The Ultimate Brain-Knocking Acrostic Puzzle Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
2 min
The Ultimate Brain-Knocking Acrostic Puzzle Quiz
Image: Jean Sokk/Photolibrary/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Tired of kicking around with crosswords? Sick to death of Sudoku? Maybe it's time to take on brain-crunching acrostics puzzles. But do you have the courage to wade into this puzzling fray?
To what type of game is an acrostic puzzle most similar?
crossword puzzles
a crossword/hangman hybrid
It's a fiendish hybrid. Consider it "crossed" with crosswords and hangman.
"Wheel of Fortune"

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Which famous author was known for constructing word puzzles similar to acrostics?
Lewis Carroll
He even created an acrostic poem about his most famous character, Alice. Mr. Carroll loved word puzzles.
Mark Twain
Stephen King

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The ultimate goal of an acrostic puzzle is usually to unveil what sort of famous thing?
quote
"No comment." Okay, usually the quotes that these puzzles reveal are more interesting than that.
poem
advice

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What defines an acrostic poem?
The initial letters of each line spell words or phrases.
It's sort of Cryptography 101, with the letters at the beginning of each line spelling out a subtle message.
The initial letters of each word spell words or phrases.
If you read it backward, there's a secret, Satanic message.

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The word "acrostics" comes from what origin?
the Roman word acrokhis
the Greek word akrostikhis
Would you like some dressing with that letter salad? This a Greek word that points to the end, or extremity, of a line.
the Latin words Arepo Sator

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How do teachers often employ acrostics?
as mnemonic devices
Acrostics make for killer puzzles, but they also help as mnemonic devices that students can use to memorize facts.
as language-development assistance
as mathematical cues

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What famous religious symbol is derived in part from an acrostic?
the Christian fish symbol
A Christian acrostic for Jesus Christ results in the word ICHTHYS, which means fish in Greek.
the Jewish Star of David
the Pastafarian symbol

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Some experts think acrostic puzzles might be good for what?
honing word fluency
What's that word again? Ah, yes, fluency. There's no proof, but some believe word puzzles help with word recall.
keeping your math skills sharp
improving spatial perception

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What's a double acrostic poem?
a poem in which the first and last letters of each line spell the same word or phrase
It's doubly tricky! Both the first and last letters of each line spell a hidden phrase, making these more complex than regular acrostic poems.
a poem that repeats each acrostic at least 10 times
a poem that makes you see double

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Acrostic puzzles are also known as what?
anacrostic puzzles
crostic puzzles
all of the above
As if the puzzles themselves weren't tricky enough! Acrostics are also called crostic or anacrostic puzzles.

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What structural similarities do acrostic puzzles share with crosswords?
They have diagrams.
They have many clues.
all of the above
Maybe acrostics are actually the evil twin of crosswords? They look very similar with their diagrams and clue lists.

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In an acrostic puzzle, what signals the end of a word in the diagram?
white squares
black squares
Line breaks are just messing with you. It's actually the black squares that indicate a word's end.
line breaks

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What sort of skills are probably most useful for completing an acrostic puzzle?
logical thinking skills
Time to call on your inner Spock. A thesauruslike mind helps, but logical thinking may be even more important.
Google search skills
geometry skills

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Which aspect of digital acrostic puzzles makes them more time-efficient to complete than paper versions?
Digital puzzles applaud you for correct answers.
Digital versions fill in the diagram automatically.
Actually, in some online puzzles, the computer really does give you the answers. But it's the fact that your answers automatically populate the diagram that makes digital versions simpler to complete.
The computer gives you the answers.

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What's a basic strategy for solving acrostic puzzles?
fill in the diagram with educated guesses
consult Google
fill out the answers you're sure of and then try to fill in blanks on the diagram
Well, a Google search is actually the easiest way, but some people consider it cheating. Starting with the answers you're sure of is a good way to begin.

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What's the name of one of the most famous acrostic poems?
"Behold, O God"
It takes acrostics into a new dimension, with highlighted letters creating crosses. "Behold, O God" was written by William Browne.
"Through the Looking Glass"
"The Raven"

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How can looking at the diagram help you solve an acrostic puzzle?
There are sometimes clues hidden in the black boxes.
Once you correctly guess a word in the diagram, then you can use those letters in the corresponding clue blanks.
It's like "Wheel of Fortune" in reverse! Take letters from the diagram back to your clues, and you may be able to solve the puzzle faster.
You may see hidden pictures in the diagram.

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In addition to revealing a quote, some acrostic puzzles also unveil what?
the name of the person who said the quote
In some cases, guessing the name of the person who said the quote also helps you solve other parts of the puzzle.
a Bible verse
a line drawing

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What should you do if a nonsense word appears in your acrostic puzzle diagram?
review any questionable answers to your clues
The crying part might be tempting, but reviewing your answers is the only way to move forward in this situation.
buy a new thesaurus
give up and begin sobbing uncontrollably

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Which newspaper regularly publishes acrostic puzzle books?
The Los Angeles Times
The New York Times
They are the purveyors of fine puzzles. As with crosswords, The New York Times is also known for its difficult acrostic puzzles.
Economist

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You Got:
/20
Jean Sokk/Photolibrary/Getty Images
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