©2003, R. Bernard Mann

Thanks to the generosity of R. Bernard Mann, we are pleased to present five free Jewish crossword puzzles. Click on the title ... and have fun!

Authors and Playwrights
Camera Legends
The Tower of Jewish Song
A Few Heroes of Israel
Composers and Performers

Roy Mann, a New York native who began solving crossword puzzles as a teenager, moved to Austin, Texas in 1984. He likes crossword puzzles because they are a test of intelligence and knowledge that helps keep the memory sharp.

One day in 1998, he went to lunch with the editor of The Jewish Outlook, who said there might be interest in crossword puzzles and asked Mann if he was willing to try writing them. He was happy to take a crack at it. He read up on writing crosswords and, not wanting to use a computer program to write his puzzles, devised a system.

“My interest in creating crosswords for the Outlook didn’t grow from having solved newspaper crosswords most of my years but from my love of Israel and being steeped in Judaism, and my close-up familiarity and identity with the hills, valleys, plains, and shores of Israel and its historic, cultural, sacred, and every-day locales,” Mann said.

Mann said he has enjoyed coming up with clues and questions about Biblical times, Jewish writing and music, and bringing Israel to life through the geography and topography of Israel. “Those have always been not only things I believe would be of interest and of educational stimulus to puzzle solvers in the Outlook and elsewhere but also elements I personally enjoy very much, keeping me alert to Jewish roots,” Mann said.

Mann decided to retire from crossword writing in 2014 so he can focus as much as possible on his professional work and other writing. “I’d also suggest to our crossword mavens that they try creating crosswords on their own. Not necessarily 13 x 13 puzzles, unless they’re wonderfully patient, but, say, a 10 x 10 grid, with black squares popped in as they see fit. Creating is fun and the knowledge, new or refreshed, that one gets in Google searches for clues that work is enriching,” he said.

Bibliography: Tonyia Cone in The Jewish Outlook (Austin, Texas), Jan. 1, 2014.

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