You'll find lots of islands in crossword puzzles, and we had a bunch of them this week: Brooklyn's CONEY Island on Monday, Spain's IBIZA on Wednesday, Florida's Key LARGO on Thursday, and an 8-letter Caribbean island on Sunday (which I won't mention here in case you haven't solved it yet).
Why so many islands in puzzle grids? Because there are so many around the globe, often with short, vowel-rich names, and these names tend to come from many different languages, which gives unusual (for English) letter combinations that are highly useful for puzzle writers.
Taking a quick global tour: Hawaii alone gives us very handy MAUI, LANAI, KAUAI and OAHU, and the Pacific also yields GUAM, FIJI, and the island nations of TONGA and SAMOA.
Moving westward to Asia we get BALI and SRI LANKA, then up to the Mediterranean for CRETE, ELBA, MALTA, and KOS.
Finally, we'll cross the Atlantic to find frequent puzzle guests CUBA and ARUBA in the Caribbean. And hey, those two even rhyme!
Got an island you'd like to see in a puzzle? Tweet it to #beastxword and we'll make it happen. But keep 'em short — MARTHA'S VINEYARD won't fit in one of these grids.
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