If you haven’t already heard, a game app called Student Crossword is making its rounds in primary schools here. A search for it online reveals an introduction, presumably by its creator Natalya Novikova, that’s deceptively unassuming: “Meet a new captivating word game for schoolchildren! Our crossword will certainly help your kids improve their spelling skills. While guessing the words, primary school pupils will discover new interesting facts.”
Problem is, word on the street has it that this is the app incarnate of the ludicrously tough US TV gameshow Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?. So of course I had to download it - I mean, c’mon. I deal with words for a living, I should totally have this, right?
Of course, the first few questions are easy enough. “A big fruit you can eat in summer”? Watermelon. “The king of animals”? Lion. “Coleslaw is a type of _____”? Salad. Pffft, I snort. Piece of cake.
Then it starts to get complicated - and I’m only on the last clue of the second puzzle: “Exercises before a game”. I frown. Who exercises before a game? Based on the answers to the rest of the easy puzzles, this eight-letter word has two “O’s”. It’s time to Call A Friend - or, to be exact, text my older sister for help. “Workout?” she ventures. Bingo. My ego is slightly bruised, but I shrug this blip off for what I feel to be a confusing clue.
I play the third puzzle. The third clue is: “What type of bird can fly and eat fish”? The second-last letter of the seven-letter answer is an “E”. Several answers come immediately to mind: Seagulls, herons, storks, eagles. But none of them is seven letters long.
I decide to skip this and try another clue. For “A magic drink”, the answer is a six-letter word, where the fourth letter is an “I”. “Elixir?” I wonder aloud, and give a nervous laugh. The fourth letter is not “I”. I frown intensely, then it dawns on me. Ohhhhhhh, “potion”. Phew. Ok, so based on that, the answer to the third clue is “*O***E*”. Hmmm. Still stuck.
I move on to the fourth puzzle, only to draw a blank at this clue: “The ____ likes to leave a gift under your pillow when you lose a tooth”. The answer is a five-letter word. “Tooth fairy, duh!” I think. And then I can’t go on, because the answer, it seems, is not “fairy” - the third letter is an “N”. By now, I’m starting to sweat. Genie? Donor? Panda?!
How will you fare in this crazy game? There’s only one way to find out - download Student Crossword for free on iTunes. It’s only available for iPhone users now, sorry Android friends. And if you can figure out those missing answers, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org before it kills me, thanks!
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