20 Common Crossword Puzzle Answers

common crossword puzzle answers

If you’re an avid crossword puzzle solver, or “cruciverbalist,” then you know certain words come up time and time again. In fact, you can usually find at least one of common crossword puzzle answers below in every puzzle you solve.

Crossword writers often rely on these words when making puzzles. They often have a lot of helpful letters. They’re usually also good at filling a blank. Whether you’re solving or creating crosswords, it helps to know the most common crossword answers.

What Kinds of Words are Common in Crossword Puzzles?

Before we get to our list of twenty common crossword puzzle answers, it’ll be helpful to know and watch out for the trends in these words.

In crossword circles, common words are called “repeaters.” Alan Connor in The Crossword Century takes the definition a step further by stating:

“[Repeaters are] words found more often in crosswords than real life.”

Some repeaters are words we encounter on a regular basis and some are not. The ones we don’t encounter are also known as “crosswordese.” Most publishers do not like to see them in crossword puzzles.

So what kinds of words get deemed as “repeaters?” In addition to their obscurity, some of the most common crossword puzzle answers have at least one of the following traits:

  1. Contain a lot of vowels
  2. Contain desirable letters like R, L, S, T, D, or N
  3. Tend to be shorter, often 3-4 letters

Most Common Crossword Puzzle Answers

The “top 20” words vary depending on the publisher and puzzle type. Here are two different top ten lists to help you get to know these repeaters.

Top 10 Words found in Will Shortz Puzzles

First, for the fans of the New York Times crossword puzzle, here are ten of the most used words in the crossword puzzles edited by Will Shortz.

  1. Era – a distinct period of history with a unique characteristic.
  2. Area – a region or part of the world; the extent or measurement of a surface.
  3. Ere – an old English word meaning “before.”
  4. One – half of two; a specific person or thing.
  5. Eli – a Hebrew name meaning “High” or “elevated.”
  6. Ore – a naturally occurring solid material from which a mineral can be extracted.
  7. Ale – a type of beer which has a high alcoholic content and bitter flavor.
  8. Ate – having consumed food.
  9. Erie – a member of the Native American community living south of the lake with the same name, Lake Erie.
  10. Ali – an Arabic name meaning “High” or “elevated.”

Top 10 According to Crossword Tracker

Below are ten more words that appear consistently in other crossword puzzles according to Crossword Tracker. Most of the words above contained three letters, so this list features some common four letter words:

  1. Odor – a distinctive smell, often unpleasant in nature.
  2. Oboe – a woodwind instrument with a double-reed mouthpiece, a slender tubular body, and holes stopped by keys.
  3. Aloe – a succulent plant with fleshy leaves and bell-shaped flowers on long stems.
  4. Aria – a long, accompanied song for a solo voice in an opera or oratorio.
  5. Else – in addition; besides.
  6. Idea – a thought as to a possible course of action.
  7. Eden – from the Biblical Garden meaning “delight.”
  8. Oral – by word of mouth; spoken rather than written.
  9. Ante – a stake put up by a player in poker and similar games before receiving cards.
  10. Oreo – a brand of chocolate sandwich cookie with a creamy white filling.

Additional Common Crossword Answer List

Looking for more? Noah Veltman has another list of common crossword puzzle answers along with a list of the “crosswordiest” words.

Using This Information

This information will help you whether you’re solving or making crossword puzzles. For solving puzzles, learn the definitions of these words to help you solve crossword puzzles faster.

For puzzle creation, solve crossword puzzles with these words and take note of how the creator used the word. More often than not they are used to make a tough section work out. Remember these words so you, too, can use them in a bind.

Common Crossword Puzzle Answers: Final Thoughts

Other words appear frequently in crossword puzzles beyond the twenty listed here. Look over various lists to learn more common crossword puzzle answers. Take note as you solve crossword puzzles of words that are unusual to you, shorter words, and words with multiple vowels. Even if you don’t see those words in a puzzle again, you will have had fun and learned something new.

What common crossword puzzle answers do you see over and over again? Share your favorites along with their definitions!

You can also try to make your own crossword puzzle.

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