O Canada Crosswords Book 10: 50 Themed Daily-sized Crosswords


120 pages
ISBN 978-0-88971-236-2
DDC 793.73'





Reviewed by Trish Chatterley


Barbara Olson and Dave Macleod step up the challenge with their third contribution to the O Canada Crosswords series. Book 10 consists of 50 daily-sized crosswords for the reader’s enjoyment. Each game contains several clues related to Canada in some way, whether it’s naming personalities (comedians, singers, politicians, etc.), identifying geographic landmarks, or referring to Canadian TV or radio programs. Each crossword has an over-arching theme to which several of the clues refer. Many require completion of a single phrase, or identification of words or common phrases related to the theme. In two of the puzzles, the clues that pertained to the theme were not as obvious and therefore had identifying symbols beside them.

As with Book 9, I found Olson’s themes the most clever. They involved more word play and puns than Macleod’s, requiring additions, deletions, or transpositions of letters within common phrases. As an example, in the puzzle “The Lost Ages,” the theme answers would have been well known phrases had the letters A-G-E not been eliminated from within them. “Garbage disposal” thus became “Garb disposal” in answer to the question, “Getting rid of old clothing?” Macleod is much more likely, however, to mix it up by having the theme present within the Down clues.

The degree of difficulty varies quite a bit among puzzles, and seems to have been increased from Book 9. It thus presents a good opportunity to learn new words, or old words that have fallen out of everyday use. Once again, the clues are often somewhat tricky using wordplay or multi-word answers to complicate the solutions. You must not always take the clue at face value, but approach it from different perspectives and figure out to which use of a word the clue is referring. Be cognizant of the question marks and capital letters, as these are good indicators of hidden meaning. As ever, these crosswords provide a thoroughly enjoyable challenge!



Olson, Barbara and Dave McLeod, “O Canada Crosswords Book 10: 50 Themed Daily-sized Crosswords,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 25, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/33128.