The Autostraddle Crossword #1: 100% That Stitch

Editor’s Note:
We promised you puzzles and games when you got the fundraiser to $100k, and you made it happen in under 48 hours! Please believe me when I say: WOW.

We’ve been slowly putting together a concept for a games/puzzles vertical over the past several months — working with two very experienced, wildly generous, skilled and hilarious crossword puzzle constructors: Rachel Fabi and Brooke Husic (who you’ll be hearing from a lot over the coming weeks!) — and we’ve finally come up with a beta version of how this could all go (subject changes and updates per reader and creator feedback!). Everyone will be getting a light mix of crossword puzzles and other games Monday-Friday, A+ members will receive a bonus Saturday puzzle, and then of course your beloved Sunday Quiz isn’t going anywhere.

Today’s puzzle was constructed by created by Rachel Fabi and Finn Vigeland, and is XL by our standards! We won’t be able to publish puzzles of this size on a regular basis, so you can expect a variety of smaller crosswords in the future, but we really wanted to kick things off with one of the very first Autostraddle-themed crossword puzzles ever published. 🥲

I’ll let Rachel tell you more!


I have been reading Autostraddle ever since I was a baby queer, so I am beyond delighted to be joining you as a crossword constructor, and I’m excited to be part of the team bringing you all the queer crossword content that the world so desperately needs. This puzzle (one of the first I ever made!) was originally published in a puzzle pack called Queer Qrosswords 2, which is one of the few crossword venues that centers queerness. It was inspired by this 2016 Autostraddle article that you may want to check out if you get stuck! If you enjoy the puzzle, you can find me (and my co-constructor Finn Vigeland) on Twitter to let us know.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


lnj has written 310 articles for us.


    • (to be clear, not a critique but instead an affirmation of how great it is to have community-specific knowledge reflected in a crossword!)

  1. This was a delight! And the visual depiction was really elegant. (Will I ever remember who did whom back then? Unlikely!)

  2. Such a fun puzzle to start things off!! Great clueing and a nice amount of challenge! I had to fix some spelling errors at the end but was able to get it without looking any names up!

  3. Phew!! This was hard! It took me over an hour. I had to get a little help from the article and letter hints. I loved the old queer Hollywood references! I even got a few of them before I reread the post.


      75d – london Zoo – zed is british english for zee, and the seventh letter of london zoo :)


      I had to cheat to get the first letter of 68 down, but the Internet says that apparently that IS a phrase. I’d never heard of it, but it does “make sense…”

      • Yep “feeling her oats” is definitely a phase, just an old-fashioned one!

        Source: my old ass parents, consuming a lot of older media

    • I didn’t understand 75 Down at first either, but I think I figured it out. “Z” is the seventh letter in the phrase “London Zoo,” and “Z” is commonly said as “Zed” in British English. As for 68 Down, “Let me feel my oats” is a catchphrase that Gia Gunn said on season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

  4. I DID IT! This was so hard at first but then when I got into the flow of it I loved it so much. Thank you!

    • It was nicely challenging, definitely! But once I figured out the vibe, the answers came pretty naturally.

  5. I don’t know if a score of 960 is good, but I choose to feel validated by it.

    Thank you, that was really fun!

  6. I’m still working thru it but this way of filling it in is so nifty! Would it maybe be an idea to include all the clues written out below, though? I find seeing them all at once can help me percolate answers

    • If you click on the icon above the crossword that looks like a bullet item list, it shows all the clues written like that. I find that format helps me too!

  7. This was so fun! I did reference the article and did some googling, and got a few letter hints at the end when I was really stumped. Also very fun to revisit that article!

  8. I know nothing about old hollywood, so this was impossible for me. I resisted reading the article as long as I could, but once I did I was able to place a lot of answers.

    Recommendation: try not reading the article and see how you do! It is kind of a spoiler :)

    So excited for more AS crosswords!

    • thanks for solving!!! In the quote you linked (“yes ___ yes I will yes”), the blank appears both before and after the word yes :)

      I hope you enjoyed the rest of the puzzle despite the confusing clue!

  9. this was so fun! very excited for this to be a regular feature because as gina said above, community specific knowledge can make crosswords so much more fun

  10. LOVE THIS. I admit to being skeptical about the crosswords goal because Queer Qrosswords 1 and 2 were the greatest things and set a new high-water mark for my puzzling… but this is a fantastic collaboration! Looking forward to seeing where things go from here.

  11. I’m a big Authostraddle fan and a big crossword fan (and a constructor myself), and I’m incredibly excited for this. Rachel and Brooke are two of the best out there, and I can’t wait to see what they make for this!

  12. This was fun! This feature may turn me into a crossword puzzle worker after all.

    I got 909 points and it took me almost 3 hours to solve. No idea what that means but I’m assuming it means that I am awesome at queer puzzling.

  13. Hi! I love this puzzle.

    I also constructed an Autostraddle-themed crossword puzzle that was published in the same issue of Queer Qrosswords that Rachel’s was in. It’s called All About Autostraddle. So hers isn’t “the very first Autostraddle-themed crossword puzzle ever published” since ours came out at the same time. If you want to feature mine too, please let me know :)

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