It’s All a Game When It Comes to Sports Clues

Rebecca Tulis
Rebecca Tulis

[Baseball's Indians, on scoreboards] read 18-Across in Monday's puzzle, for the answer CLE. That's short for "Cleveland," of course, and it's just one of many pieces of scoreboard shorthand you often see in puzzles.

The other main ones from baseball that you'll encounter in puzzles are NYY for the Yankees, LAA for the Angels, and STL for the Cardinals. Of course, you won't find many mentions of the Mariners (SEA), Athletics (OAK), Or Pirates (PIT) using this type of clue, since their team abbreviations also happen to be everyday words that can be easily clued on their own.

In football, you'll often see NYG for the Giants and JAX for the Jaguars, and frequent NBA mentions in crosswords include LAL for the Lakers, OKC for the Thunder, and PHX for the Suns.

Another useful cache of sporty crossword abbreviations comes from the Olympics, where every competing country is given a three-letter code. You may see SUI for Switzerland, ESP for Spain, or ALG for ALGERIA. Knowing the difference between Australia's Olympic code (AUS) and Austria's (AUT) might come in handy someday as well.

Solvers are divided on these entries: sports fans love them since they're gimmes, while not-really-sports-fans find them arcane and too numerous to ever really get a good hold on. India is IND but then Indonesia is IDN? Ireland is IRL but then Iceland is ISL? Why not ICL? Tough to keep track of them all!

Are you pro-sports abbrevs. or anti? Sound off by tweeting to #beastxword.

Play today’s puzzle and sign up for our weekly crossword newsletter on the bottom of the puzzle page.


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