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How Crossword Puzzles Help You Island Hop from the Comfort of Your Couch

·1-min read
Rebecca Tulis
Rebecca Tulis

You'll find lots of islands in crossword puzzles, and we had a bunch of them this week: Brooklyn's CONEY Island on Monday, Spain's IBIZA on Wednesday, Florida's Key LARGO on Thursday, and an 8-letter Caribbean island on Sunday (which I won't mention here in case you haven't solved it yet).

Why so many islands in puzzle grids? Because there are so many around the globe, often with short, vowel-rich names, and these names tend to come from many different languages, which gives unusual (for English) letter combinations that are highly useful for puzzle writers.

Taking a quick global tour: Hawaii alone gives us very handy MAUI, LANAI, KAUAI and OAHU, and the Pacific also yields GUAM, FIJI, and the island nations of TONGA and SAMOA.

Moving westward to Asia we get BALI and SRI LANKA, then up to the Mediterranean for CRETE, ELBA, MALTA, and KOS.

Finally, we'll cross the Atlantic to find frequent puzzle guests CUBA and ARUBA in the Caribbean. And hey, those two even rhyme!

Got an island you'd like to see in a puzzle? Tweet it to #beastxword and we'll make it happen. But keep 'em short — MARTHA'S VINEYARD won't fit in one of these grids.

Play today’s puzzle and sign up for our weekly crossword newsletter on the bottom of the puzzle page.

READ MORE ON CROSSWORDS

The Need for Speed When It Comes to Our Crossword

A Puzzle Title Can Be Just as Hard to Nail as a Clue

The Dunkable, Twistable Cookie That Is a Perfect Puzzle Clue

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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