Pardon My French! (Cryptic #3, 11×11)

Trigger warning: This crossword is decidedly offensive! If you have an issue with vulgar language, you’re best to avoid this one.


I decided to go with a smaller 11×11 grid for this one. For one, I wanted to make all across clues themed, and this wouldn’t be possible with a larger grid as I had a restricted set of possible theme answers to work with. I also wanted to experiment with a puzzle that would be quicker to build.

I’ve been a little apprehensive about publishing a crossword based on offensive language – I think some might consider it a faux pas – but I liked the concept, and, in my typical style, by the time I really considered the bigger picture I’d thrown so much energy into it that I didn’t want to abandon it! I do hope the solver will, indeed, pardon my French! And that some of the neater clues justify the awkward price of entry 🙂


Being a themer, this puzzle is automatically a little tricky for beginner solvers, but is easier than my previous puzzles for a few reasons. The smaller size means a) there are fewer clues to solve, and b) answers are shorter than usual. Additionally, although the theme influences solving, it is clearly explained, there’s no confusion over which clues it applies to, and the theme idea itself narrows the space of possible solutions.

Also, to provide a friendlier experience to the solver, I made a deliberate effort at using less convoluted clueing techniques. Which also gave me a bit of an easier time!

Dive in!

Complete or print “Pardon My French” at