choleric
Steamed
Close to erupting
IRENE
Ballroom dancer Castle
One of the Horae
Title woman in a Jim Carrey movie
Papas of "Zorba the Greek"
Castle with lots of steps
OPERA
Soap ___
Met offering
"La Traviata," e.g.
Verdi work
Horse ___
Works

Where to from here?

Beyond the very frequently occurring answers above, studying crossword answers by frequency becomes a bit haphazard and inefficient.

A better way to proceed, once you've mastered the words on this page, is to organize answers into theme-based lists. Under each answer in each list, provide a range of clues (from easy-literal through to difficult-cryptic) that appear for those answers in typical newspaper crosswords.

Here are some crossword theme lists I have put together to get you started...

Greek Alphabet
Hebrew Alphabet
US Presidents
Books of the Bible



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