The best crossword puzzles of 2022

Ganymede is massive. Larger than Mercury, Jupiter’s moon is the largest in our solar system, although its real claim to fame lies in one Times Crossword puzzles from January. The clue read: The four states of the moon, all in the east (8) You already know the answer, but why?

Forget about losing weight and growing. The four states are Georgia, New York, Maine and Delaware. They spell out GANYMEDE, a celestial body of ice, silicate, and four US postal abbreviations from the East Coast.

Granted, the coincidence is hardly earth-shattering, but it is bizarre. Brilliant. Enough to spark this column and welcome a more divine pun in 2022. When painters have their Archibalds and actors have their Oscars, it’s time to applaud the clues of the year.

The who's who of crossword puzzles.

The who’s who of crossword puzzles.

Picaroon, my favorite Guardian Setter, devised this fine nuisance: biting lout, Donald Trump (5). The verb you are looking for is buried in the clue. Think of Trump as your definition with a lowercase t, and you’ll soon recognize OUTDO, his synonym.

In a busy election year, Picaroon also dished out this admonition: The party has returned to fight for what voters need (6,3). A more tricky deception, the solution involves a party (BALL) plus TO in reverse next to BOX, meaning fight. A good indication, but not my top vote. That almost went to them Sunday times for SPEEDY: The second year of the lock-in passed quickly (6). Mechanically, the S+Y that engages (or went) PEED.

When focusing on the sport, two clues lit up. That Guardian Vlad speared Greg Norman, or at least conjured up the mercenary tone of his renegade golf league: Might be a few bucks around the rebel golf tour – make it happen (7) Those bucks are deer. Place them around LIV – Norman’s Saudi circus – and you DELIVER or make it happen.


Tramp’s punch went deeper, this Guardian Compiler targeting tennis: Djokovic, disemboweled for stupid visa, finished tennis competition (5.3). Remember January when Novak was nicknamed Novax, the Serbian star who was banned from the Oz Open. However, here the tournament in Tramp’s clue is D(AVIS)C+UP. Delicious.

The FIFA World Cup also attracted attention. Also joking, as a twitter joke in Moose Allain lamented: “Sad to hear the inventor of the soccer penalty kick has died. He’ll be missed by a lot of English players.” In our own squad, at least in qualifying, we relied on Andrew Redmayne aka the Gray Wiggle. A Bangalore magician codenamed Diogenes cleverly hid the Socceroo in a cricket allusion: D. Warner may need to be a footballer (6,8). Pure anagram, the opener magically becomes the goalie. The best crossword puzzles of 2022

Jaclyn Diaz

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