Just for fun, and to test your knowledge of Ethiopian food, I’ve created a crossword puzzle and a word search puzzle with the names of various dishes, food terms and elements of the dinner table. Most of the clues use the Amharic words, but I’ve thrown in a few words in Tigrinya and Afaan Oromo, too.
It’s a little tricky getting this all online, given the nature of puzzle makers and the confines of this blog site. So just below, you’ll find images on which you can click: each puzzle, followed by its clues, and then the solutions for both of them at the bottom of the page. I’ve made the solutions very small so you can’t cheat and read them here!
To work the puzzles, click on each of the images below. They’ll open in a new window, and then you can print them. Needless to say, you should only print the solution to the crossword puzzle after you’ve worked it. You’ll find all of the words in the puzzles in my book, Mesob Across America: Ethiopian Food in the U.S.A. You can also search the internet for the words you’ll need to fill in the puzzles.
Anyone with a general knowledge of Ethiopian menus should be able to solve most of each puzzle with no trouble. But you may need to be Ethiopian to get every clue without some help. And if you do need to cheat and look at the solutions, well then, that’s a good way to learn new things about Ethiopian food.
One more thought: There’s no standardized way of transliterating Amharic fidels (letters) into English, and you’ll sometimes find the names of foods and dishes spelled differently from restaurant to restaurant. For example, the Amharic word here, just two Amharic letters, is shurro – or shuro or shirro or shiro. For these puzzles, in a few cases where there can be a variation, I simply had to choose a spelling. And so, too, will you.
By the way, before you try my puzzles, check out this Ethiopian-themed crossword puzzle from a 1954 newspaper, the Times-News of Hendersonville, N.C. It’s a PDF: The puzzle is page one, and the solution is page two (don’t cheat!).
Crossword Puzzle (Click Below To Enlarge and Print)
Crossword Clues (Click Below To Enlarge and Print)
Word Search Puzzle (Click Below To Enlarge and Print)
The words in this puzzle may appear across, up and down, or diagonally, and some of the letters may overlap from word to word. Almost every letter in the puzzle is involved in one of the clue words.
Word Search Clues (Click Below To Enlarge and Print)
Crossword Solution (Click Below To Enlarge and Print)