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Plumber's Toilet Crossword Puzzle

This unusual crossword puzzle was designed in a contest for plumbing articles. My expertise is language, however, though I do know how to wade to the plumbing toolbox when necessary. This confluence of disciplines resulted in a shape puzzle using as many plumbing vocabulary terms as practical.

The puzzle is not interactive. Therefore, you will need to print it out in order to fill it in. My suggestion is to print out the puzzle with clues, and then leave it in the, umm, room where you would find one of these objects sitting. Then you can work on the puzzle when you are, umm, just sitting.

The solution is given at the bottom, after all the clues. There is a print option and a screen option, which are further explained at that point.

Finally, when you have completed the puzzle and compared it with the solution, please report your results in the poll just above the solution. There you can see how others did, too.

Created with Crossword Compiler version 8.1 Demo

Created with Crossword Compiler version 8.1 Demo

Tips for this crossword puzzle

  • The word "this" in italics denotes the object of the puzzle shape. What shape is the puzzle? Do you recognize this? It has many names. What is this?
  • Words do not continue past heavy lines on the puzzle grid. For example, 1 Across has four characters and 3 Down has five. Conversely, adjoining squares must form a word (left to right and top to bottom) unless blocked by a heavy line.
  • Abbreviations and acronyms count as words.
  • Phrases and hyphenated words are joined as if a single word. The number in parentheses after each clue indicates the correct word length, without counting hyphens or spaces.
  • Most words are from Standard American English. The exceptions are from English as spoken in another country or are derived from English.
  • “Trick” clues and answers requiring cultural knowledge have been avoided (I think). This is a test of vocabulary, especially plumbing words.
  • WARNING: Some puzzle vocabulary may be inappropriate for children. Parental discretion is advised.
  • Your comments are welcome and will be posted below if they do not give away answers. I will, of course, correct any confirmed errors.


2 Clears clogged pipes (13)

3 A septic leach field should not be near a ___ (5)

4 A ___ may support heavy pipes or fixtures (6)

5 A phrase for this or its room (11)

7 Wrap-around garment (4)

13 Charmers (6)

14 Seventh planet from the sun (6)

17 Storage for Holy Jewish writings, plural (4)

23 Question of manner (3)

24 Boat that contains this (5)

25 To find this in Manila, look for the sign "___" (2)

29 Anger (3)

30 Explosive (3)

31 Tidal ___ and flows (4)

Scroll to Continue

34 Adverb and conjunction for comparing (2)

37 Corrosion will ___ away at pipes, causing the couplings to seize (3)

39 Afterthought (2)

41 Antonym of yes. (2)

42 Locative preposition (2)

44 Hyphenated prefix, of or pertaining to the second largest continent (4)

45 A tradesman who installs this (7)

46 Pipe, more likely to be smaller and less rigid (4)

49 Common manuscript file type extension (3)

50 Bambi's mother (3)

Compare How You Scored


1 Agile, youthful, nimble (4)

4 George ___ Bush was the 41st President of the USA (2)

6 "Mona ___" (4)

8 Invisible light rays (2)

9 Kitchen pest (3)

10 Traffic sign on limited access highways (5)

11 Prickly bush that grows in a patch; also one of its thorns (5)

12 Car engine's CPU (3)

15 A religion (2)

16 ____ areas require a septic tank (5)

18 The lead performer (4)

19 A Jack & Jill bath has two (5)

20 The building trade pertaining to fluid distribution (8)

21 Symbol for an inert noble gas that glows orange-red in an electric field (2)

22 "___ it or lose it!" (3)

23 Of or pertaining to mechanical properties of liquids (9)

26 Antonym of liability (5)

27 Dense hardwood (3)

28 Anything permanently installed in a bathroom (7)

32 A word for this in many non-English languages (2)

33 A plumbing product popular with homeowners (5)

35 Are, infinitive form. (2)

36 Masculine pronoun (2)

38 A cornerstone may read, " ___. 1950" (3)

39 Metal used for pipes from Roman times through mid 20th century (2)

40 Color of sand (3)

42 Ergonomically designed for your ___ (3)

43 This (6)

44 Suitable, likely, qualified. (3)

47 A malady common in winter (3)

48 Abrade (3)

49 The roof of a rotunda is typically convex, i.e. ___ (5)

51 ___ belongs in this (9)

52 In the Philippines this is in the ___ (11)


Two views of the puzzle solution

For printing: If you are going to print out the puzzle and clues, you may want to print out the solution as well, but upside-down to discourage "cheating" as you work on the clues. In this case, click the thumbnail of the inverted puzzle at the left below. The main picture will then change to an upside-down puzzle filled-in with small print.

For viewing on monitor: If you are coming back to this web page to compare your filled-in puzzle, you want to view the solution right-side-up! In that case, click the thumbnail on the right below to make it the main picture. You may click that result again to further enlarge it.

Japanese puzzle boxes


Howard S. (author) from Dallas, Texas, and Asia on September 06, 2011:

Based on feedback, I improved several of the clues that were too obscure or poorly worded. They are Across: 1, 10, 11, 18, 20, 21, 28, 38, 49 and Down: 34, 44.

Thanks, everyone, for finding this entertaining!

KMattox from USA on September 04, 2011:

Great Idea! I like it. Awesome concept

Krys W from Abertawe, Cymru on September 04, 2011:

Hilarious! I've been avoiding looking at plumbing hubs since plumbing is of no interest to me whatsoever (when something goes wrong, I call someone to fix it!). I love this take on the topic though.

Mark Ewbie from UK on September 04, 2011:

The word awesome is sometimes overused, but can't find another option to describe this. What a fantastic idea.

Karen Wilton from Australia on September 03, 2011:

Really clever Hub and seriously clever crossword Howard. I tried but found the difficulty level was way over my head. Always love a challenge though so thanks for putting this together.

Andrew from Rep Boston MA on September 03, 2011:

I dont care what anyone says...that is an upside down frowny face. ):


Howard S. (author) from Dallas, Texas, and Asia on September 02, 2011:

I had loads of fun with this, but it took way, way, way too long to create it! First I thought I'd see what could be done with a table--basically nothing. Then as I worked on presenting the solution, the thumbnail trick started to develop. If anyone hasn't clicked on those to see what I did, you really need to. Just don't do it until you've finished the puzzle, one way or another.

Hmmm, maybe I should just write a separate hub about unusual ways to use the thumbnails. On another of my hubs, I used thumbnails to show my "race" car cornering hard in sequential shots.

Leah Lefler from Western New York on September 02, 2011:

Very clever hub idea! My plumbing vocabulary is in the toilet (haha), so maybe I can brush up on the basic terms with your crossword puzzle!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on September 02, 2011:

Howard S., I think this is the most creative contest entry we've seen yet! I had so much fun with this, and I had never seen a crossword puzzle presented in Hub format before. SO COOL!

Howard S. (author) from Dallas, Texas, and Asia on September 02, 2011:

@Lily: So much for the potty talk, huh!

Lily Rose from A Coast on September 02, 2011:

Well apparently my knowledge of plumbing lingo is just not good! It was fun trying, though - thanks for the brain exercise!

Simon from NJ, USA on September 02, 2011:

Cool idea for a hub!!

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