Nature Crossword – Araucarian Word Ladder

Long time since I posted a crossword here!

So, this isn’t just any old crossword. This is based on a format originally invented by Araucaria* which I absolutely love: the word ladder crossword. Rules are fairly simple:

Each answer is 8 letters long, but can be split into two 4 letter parts (which may not always be valid words on their own). The clue is then a series of synonyms indicating the various steps in a word ladder linking the first part to the second, changing one letter at a time. So the two halves of BUSY BEES can be linked in a word ladder “BUSY – BUST – BEST – BEET – BEES”, which might be clued as “Destroy perfect vegetable” (“bust best beet”). The first and last words themselves are not clued.

The puzzle is nature-themed, and every answer refers to an animal, plant or landscape. The solutions are all shown in photographs below, which are presented in a random order.

You can download a printable PDF version and the solution below:


1. Plain blue street bay

5. Like sherry? Like porridge? Promise girl pets belonging to peaceniks.

6. Scoop: asked for naked poet

7. Legendary birds on fields of old Europe


1. Part of speech: “Protect fat”

2. Fabric shortage chance

3. Pitt gave birth and wept

4. All of the Germans and that woman from France (Eleanor) like 7? Trust!

Images (click to expand)

*Puzzle no. 37 in vol. 2 of the Chambers Book of Araucaria Crosswords, if you want to try it for yourself

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