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How many Excel themed cryptic crossword clues can you solve? [Easter Eggs 2018]

Excel Challenges - 19 comments

It is Easter time. This is the first Easter we are celebrating in our new house. So it is bound to have so many special memories. For last 10 years (wow, it has been a decade of tradition), I have been running Excel based egg hunts every Easter. It all started in 2009, when I was living in Sweden (where Easter is a BIG thing). I had to share the enthusiasm with someone, so I made our first Easter egg hunt on the blog.

Easter Eggs - 2018 - Excel themed crossword clues

This year, let’s take it up a notch. I have started doing cryptic crosswords around new year and now it is part of my daily routine. I do a puzzle from either The Hindu or from one of the crossword books. Sometimes they are easy, sometimes I stare at a clue for several minutes and doze off.

So let me share the joy of solving cryptic clues with you. As I am pretty rubbish at this, so I couldn’t really create a grid, Instead I just wrote some clues in an Excel workbook, linked answers to conditional formatting so when you type the correct answer the cell lights up. Of course the answers are encrypted, so you will have to figure them out the usual way (rather than hacking in to the formulas).

Click here to download Easter Eggs – Crossword clues.

How many could you solve? Post your tries and answer counts in comments. Also explain how you arrived at the answer.

Want more eggs? Check out previous Easter egg hunts

Go thru previous year hunts. Be warned though, they are highly addictive.

2017, 2016201520142013201220112010 & 2009

and of course, Play hidden Angry Formulas game in Excel too


Hello Awesome...

My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Visit Excel for Beginner or Advanced Excel pages to learn more or join my online video class to master Excel.

Thank you and see you around.

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19 Responses to “How many Excel themed cryptic crossword clues can you solve? [Easter Eggs 2018]”

  1. David says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    The conditional formatting doesn't seem to be working for me, there's a few I can get and the rest I got through encryption answers provided, though I couldn't find a decryption code or method so just had to use vlookup to help fill in using the encryption tables after getting the first answer...

  2. Wayne says:

    Cryptics are great ... never seem to be able to find enough of them, and generally keep a copy, as I usually go back to unfinished ones from time to time. Was introduced to them in Games Magazine.
    Now excel-related to your cryptic topic ... here is a link to an old 2010 blog article and Excel template from Dick Kusleika to build a crossword grid:

  3. Chandoo says:

    Hi all, My original file was built to work with Excel 2013 and above only. I have now uploaded another version that can work with older versions too (should work all the way back to 2003, but haven't tested). Try it out.

  4. John Heinzel says:

    Got 1, 2, 3, 9, 14, 16 and 19. Am lost on the rest. Thanks for v1 - the original conditional formatting didn't work and I was sure I had some right!

  5. MF says:

    "Did you click the wrong link"... Yes I did. Nice trick. haha.
    Happy April Fool.

    • GraH says:

      Classical. And he does that every year... Still it works every single time 🙂 Didn't fool me this time.
      The assignment is way too cryptic for me to understand. More then lost in translation.

  6. GraH says:

    Finally got 2,3 and 14 by actually understanding the phrases.
    Found the enigma wise translation table in answers, but it ain't allowing me to collect the sweet chocolate eggs. So frustrating.
    A typical Chandoo game thus.

  7. Chandoo says:


    Seeing that we have so few responses so far, I have uploaded v2 with option to switch to easier clues or normal crossword clues. Give it a go, Spend your Easter day on this low calorie egg hunt instead.

  8. Luke M says:

    My mind can't think through the clues. I am good at reverse engineering formulas though and forcing workbooks to show me their answers. 🙂

    • GraH says:

      Your are a ninja, so that does not count! 😉
      I have no clue whatsoever how to start on the reversed engineering.

  9. prashant says:

    power query
    scatter plot
    remove duplicates
    alt est
    freeze panes

    conditional formatting
    value field

    pivot tables

    still to figure out #12/18

    • NARAYAN says:

      Hi ,

      What word can you associate with butter ?

      Use that word with THESE and re-arrange.

    • Black Moses says:

      Hey prashant, here's a crazy idea: How about you don't post the answers in the comments in case other people are still working through the questions.

      • Mr. Jackson says:

        Hey Black Moses, here's a crazy idea: How about you ease up a little on Prashant, as he/she was simply following the suggestion listed in the body of the original post.... "How many could you solve? Post your tries and answer counts in comments. Also explain how you arrived at the answer."

        I realize that the publisher only requests that we post our "tries" and "answer counts", but also requests that we "also explain how you arrived at the answer", which basically is the same as typing the answer.

        If you get this upset over an online excel-based holiday game, then maybe this type of thing isn't for you.

        That being said....... Have a great day!

    • J. Rapgas says:

      New user here who happened to stumble on this very fun puzzle by coincidence. From the normal clues I was thinking for number 18 worksheets, which is a character too short, but with the cryptic clues I found what it had to be instead of that.

  10. vaish says:

    12 - Slicer

    This is so much fun!Truly felt like an easter egg hunt!
    Thanks for the puzzle chandoo!And also, I love the colors of the eggs in the picture you have posted.

  11. Vivek V Phadke says:

    got all greens except No.3, still working on

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