Crossword Puzzles

From The Pine Ridge News, Spring 1936

Abner and Cedric Work a Crossword Puzzle

Episode from April 12, 1945. Listen online.

This episode of Cedric and Abner working a crossword puzzle tickles me. I decided to try to recreate the crossword puzzle they were working on but discovered that it’s harder than one might think. First of all, I couldn’t find a 6-letter word for “mountain lake.” The only word that kept popping up was “tarn,” and as Cedric would say, “That ain’t got enough letters.” Also, any idea what “ancient Egyptian bandit” might be? Besides Dick, that is.

In any case, I had fun creating an easy puzzle to go along with this episode. Let me know if you have suggestions for those hard clues Abner and Cedric wrestled with.

Cedric: Oh, looky here. Mr. Abner, have you got a pencil?

Abner: Yeah, I b’lieve I have. What do you want with it, Cedric?

Cedric: I just seen one of them criss-cross puzzles here and thought I’d work it.

Abner: Huh? Oh! A crossword puzzle, ya mean.

Cedric: Yes, mom. You ain’t got a red pencil, have ya?

Abner: A red pencil? Now what do you need one of them for?

Cedric: Well, a black pencil won’t show up on them black squares.

Abner: The black squares? Well, you ain’t s’posed to write on them, Cedric.

Cedric: Oh, ya ain’t?

Abner: Why, ‘course not!

Cedric: Well, who’s s’posed to write on them then? The feller you’re planning again’?

Abner: No! You ain’t playing again’ nobody. Nobody’s s’posed to write on them!

Cedric: Well, what did they go to all the bother of puttin’ ’em in there for then?

Abner: Well, the reason for that, Cedric, they, uh… well, they, uh… Why did they put them in there? I never had stopped to think about that, don’t b’lieve.

Cedric: Waste of printin’, looks to me like.

Abner: Oh, well. They must be some reason for ’em, surely. They all have ’em, I know that. I’ve saw ’em before.

Cedric: Well, what do you think I oughta do about ’em?

Abner: If I was you I b’lieve I’d just iganore ’em, Cedric. I don’t think it’ll make much difference no way. Doggies, that newspaper’s about four months old.

Cedric: That’s right. Let’s see. #1. Mountain Lake. Reckon what that’d be?

Abner: How many letter’s is they?

Cedric: I don’t know. I haven’t thought of it yet.

Abner: Well, no, but I mean, you can tell by the puzzle there how many letters it’s got, Cedric.

Cedric: You mean they give the answers right here?

Abner: No.See here. Here. Let me show you. You count the number of squares for that word, and that tells you how many letters are s’posed to be in it.

Cedric: I don’t see what that’s got to do with it. If it’s Moon Lake, why, then it’d just be four. But if it’s Old Willer Lake, why then it’d be more.

Abner: Yeah. But see, the idee is, Cedric, you’re s’posed to find one that fits the number of spaces there in the puzzle. Here. Give me the thing.

Cedric: Yeah. See if you can figger it out. I’ll study up some more lakes.

Abner: Let me see here. Well, get your head out of the way, Cedric. I can’t see through it. One, two, three, four, five, six letters is what it’s got in there.

Cedric: Don’t reckon it could be the Mill Pond? It’s kind of a lake.

Abner: Well, it ain’t no mountain lake. ‘Sides it’s got too many letters anyway. Mill Pond won’t fit in there.

Cedric: Maybe you could put the extra letters in them black spaces there. Maybe that’s what they’re for.

Abner: No. I don’t b’lieve they are. Let’s see now. Mountain Lake.

Cedric: ‘Course there’s Briar Creek. That ain’t ‘xactly a lake, though, I don’t think.

Abner: No.

Cedric: What about Warshtaw River?

Abner: No. That won’t work. A mountain lake’s what it is! Maybe we better try somethin’ else here.Work back to that ‘un after awhile. Two. Be Seated.

Cedric: I am settin’.

Abner: I mean, that’s #2 horizontal.

Cedric: What is?

Abner: Be Seated.

Cedric: I told you, I am settin’. Just look at me!

Abner: Cedric, you don’t understand.

Cedric: You want me to set horizontal?

Abner: For the land sakes alive! Be Seated is the word we’re trying to think of for the puzzle. It’s #2 horizontal.

Cedric: Oh. I see what you mean. Be Seated, huh? That’s a hard one, ain’t it?

Abner: Well, I reckon that’d be Set Down.

Cedric: That’s just about it!

Abner: No, no. It’s too long. It’s just three letters. Could be Set, I reckon. S-E-T. Set. Yeah, that fits.

Cedric: We’re sure a-goin’ good now, ain’t we?

Abner: Yeah. We got a start now. Whip this out in no time a-tall here. Lucky thing you got me along with you, knows about such as this. #2 vertical.

Cedric: What can that be? Vertical. Vertical. That’s a tough one.

Abner: Well, wait’ll I tell you what it is. Vertical ain’t the word we’re tryin’ to think up, Cedric.

Cedric: Oh. Well, that’s good. ‘Cause I know I never could get that.

Abner: The word we want is, uh…

Cedric: Say, maybe Vertical is the name of that mountain lake.

Abner: No. Just be quiet for a minute, Cedric, so I can figger this out. I can’t conceltrate and you talkin’. The word we’re tryin’ to get now is Adopted.

Cedric: It is?

Abner: Yeah. Vertical #2 is Adopted.

Cedric: What do you know about that? Who adopted it?

Abner: Nobody adopted it.

Cedric: Poor little fella. Poor little Vertical.

Abner: Listen, Cedric…

Cedric: Has he got a twin brother? Is that why they call him Vertical #2?

Abner: For the land sakes alive!

Cedric: I know when the Fitzroys had twins, everyone called them Fitz #1 and Fitz #2. Abner: Yeah. Well, Cedric, this ain’t got nothin’ to do with the Fitzroys, or twins neither one. All we’re tryin’ to do is find out what Adopted means.

Cedric: I know what it means. And I hate to think about it, too. Poor little orphan Vertical. What happened to his brother? Did somebody adopt him?

Abner: I don’t know, Cedric. Doggies, you got me so mixed up here, I don’t know what to think no more.

Cedric: (sobbing) Well, I reckon there ain’t nothin’ we can do for ’em, no ways.

Abner: No. Now, just be quiet. Now, Cedric, now stop that cryin’. I ain’t gonna sit in this car all day and listen to you blubber. Now, you just hush up.

Cedric: (still sobbing) I know. But I liked Vertical.

Abner: Well, you just be quiet. Stop that cryin’ or get out of the car, one of the two. Now, I ain’t gonna listen to it!

Cedric: Well, I just puddle up ever’ time I think about it.

Abner: Well. There’s nothin’ wrong. There ain’t no little twin boys, so just quit worryin’ about it. Dry your eyes. Here. Wipe ’em on your shirt tail.

Cedric: I’m ‘shamed of myself.

Abner: Well, just sit up here now, and pay attention. We got to get this figgered out if we’re gonna work this puzzle.

Cedric: Yeah. Let’s get back to the Criss-Cross Puzzle. What’s the next word now?

Abner: Well, uh, I got better sense than to tell ya, I know that.

Cedric: Well, just give me sort of a hint, Mr. Abner. I’m goin’ good now. I b’lieve I can get it. If I can quit blubberin’.

Abner: Well, now, be quiet, Cedric. Quit cryin’. Think of somethin’ else. Here. This ‘un oughta be good. #7 across. Vanquished.

Cedric: That’s where a lot of people set down to a big table and eat, ain’t it?

Abner: I don’t know. Might be.

Cedric: (starting to sob again) I can’t get my mind of them twin boys.

Abner: For the land sakes alive, Cedric! Now just straighten up there. You oughta be ashamed of yourself, a big boy your age, settin’ out here in the back seat of a car ‘long side a road blubberin’ your eyes out.

Cedric: Well, I’ll get in the front seat then.

Abner: Somebody come along, they’ll think I been beatin’ on ya or somethin’. Vanquished. Well, that means Disappear.

Cedric: Yeah. That’s a easy one. Try to find a hard one.

Abner: Well, wait’ll I write this ‘un down first. It might not fit.

Cedric: If it don’t you’ve always got them black squares to use.

Abner: D-I-S… how’s that spelled now? Disappear. D-I-S… uh, U-P-E-R. Dis-ay-pear. I’ll put a A in there instead of a U. There. D-I-S-A-P-E-R. Doggies, that just fits! I was a little leery on how to spell that. Must be right ‘long as it fits so good.

Cedric: Bound to be, bound to be. What’s next?

Abner: Let’s see here. Ancient Egyptian Bandit.

Cedric: Hey, Mr. Abner. Ain’t that him comin’ yonder there?

Abner: Who the ‘Gyptian Bandit?

Cedric: No. Mr. Dick. See him down the road there?

Abner: Well, I see somebody. It’s too far away for me to tell who it is, though, Cedric.

Cedric: Well, it’s him. I can tell.

Abner: Well, you sure got better eyes than I’ve got.

Cedric: Well, it’s him.

Abner: I bound you he’ll sure be wore out hikin’ clean into the county seat and back again.

Cedric: I hope he’s got some more sandriches with him.

Abner: Yeah, me, too. You know, you’ve sure got to hand it to Dick for bein’ such a nice fella, and thinkin’ of ever’thing, don’t ya?

Cedric: Oh, he’s all right!

Abner: Yes, he is. He is.

Cedric: Hiked in there yeste’day when we was broke down and couldn’t get a new oil pump, so he walked clean back here and brung us some vittles.

Abner: Yeah. And he got that farmer to give us a bed to sleep in last night. And then went back to the county seat again this mornin’.

Cedric: Oh, he’s been so nice to us. No two ways about that.

Abner: Yep. There’s a friend, Cedric. A true friend.

Cedric: They don’t come no better’n that, I know that. I hate to think of such a nice feller as he is bein’ disapp’inted.

Abner: Disapp’inted?

Cedric: Yeah. When he finds out the car won’t run.

Abner: Well, why won’t it? What went wrong was the oil pump busted and he’s bringin’ a new one. That oughta make it run.

Cedric: Only trouble is… we’re out of gas, too.

Abner: Out of gas?! Well, why in the world didn’t you tell Dick to bring some back with him long as he had to go in there anyway, Cedric?

Cedric: Well, sir. Here’s the way I looked at it, Mr. Abner. I just figgered he’d done so much for us already, I just hated to ask him to do anything else.

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