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Hit the lanes with today’s striking puzzle!

SUNDAY PUZZLE — Hello solvers! Welcome to the third Michigan Daily Crossword; it is an honor to be able to write today’s puzzle! I’m really happy with how this puzzle turned out, and I hope you have a blast solving it! In comparison to the last puzzle we published, this one may strike you as being a little bit harder, but I encourage you to keep at it and use the internet if necessary. As always, the tricky clues, today’s theme and the answer key are all included below. If anything in this puzzle struck a chord with you, or you spotted any errors, feel free to email me at If you want to write crosswords for The Daily, reach out to Good luck solving today’s puzzle!

Tricky Clues:

19A. I had no idea what this word was when I first saw it in a crossword, but the clue “Pastures” refers to LEAS which are defined as “tracts of open ground, especially grassland.” Make sure to keep this word in your repertoire!

32A. “James ____ Telescope” refers to WEBB. The James Webb Telescope launched in 2021, and it actually reached its destination almost a million miles away back in early 2022. If you want to see some of the first pictures from the telescope, check it out on NASA’s website at this link. It’s some really cool stuff!

48A. “Suffix with super and infer” refers to IOR, as in superIOR and inferIOR! It was very convenient as the puzzle builder that those two words are antonyms of each other — I think it adds some nice balance. It’s also pretty cool that ‘super’ and ‘infer’ both have completely unrelated meanings to each other, yet become opposites with the addition of a suffix. 

7D. This one is a deep cut! “KGB predecessor” refers to OGPU as in Объединённое государственное политическое управление, which directly translates to “Joint State Political Directorate.” This group functioned as the Russian secret police from 1923 and 1934. You’ll notice that KGB is written as an acronym in the clue, meaning that the answer will also be an acronym.

22D. If you thought this clue was CHEAT at first you were on the right track! “___ sheet (cheater’s tool)” refers to a CRIB sheet, which is another word for cheat sheet. I actually thought this was a pretty common phrase until Pavan looked through my clues and let me know. Oops!

34D. As a French national, I have to admit this was a difficult clue to put in the puzzle, but “Curr. World cup title holder (to this crossword builder’s dismay)” is ARG, as in ARGentina, the winners of last year’s world cup. For those wondering why this answer is abbreviated, it’s hinted at in the clue with “curr.” being used instead of “current.” I added a comment in parentheses at the end of this clue just to express my disapproval; France should have won…

Today’s Theme:

This idea came to me over winter break when I spent far too much time bowling (both in person and in Wii Sports) and absolutely had to make it a theme. The answer to the revealer clue at 50-Across is BOWLING A TURKEY, which is bowling lingo for getting three strikes in a row, each of which are hidden in today’s three theme clues. Our first strike is at 20-across, with the clue “Engage in small talk, colloquially” which refers to STRIKE UP A CONVO, with CONVO being slang for conversation. We get our second strike at 26-Across with COUNTER STRIKE, which refers to the video game “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.”  Fun fact: CS:GO is the most popular game of all time on the Steam game platform! You can find our third and final strike at 42-Across with the clue “Fast movements?” This was by far the most difficult theme clue, but the answer is HUNGER STRIKES. For new crossword solvers, a question mark at the end of a clue means that it shouldn’t be taken at face value. While you might think fast movements refers to an actual body movement, it’s actually talking about a social movement and the act of fasting, thus HUNGER STRIKES!

Answer Key: