What's New

Words, Words, Words  

The Oxford English Dictionary is updated quarterly each year to include new words that have become current in the way we speak. New entries for 2023 include “chonky” (overweight, fat), “groomzilla” (man obsessed and overbearing in his wedding planning), and “crazy-pants” (weirdly loony person).

In the run-up to the wedding Tarquin went full groomzilla, berating his best man for looking too chonky in his suit and calling the chief bridesmaid a total crazy-pants who spent too much time with a black cat and a cauldronWhat a jobbernowl...

Postscript: “Jobbernowl” is an archaic word for a blockhead – no longer found in the Oxford English Dictionary, but still handy on occasions. Go ahead and use it some time!

Monday 26 June 2023


Write It Right

Your  vs  You’re

Your” shows possession – it indicates something belonging to you.

eg  your hat, your choice, your money

Question to ask:          Does the thing belong to you?

Yes  ->  use “your”

You’re” is a contraction (shortened form) of “you are”. The apostrophe stands in place of the missing letter “a”.

eg  you’re really going to love our product

Question to ask:          Does it mean the same thing if I replace it with “you are”?

Yes  ->  use “you’re”

Wednesday 20 March 2019


Christmas Mix-Up  

You know I love anagrams! Here's a small selection of cool Christmas-related ones just to tickle your tinsel...

            Christmas  –  Trims cash

            Season’s Greetings  –  Tense aggressions

            Mince pies  –  Spice in ‘em

            Christmas cake  –  Thick massacre

            Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer  –  Deplored, he is the odder runner

Tuesday 18 December 2018


Christmas Book Orders  

PuzzleBeetle puzzle and crossword books make fab little presents! Perfect for a grandparent, your child’s teacher, or a kind neighbour or friend. Great for summer holiday chill-out!

The last day to place orders for books to be received before Christmas is Thursday 14 December.

Only $14 plus P&P – Shop here

Wednesday 29 November 2017


Headlines - Really?!  

News headlines are usually worded as concisely as possible both in order to save space and to grab readers’ attention with a snappy caption. Sometimes, however, the attempt at crisp brevity can result in something unintentional... as you can see below:

-          Eye Drops Off Shelf

-          Man Gets Nine Months in Violin Case

-          Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge

-          Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

-          Air Head Fired

-          Beer Drinkers Turn to Juice

-          Urban Unemployed Cut in Half

-          Stripper Appeals to Judge

Thursday 9 November 2017


Solve This!  

Can you solve this easy cryptic clue?

Tiny marine crustaceans found at start of Kaikoura stream (5)

If you’re puzzled, or you just want to see if you got it right, feel free to email me at pam.hutton@puzzlebeetle.co.nz

Thursday 19 October 2017


Back to Front to Back  

Know what a palindrome is? It’s a word or phrase that reads the same backwards and forwards. Simple ones include words like “radar”, “civic” and “kayak”. Check out these very clever longer ones:

-          A nut for a jar of tuna

-          Draw pupil’s lip upward

-          Marge lets Norah see Sharon’s telegram

-          Was it a car or a cat I saw?

-          Some men interpret nine memos

Monday 25 September 2017


On the Tip of Your Tongue  

You know the feeling – you’re mid-conversation and you can’t quite remember the correct word. So you use an indefinite almost meaningless word instead. This is sometimes called lexical erasure. We commonly use a variety of vague words to fill the gap resulting from momentary memory lapse – whatchamacallit, thingamabob, thingamajig, whosit, doodad, doohickey, whatsit, thingy, widget.

So when you’re struggling to remember the term “lexical erasure”, you might find yourself saying:

“Whatchamacallit is when you use a word like thingamajig instead of the right word.”

Tuesday 22 August 2017


Know Your Idiom  

Pull someone’s leg

We all know that to pull someone’s leg is to joke or fool with them.  The origin of the phrase is not entirely certain, but one popular theory is that it was originally a method used by thieves to rob people on the streets. One thief would be assigned ‘tripper up’ duty, and would pull the victim’s leg to knock them to the ground, making it easier for the fellow thief to do their dirty work. These days, if someone pulls your leg, the most you are usually robbed of is your dignity.

Friday 28 July 2017


Secret Codes  

Cryptograms are puzzles that consist of a short piece of text that has been created using a code. The solver must crack the code in order to solve the puzzle. Often substitution ciphers are used, where each letter is replaced by a number or another letter. Cryptograms were not originally created for entertainment – they were used to hide military or personal secrets.

Try this one out:  CETTES MATF UHAO OEVES

If you’re stuck, or you want to see if you got it right, please to email me at pam.hutton@puzzlebeetle.co.nz

Tuesday 4 July 2017


Mixed Messages  

An anagram is a word or phrase formed by mixing up and using the letters of a different word or phrase. If you can make your new expression relate to the original one, you can give yourself a nice pat on the back. Here are some pretty clever ones – try them out on your friends!

-          Election results  –  Lies – let’s recount

-          A shoplifter  –  Has to pilfer

-          Achievements  –  Nice, save them

-          Performance-related pay  –  mere end-of-year claptrap

Wednesday 14 June 2017


Wordsmith Extraordinaire  

William Shakespeare has been credited with introducing a large number of new words to the English language. He did it by changing nouns into verbs, verbs into adjectives, connecting words that hadn’t previously been used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, as well as simply creating entirely original words. The following examples are just a few:

addiction (“Othello”);  bedazzled (“The Taming of the Shrew”);  dishearten (“Henry V”);  fashionable (“Troilus and Cressida”);  swagger (“Henry V”);  uncomfortable (“Romeo and Juliet”);  obscene (“Love’s Labour’s Lost”);  lacklustre (“As You Like It”)

Thanks to Shakespeare, we can now say:

I am disheartened by your swaggering addiction to obscenely fashionable things – although you are bedazzled by them, it makes me feel uncomfortable and I personally find them to be lacklustre. 

Wednesday 24 May 2017


Mother's Day - Gift of Puzzlement!  

PuzzleBeetle puzzle and crossword books – the perfect me-time gift for mums!

Jam-packed with loads of fun original brain-benders that are sure to put a bright spot in her day.

Gift-wrapped and ready to go! Available HERE

Thursday 4 May 2017


Now That's Class-y!  

In English we use a range of collective nouns that are specific to the type of thing being classified as a group. Here are some colourful ones:

*sloth of bears              (possibly hibernating ones)   

*peep of chickens        (noisy beggars)

*rabble of butterflies     (can’t control ‘em)

*shrewdness of apes   (hey, they use tools!)

*charm of finches         (small and cute)

*leash of hounds          (short leash needed)

*kindle of kittens          (perfect reading companions)

*raft of otters                (furry floating dock)

*murder of crows         (watch out for the pointy beaks)

Wednesday 19 April 2017


Did You Really Mean That?  

That small little curl known as a comma can make all the difference to the meaning of a sentence. Please note:

Time to eat children

            OR:  Time to eat, children

Man bacon adds flavour to salad

            OR:  Man, bacon adds flavour to salad

I have an hour to kill Charlotte

            OR:  I have an hour to kill, Charlotte

Most of the time machines can be repaired

            OR:  Most of the time, machines can be repaired

Wednesday 29 March 2017


Idiom Info  

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride

This idiom is a wistful comment about a woman’s lack of success in snaffling herself a suitable man. Back in the day, being a spinster was not only an occasion for social pity and tut-tutting, but also the inevitable road to a financially impoverished future. The phrase was first recorded in a 1917 music hall tune “Why Am I Always A Bridesmaid?” by Fred W. Leigh. It then gained popularity as the result of an advertisement for Listerine mouthwash in 1924. The marketing slogan, “Often a bridesmaid, but never a bride”, was accompanied by a picture of a forlorn ‘Edna’ who, because of her bad breath, was never able to find love. The solution: buying Listerine mouthwash in bulk.

Wednesday 8 March 2017


Test Your Cryptic Powers!  

Here’s an easy cryptic clue for you to solve. If you’re stumped, or you just want to see if you got it right, feel free to email me at pam.hutton@puzzlebeetle.co.nz

Kind of lettuce covered in sticky substance is source of sugar (7)

Wednesday 15 February 2017


Where Did That Word Come From?  

The word “disaster” comes from the Greek “dis” meaning bad and “aster” meaning star. So its literal meaning is “bad star”, based on the ancient notion that calamities occurred due to the unfavourable position of celestial bodies.

“Jeans” were probably named after the city of Genoa in Italy where the fabric originally came from. In the 17th century, weavers in Nimes in France tried to reproduce this fabric and their version became known as “denim” from the French “de Nimes” meaning from Nimes.

So if you have a disaster with your jeans, you may wish to blame the stars, or maybe the vagaries of French textile production!

Monday 23 January 2017


Out of the Office  

Please note that PuzzleBeetle is out of the office from 22 December 2016 – 15 January 2017. All emails, enquiries and book orders over that time will be dealt with after 16 January.

Thursday 22 December 2016


Wishing You Festive Frolics  

Scream! It’s myrrh!

Don’t be alarmed. It’s just my anagrammatic festive wish to you all (hint: look at the letters, rearrange them). See you in 2017!

Monday 19 December 2016 


Only 10 Days Left to Place Christmas Book Orders!  

The last day to place orders for PuzzleBeetle puzzle and crossword books to be received before Christmas is Thursday 15 December.

Perfect little Christmas present, or a me-time treat just for you.

Great for the summer holiday bach!

Only $14 each plus P&P – Shop here  

Monday 5 December 2016


Can You Say It?  

Love tongue twisters? Try these ones out. Good luck!

-          Sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick

-          I wish to wash my Irish wristwatch

-          You know New York, you need New York, you know you need unique New York  

Wednesday 16 November 2016


For Wordsmiths  

Add to your personal linguistic repertoire with this small selection of weird and wonderful words!

Apple-knocker – an ignorant or unsophisticated person

Borborygmus – gurgling sounds inside the intestine

Crepuscular – relating to twilight

Funambulist – tightrope walker

Nesh – feeble and delicate

Smicker – to look amorously

Here’s a sentence:

Alerted to the presence of the beautiful funambulist by the startling noises of her borborygmus, the apple-knocker felt suddenly somewhat nesh and started smickering at her in the crepuscular gloom.  

Wednesday 26 October 2016


Know Your Scrabble  

Are you a Scrabble enthusiast? 

-          Scrabble was invented in the 1930s by a US architect called Alfred Mosher Butts (how many seven-letter words can you make out of his name?!)

-          Originally called Lexiko, and then Criss-Cross Words, it was eventually given the name Scrabble

-          It’s possible to score 1782 points on a single word – a player achieved this score with the word OXYPHENBUTAZONE by hitting three Triple Word Score squares while making seven crosswords downward 

Tuesday 4 October 2016


Solve It! 

Here’s a cryptic clue for you to solve. If you’re stuck, or want to see if you got it right, please email me at pam.hutton@puzzlebeetle.co.nz

Kauri outside a leading chemistry lab which concocts sweet syrup (7)

Tuesday 13 September 2016


Father's Day - 4 September 

Stumped for what to give that special Dad in your life on Sunday 4 September? PuzzleBeetle puzzle and crossword books – the perfect gift for tricky dads!

Every purchase earns you a bonus point on the Super-Solver Leaderboard

Only $14 each plus P&P – check out all the books here

Wednesday 25 August 2016


Etymology - Where Did That Word Come From? 

Etymology is the study of the origin of words and the way their meanings have changed over time. Here are a couple of examples:

Malaria:   a contraction of the Italian words “mala” and “aria”, meaning bad air. It was thought the disease was caused by the foul air surrounding swamps (ignoring the dangers of the pesky little mosquitoes flitting around in said air).

Quarantine:   comes from the Italian word “quaranta” meaning forty. Whenever a ship arriving in port was suspected of bringing infection, it had to forgo contact with the shore for a period of forty days.

Muscle:   comes from the Latin word “musculus” meaning little mouse. The shape and movement of some muscles were thought to resemble small scurrying rodents under the skin.

Wednesday 10 August 2016


Japanese Puzzling - Watch Out, Barbie! 

Who loves Japanese KenKen puzzles? “Ken” is not only Barbie’s manly boyfriend. It also means wisdom in Japanese, so the name of the puzzle means “wisdom squared”. The original name for KenKen was “the Kashikoku Naru puzzle” which means “the It-Makes-You-Smarter puzzle”. It was invented by maths educator Tetsuya Miyamoto in 2004, and now appears regularly in many publications worldwide. The puzzles are created through an artificial intelligence program called The Kenerator. I have visions of multiple muscular plastic toy-boys...

Wednesday 20 July 2016


NZ Woman's Weekly - PuzzleBeetle Puzzle Bonanza 

Woohoo! The NZ Woman’s Weekly’s free winter-warmer pull-out puzzle booklet is out with the latest issue – get yours now! Jam-packed with seriously fun PuzzleBeetle puzzles :-) More than $3500 worth of cash and goodies to be won!

Monday 11 July 2016


Political Wordplay 

“Brexit” is a portmanteau word – a new word made of already existing components, in this case “British” and “exit”. Cue: much online punning and wordplay around the recent British decision to leave the EU. One of the slew on offer is a suggestion of what might come after Brexit:

 "EU have noted Brexit could be followed by Grexit, Departugal, Italeave, Fruckoff, Czechout, Oustria, Finish, Slovakout, Netherun, Luxembuggeroff and Byegium. Only Germaining."

Wednesday 29 June 2016


Crosswords and More Crosswords 

Here at PuzzleBeetle we’ve just finished creating our 225th nautical-themed crossword for Boating New Zealand and our 1120th entertainment-themed crossword for the TV Guide!

Minor bragging, maximum madness...

Wednesday 8 June 2016


Ghost Word 

The non-existent word “dord” was accidentally included in the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 1934. It arose because the dictionary’s chemistry editor requested an entry by writing “D or d, cont/density” on the request slip. The intention was to add “density” to the existing list of words which the letter “D” can abbreviate. The slip was misinterpreted as “dord” meaning “density”, and the would-be word was printed on page 771 of the dictionary. The error wasn’t discovered until 1939.

Wednesday 18 May 2016


Puzzle Books for Mother's Day 

8 May – Mother’s Day! Give your Mum (or yourself) a small gift-wrapped piece of puzzlement. PuzzleBeetle puzzle and crossword books – pamper and puzzle her with some cool brain fun!

Every purchase earns you a bonus point on the Super-Solver Leaderboard

Only $14 plus P&P – check them all out and shop here 

Wednesday 27 April 2016 


Letters and Words 

Here are some facts about the English language that you might or might not know:

-          “E” is the most commonly used letter in English

-          More English words start with the letter “S” than any other letter

-          Approximately 4,000 new English words are added to the dictionary each year – that averages out to one new word about every 2 hours

-          “SWIMS” will be “SWIMS” even when turned upside down

You’re welcome!

Wednesday 13 April 2016


Mondegreen – Did I Hear That Right? 

A mondegreen is a misinterpreted word or phrase resulting from the mishearing of spoken words or song lyrics. The term was coined by American writer Sylvia Wright in 1954. As a child, she had often had the poem “Percy’s Reliques” read aloud to her. She always thought one of the lines was:

“They hae slain the Earl o’ Moray and Lady Mondegreen”

Some years later, she discovered that the correct line is:

“They hae slain the Earl o’ Moray and laid him on the green”

So much for a tragic heroine dying honourably with her nobleman!

Tuesday 22 March 2016


Expand Your Vocab 

Here are some cool words that you can casually drop into a conversation – brought to you by PuzzleBeetle. You’re welcome!

Droogish – relating to the nature or attitude of street gangs

Honeyfugle – to swindle or cheat

Orgulous – haughty

Xenology – the study of extraterrestrial phenomena

Wednesday 2 March 2016


English Out Loud 

We pronounce the letter combination "ough" in 9 different ways in English. Take a look at the following sentence which contains them all:

"A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

Wednesday 10 February 2016


Same But Different 

Do you know what homonyms are? They are generally regarded as words that have the same spelling AND the same pronunciation, but different meanings. For example, the word “pen” means both a writing implement and an animal enclosure.

Homophones, on the other hand, are words that are pronounced the same way but differ in meaning. The words may be spelled the same (eg “rose” meaning flower and “rose” meaning went up) – in this case, the homophones are also homonyms. But homophones may be spelled differently (eg “carrot” and “carat”; “herd” and “heard”) – in this case, the homophones are not homonyms.  

Thursday 21 January 2016


Out of the Office 

Please note that PuzzleBeetle is out of the office from 24 December 2015 – 20 January 2016. All emails, enquiries and book orders over that time will be dealt with after 21 January.

Monday 21 December 2015


Cryptically Christmas 

Here’s an easy festive cryptic clue to solve…

Untangle tinsel before the end of the day – sounds a lot like Christmas! (6,5)

Can you work it out? If you want to know the answer, email me at pam.hutton@puzzlebeetle.co.nz

Friday 18 December 2015


Only 7 Days Left for Christmas Book Orders! 

The last day to place orders for puzzle and crossword books to be received before Christmas is Thursday 17 December.

A great little Christmas present, or something just for you – perfect for a summer holiday chill-out!

Only $14 plus P&P – Shop here

Thursday 10 December 2015


Know That Word

New month! Add some new words to your vocabulary...

Bloviate – to speak pompously and at length

Ergophobia – the fear of work

Jumentous – smelling like horse urine

Polydipsia – abnormally great thirst as a symptom of disease

Quidnunc – an inquisitive and gossiping person

Tuesday 1 December 2015


A Bit of Puzzle History

Did you know that word square puzzles date back to ancient times? The Sator Square is a puzzle containing a Latin palindrome (a word that reads the same both forwards and backwards), and the earliest datable one was found in the ruins of Pompeii which was buried in ash from the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD.

Wednesday 11 November 2015


100th Crossword for Wilderness Magazine

PuzzleBeetle has just created and sent its 100th outdoors-themed crossword to Wilderness magazine. That’s over eight years’ worth of wilderness crosswords! WHEW!!

Wednesday 21 October 2015


For Language Fiends

A small selection of things that will give language fiends serious pain in their brain!

Please bare with me on this

The number of people who confuse “to” and “too” is two damn high

I need some advise on the best laptop to buy

I except your excuse, accept the part about loosing the money

She brought all her groceries from the supermarket

Wednesday 7 October 2015


New Zealand Woman’s Weekly – Another Bonus Puzzle Booklet

The 5 October issue of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly contains another free booklet bursting with PuzzleBeetle mind-benders! All our regular puzzles and crosswords appear in the magazine itself. It’s in the shops now – check it out!

Take a look at the variety of puzzles and crosswords we supply.

Monday 28 September 2015


Celebrate Spring with a Cryptic Clue 

Here’s a cryptic clue to stir your brain!

Spring shaping up to be wild in capital city (10)

Can you work it out? If you're stumped and want to know the answer, email me at pam.hutton@puzzlebeetle.co.nz

Wednesday 9 September 2015


Father’s Day - 6 September - How to Puzzle Dad

Dads can be puzzling creatures! Are you stumped for what to give that special dad in your life on Sunday 6 September? PuzzleBeetle puzzle and crossword books – the perfect gift for tricky dads.

All purchases earn you bonus points on the Super-Solver Leaderboard

Only $14 each plus P&P – Shop here

Thursday 27 August 2015


Crosswords - Form and Fashion

Crosswords come in various shapes and sizes. The traditional British crossword grid has a lattice-like structure with words typically intersecting each other at every second letter. American-style grids, on the other hand, feature solid areas of white squares with far greater intersection of words. In a Japanese crossword grid, the corner squares must always be white. And a typical Swedish-style grid contains the clues inside the squares that would normally be shaded in the grids of other countries. Learned something new?!

Wednesday 19 August 2015


English Spelling - Wednesday Word Tip

Why is “Wednesday” spelled the way it is? Woden was an important Anglo-Saxon and Germanic god associated with things as diverse as healing, death and poetry, and Wednesday is his day. Woden’s day has evolved through many spellings – Wodnesdaeg in Old English became Wednesdei in Middle English. And even in 2015, Woden keeps his “d” and his day!

Wednesday 29 July 2015


New Zealand Woman’s Weekly – Bonus Puzzle Challenge

Keep your winter brain cells whirring! The 13 July issue of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly includes a free bonus booklet jam-packed with extra PuzzleBeetle puzzles and crosswords, in addition to all the regular ones we supply to the magazine. It’s in the shops now – check it out!

Take a look at the variety of puzzles and crosswords we supply.

Wednesday 8 July 2015


Secret Squirrel and Crosswords

Did you know this fact? During the Second World War, Britain’s main decryption centre at Bletchley Park used the ability to solve a “Daily Telegraph” crossword in under 12 minutes as part of its recruitment process to find suitable cryptologists. And you thought crosswords were just a fun activity for idle moments…

Wednesday 24 June 2015


Word of the Week

Weird word for language nerds: Gongoozler! It means an idle spectator who watches the efforts of others without contributing. It was traditionally used by British canal workers when referring to onlookers clustering around locks and moorings watching barge crews hard at work. Use it in a sentence like this:

“Don’t just stand there like a gongoozler, do something!”

Wednesday 3 June 2015


Cryptic Crossword Hint

Love to be able to solve cryptic crossword clues? Here’s another of our sporadic cryptic tips. Clues that feature a number often require you to translate that number into Roman numerals (which are letters). For example:

One = I;   Five = V;   Ten = X;   Fifty = L   etc  

The letter/s you’ve come up with typically form part of the answer. Here’s a simple clue:

Four year climber (3)

Solution: Ivy (Roman numeral for “four” + abbreviation for “year” – IV + Y – ivy is a climbing plant)

Wednesday 13 May 2015


Puzzle Books for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day – 10 May! If you have a mum, or you are a mum, there’s still time to get a small gift-wrapped piece of puzzlement. PuzzleBeetle puzzle and crossword books – make her brain bloom with a bunch of puzzles!

Only $14 plus P&P – Shop here

Thursday 30 April 2015


April Funny – Crash Blossoms

The boring name for a crash blossom is “syntactic ambiguity”. It occurs when a newspaper headline can be interpreted in more than one way. The name was suggested by Danny Bloom (perfect name for the job) in 2009 – prompted by the headline, “Violinist Linked to JAL Crash Blossoms”. Other examples include:

“Passing Wind Strands Ferry Passengers”

“Grandmother of Six Makes Hole in One”

“Panda Mating Fails – Vet Takes Over”

Wednesday 15 April 2015


March – Timely Vocabulary

What are the Ides of March? The word “ides” derives from Old French “ides”, and from Latin “idus” and “iduare” (to divide). It is the middle day of a Roman month – the 15th day of March, May, July and October; and the 13th day of other months. Debts and interest were often payable on the ides – that, plus the back-stabbing of Julius Caesar on 15 March 44BC cast a bit of a pall on the Ides of March… Beware!

Friday 20 March 2015


Out of the Office

Please note that PuzzleBeetle is out of the office from 9 February – 10 March 2015. All emails, enquiries and book orders over that time will be dealt with after 11 March.

Thursday 5 February 2015


More Puzzles to Puzzle your Brain

The 19 January issue of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly is now on sale – it includes a free booklet bursting with PuzzleBeetle puzzles to feed your summer brain. Check it out!

Monday 12 January 2015


Festive Word Knowledge

Ever wondered about the origins of Christmas-related words? Here’s one to think about… Mistletoe is thought to originate from two Anglo-Saxon words -  mistel which means dung, based on the fact that the plant is propagated in bird droppings; and tan which means twig or stick. So mistletoe means “dung twig”!

Happy Christmas, everyone!

Thursday 18 December 2014


Only 7 Days Left to Place Xmas Book Orders!

The last day to place orders for puzzle and crossword books to be received before Christmas is Wednesday 17 December.

As a present or just for you – perfect summer holiday chill-out!

Only $14 plus P&P – Shop here

Wednesday 10 December 2014


Christmas and Holiday Puzzling

PuzzleBeetle has been scurrying at full speed to create Christmas crosswords and puzzles, plus bonus extra puzzles for the summer holiday period! You can check them all out in the magazines we supply over the coming weeks.

Thursday 4 December 2014


What’s a Rebus?

A rebus is a puzzle where the answer is represented either by pictures, or by letters or words displayed in a cunning way. Here are some fun word-based examples:


Mother-in-law (MUM in POLICE)


Scrambled eggs


Physics  (FIZZ x six)

Tuesday 18 November 2014


New Puzzle Book

Our latest book of brain-benders is now out!

PuzzleBeetle Volume 3 Crazy Puzzle Combo is crammed full of tricky original puzzles and crosswords to keep your mind on high rotate.

All purchases earn you bonus points on the Super-Solver Leaderboard

Only $14 plus P&P  –  Buy yours here

Wednesday 22 October 2014


Punctuate It

PuzzleBeetle is a grammar fiend. Punctuation really does make a difference…

“I like cooking my family and my pets.”

Please use commas – don’t be a psycho!

Tuesday 7 October 2014


Mix It Up

Who likes anagrams? Here are some really cool and clever ones – try them out on your friends!

-        a decimal point  –  I’m a dot in place

-        vacation time  –  I am not active

-        debit card  –  bad credit

-        conversation  –  voices rant on

-        eleven plus two  –  twelve plus one              

Wednesday 24 September 2014


Crossword Gen

Did you know that the British-style crossword grids most commonly used in New Zealand traditionally have a 180-degree rotational symmetry? So the patterns appear the same when the grid is turned upside down. This means that the grid must consist of an odd number of squares across and down (eg 13 x 13 squares)

Wednesday 10 September 2014


Brain Food for Father's Day

Feed the head, but not the waist! PuzzleBeetle puzzle and crossword books – the perfect gift for tricky dads.  Every purchase earns you a bonus point on the Super-Solver Leaderboard

Only $14 plus P&P – Order a puzzle book for Dad here

Thursday 28 August 2014


OED Updates

Four times a year, the Oxford English Dictionary chooses a select few new words to add to its pages. In the last 12 months, we have seen the addition of “e-ticket”, “bestie”, “twerk”, “selfie” and “wackadoodle”.

Wednesday 13 August 2014


Cryptic – It’s Deep

Cryptic clues are designed to make you think. A crypt is an underground vault, the word being derived from the Greek “kryptos” meaning hidden. Hence cryptic clues are obscure and enigmatic. If you’re new to solving cryptic crosswords, see if you can persuade a friendly expert to sit beside you and give you helpful hints the next time you attack one.

Wednesday 30 July 2014


Warm-Up for Winter Brains

Don’t let your brain hibernate this winter! Keep it toasty warm and ticking over with PuzzleBeetle puzzle and crossword books.

Every purchase earns you a bonus point on the Super-Solver Leaderboard

Only $14 plus P&P

Buy yours here

Wednesday 16 July 2014


Loads More PuzzleBeetle Puzzles

The July 14th issue of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly includes a free Bonus Puzzles Booklet jam-packed with PuzzleBeetle brain-teasers to entertain your little grey cells! The magazine is on sale now – check it out!

Monday 7 July 2014


Word Botching – Bird Watching

Do you know what a spoonerism is? It’s the accidental transposing of letters or syllables in words, or even sometimes the transposing of entire words in a sentence. It is named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844-1930), an Englishman who was well-known for his word muddling. Here are some fun examples:

-        fighting liars (lighting fires)

-        sin twister (twin sister)

-        a lack of pies (a pack of lies)

-        bad salad (sad ballad)

-        pleating and humming (heating and plumbing)

-        don’t pet the sweaty things (don’t sweat the petty things)

Wednesday 18 June 2014


 PuzzleBeetle at Sea

The June issue of Boating New Zealand contains PuzzleBeetle’s 200th boating-related crossword for the magazine! That’s a lot of nautical puzzling and the cause for a small happy hornpipe and possibly a tot of rum accompanied by a hearty shout of yo-ho-ho!

Wednesday 4 June 2014


Crazy English

Have you ever stopped to think how illogical English can be? Here are some misnomers to set you thinking:

- guinea pigs are not pigs and do not come from Guinea

- hay fever is not caused by hay, but by pollen

- a silk-worm is really a caterpillar

How many more can you come up with?

Tuesday 20 May 2014


Latest Leaderboard Results

Have you checked out our leading puzzle pros on the Super-Solver Leaderboard recently? We currently have two Ruby Ninjas going head-to-head, two Opal Knights and one Jade Warrior. If you’re still a Topaz Rebel, or have yet to make it onto the Leaderboard – sharpen up!

Wednesday 7 May 2014


Puzzle Books for Mother’s Day

Me-time mind-food for Mum! PuzzleBeetle puzzle and crossword books are one of the featured products in The Baby View’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide – check out the guide here:


Order a puzzle book for Mum here

Thursday 24 April 2014


More Time for Puzzles

Great news! The end of daylight saving means more time for puzzle addicts to curl up cosily in the gathering darkness with a pile of brain teasers and crosswords. That’s what all sensible PuzzleBeetles do at this time of year…

Wednesday 16 April 2014


Easter Puzzles

PUZZLES and CHOCOLATE!! Easter is the perfect opportunity to indulge two cravings at the same time. Free Easter eggs when you buy a PuzzleBeetle puzzle or crossword book – great combo or what?!

Only $14 plus P&P

Don’t miss out – satisfy your craving here

Thursday 3 April 2014


Cryptic Tip

Cryptic clues are never what they seem – don’t take them literally, puzzle people! Words like “back”, “retreat” and “up” usually indicate that you need to reverse the following or preceding word. Simple examples:

Composer taking taxi back to hospital (4) – Solution: Bach  (BAC h)

Retreating rodent found by old-fashioned sailor (3) – Solution: Tar  (RAT = rodent)

Made up Dutch cheese (4) – Solution: Edam  (MADE)

Wednesday 26 March 2014


Weird Knowledge

I have a soft spot for quirky pieces of knowledge that other people probably put into the “useless information” category. Did you know, for instance, that the words CHOICE COD written in capital letters read the same when held in front of a mirror upside down? Go on, try it out for yourself… you know you want to!

Tuesday 18 March 2014


Bonus Puzzles

The March 17th issue of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly contains a few extra PuzzleBeetle puzzles in addition to the regular ones – just to stir up those little grey cells. It’s on sale now – check it out!

Wednesday 12 March 2014


Super-Solver Leaderboard

PuzzleBeetle launched its brand spanking new Super-Solver Leaderboard this week! Puzzlers earn points by participating on our Facebook page.

-        One Point for the first person to solve one of our brain-teasers posted on the Facebook page at 5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

-        One Point for the week’s randomly selected solver who didn’t win but who gave a brain-teaser a go!

-        One Bonus Point for every PuzzleBeetle book purchased

Tuesday 4 March 2014


Know That Word

How about adding some new words to your vocabulary? A “holothurian” is a sea cucumber; “corymbiferous” means bearing clusters of flowers or berries; and a “squinch” is a structural arch across the internal corner of a room or tower.

Wednesday 26 February 2014


PuzzleBeetle Milestone

This week PuzzleBeetle created and sent its 1,000th TV/entertainment-themed crossword to The TV Guide. And that doesn’t count the one-off specials for Christmas and soap opera celebrations… That’s 20 years’ worth of crosswords! WHEW!!

Thursday 20 February 2014


Origins of Crosswords

Did you know that crossword puzzles had their beginnings in England during the 19th century? The first modern crossword was created by a journalist from Liverpool by the name of Arthur Wynne – he created a “word-cross” puzzle that was published in the New York World in December 1913. 

Tuesday 11 February 2014