This site grew out of a Macintosh software project. Andrew McDaniel and I wrote a Mac program to help compose double-crostic puzzles. Naturally, we started writing some puzzles and I then wrote a JavaScript program to display the puzzles online.

This type of acrostic/anagram word puzzle was invented in 1934 by Elizabeth Kingsley. She wrote many for the Saturday Review, as did Thomas H. Middleton later, calling them “Double-Crostics”. When the Saturday Review folded, Harper’s Magazine published the puzzles for a while. Several newspapers have published them, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times.

To solve these puzzles, type in as many of the words as you can, based on the clues. Then look at the grid and make some guesses, if you can, about the words in the quote. A three-letter-word with the middle letter “H” is almost always “THE” but is occasionally SHE or WHO. A two-letter word starting with “T” is almost always “TO”. A six-letter word with “EO” as the second and third letters is usually “PEOPLE”. You may see more patterns as you gain more experience. Don’t forget to use the fact that the first letters of the clue words spell out the author and title of the work.

Happy puzzling!


Send email to me at michaeld42-aol (replace the hyphen with an at symbol and add .com to the end). Any comments on pages are assumed to be spam and won’t be answered.


I owe gratitude to many people who have provided help and encouragement, and sometimes corrections. These include Megan Edwards, Andrew McDaniel, Jeff Stetekluh, Paul D. Moore, Stephen Jablon, Steven Payne, Cynthia Morris, Robert D. Chapman, Allen Reiter, and Monte Wasch. Thanks!

– Michael H. Dickman