“A regular crossword” – a crossword puzzle for coders

How about a crossword puzzle for programmers? One in which the searched words are not described by reference words, but by regular expressions. That’s what I call a crossword. And so I got immediately enthusiastic about the regular expression crossword from this years MIT Mystery Hunt when a friend pointed it to me. (The Mystery Hunt is a competition that is arranged for more than 30 years, held every year at MIT and in which it comes to solve a whole bunch of puzzles.)

One part of this year’s MIT Mystery Hunt is the just mentioned crossword which is titled “A regular Crossword”. Contrary to classical crosswords there are three descriptive directions. The horizontal and two diagonal. Each direction is described by a regular expression.

And now to the puzzle. You can download it as PDF file on the MIT Coinheist page. Alternatively, I’ve saved a copy on my server.

A regular crossword

Those who think they have solved the puzzle, are welcome to compare their solution with the one solved by myself and Michell. But do not look before – cheating is lame…

Finally, one question remains – do you know more such (or similar) puzzles? If so, write me a comment.


  1. adisays:

    If you’re looking for more regex crosswords, try http://regexcrossword.com/ – very easy in the beginning, tougher in the last level. Also some user-designed crosswords are very nice.
    And there is a nice app for Android 4.1+, too – Regex Xword :)

  2. myndzisays:

    Thank you so much for mirroring the pdf!

Leave a comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that. Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked