Seven vowelless crossword puzzles
made by Peter Broda and edited by Andy Kravis
available to purchase for whatever price you think is fair
Enter a donation amount and click the Buy Now button to purchase, or read on for more info...
TRY A SAMPLE PUZZLE:
Easier Version (with enumerations):
Harder Version (no enumerations):
A vowelless crossword is just like a regular crossword except that the grid contains only the consonants from each answer.
Let's say you see the clue [Pastime involving filling a grid with letters] corresponding to an 11-letter space in the grid. The 15-letter phrase CROSSWORD PUZZLE seems apt, but doesn't fit. However, since this is a vowelless puzzle you don't enter CROSSWORDPUZZLE. You enter CRSSWRDPZZL and all is well. Other than that, it's business as usual.
Well...yeah, in some ways, but ultimately they're fair and satisfying to crack. My aim was to make these puzzles accessible to any regular crossword solver with a bit of patience. While the format of the grid is inherently challenging, the clues in these puzzles are very straightforward and contain almost no linguistic trickery. You'll find that you'll do more deductive reasoning and parsing of partial answers than you'll do hacking through thorny wordplay. Also, there are relatively few proper nouns and almost no difficult or unfamiliar words in the grids. Although there may be some phrases that are new to you, they should pretty much always be composed of familiar words and clued in such a way that each part can be figured out.
If you're finding the puzzles too hard, you can try solving using the enumerations (i.e. the letter counts of the words in the fully vowelled answers) provided. In the example above, the clue with enumerations would read [Pastime involving filling a grid with letters (9, 6)], meaning that we're looking for an answer phrase consisting of a 9-letter word and a 6-letter word. Note that this refers to the full answer of CROSSWORD PUZZLE and not the vowelless string you'd actually enter. This can help immensely.
It doesn't take long to get the hang of thinking vowellessly, and once you do I think you'll find that it's a lot of fun.
Lots of reasons! Not only do they present a unique and rewarding challenge that will stretch your brain in delightful new ways, but also vowelless grids are everything that themeless crossword grids strive to be imo, largely due to the lessened constraints during grid construction. Not only can every long answer in a block of stacked entries be a long, lively phrase, but even the shorter crossing answers are freed from simply being "glue" answers. ONO, ENO, ENE, etc. are definitely real things but they show up ad nauseam due to the convenient arrangement and frequency of their letters. The same thing happens in vowelless grids, but the difference is that convenient letter strings such as STL, CNS, and NMN can be clued as lively answers like EAST LA, CAN I SEE?, and NAME ONE, respectively. In fact, since so many short consonant strings can be parsed as longer words or phrases, a constructor is less at the mercy of the 3- and 4-letter strings when filling wide-open spaces. This means that almost every longer entry can be hand-picked for its freshness and quality rather than simply because it happens to fit.
These grids are a treat to fill in for both the solver and the constructor! I love making them and if you ask me there aren't enough of them out there to solve.
Good question! To avoid confusion, no full or vowelless answer contains the letter Y. So words or phrases containing Y such as HARDLY and BABY BLANKET and YOU DON'T MEAN THAT are simply not used as answers in any of the puzzles.
I'm sold! What can I expect from this puzzle pack?
There are seven themeless 15x15 puzzles in this pack, all at roughly the same difficulty level. There are four copies of each puzzle: a version with answer enumerations and a version without, both in .puz and PDF format. Also included are answers grids and lists of the full answers for each puzzle.
Scroll back to the top
to try a free sample! (note that this is a bonus puzzle and, while representative, it is NOT one of the seven puzzles in the puzzle pack)
Shut up and take my money!
Throw me any non-zero amount of US dollars via PayPal and I'll mail out the puzzles immediately. If you absolutely cannot/will not use PayPal,
and we'll work something out.
Wait, I want more!
Glad to hear it. This is a pilot project, and if there's enough interest I'll make more. Let me know!
In the meantime, the undisputed master of vowelless puzzles is Frank Longo so do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of
. While you're at it, subscribe to
which contains a new Longo vowelless at least once per year.
Outside the Box Puzzles
(which are also edited by the inimitable Andy Kravis) also publishes vowelless puzzles by various constructors on occasion so be sure to check them out.
I still have questions...
If you have any questions, comments, or feedback about this project, or just wanna chat, feel free to drop me a line at