These Puzzles Fund Abortion Too — "Too Soon" by Brooke Husic says the following about what to expect in week five and six of pregnancy: “You might have PMS-like symptoms such as fatigue, sore breasts, and morning sickness.” If I went five weeks without a period and experienced PMS symptoms, I would think it was … PMS.

Pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks: six weeks is 15% of the way along. To understand how realistic it would be to attribute symptoms of possible pregnancy to actual pregnancy, you may solve the following crossword, in which only the first 15% of each clue is provided.

The outcome of Roe v. Wade divided guidance on abortions into three categories for each of the three trimesters. In the first trimester, abortion may not be prohibited; in the second trimester, some so-called reasonable regulations may be taken; in the third trimester, abortions may be banned. The third trimester starts at week 27, which is 67.5% of the way to 40 weeks. Here is the same crossword puzzle with 67.5% of each clue provided.

Abortion bans are troubling for a variety of reasons, and one that has consistently resonated with me is that I can’t imagine interpreting early pregnancy symptoms as pregnancy. With the two versions of this puzzle, I wanted to demonstrate how much clearer symptoms would be beyond the six-week time period, while still highlighting that even in the third trimester, a pregnant person still may not have all the information they need to make reproductive decisions.

I clued this puzzle largely agnostic to the clue-shortening process I would incorporate later. The six-week clues look like gibberish to me: it’s funny that 7D [“___ la vie!”] becomes [“_] and 16D [Charger or Viper] turns into [Ch] (totally inscrutable) and that 5D [Words after “going” or “hard”] is just [Word] and 28D [Letters before an alias] stops after [Let] (brutal misdirects). Some clues, such as 22A [Inspirational woman?] require the full clue, and neither [Ins] nor [Inspirational] sufficiently communicates what’s going on. Ultimately, although some clues seem accessible in the third trimester version, some remain inscrutable. The clues mentioned above become:

  • 7D [“___ la v] (4 letters)
  • 16D [Charger or] (3 letters)
  • 5D [Words after “going”] (4 letters)
  • 28D [Letters before a] (3 letters)
  • 22A [Inspirational] (4 letters)

Looking at the clues in the third trimester version, in some cases, what’s lost are merely the crossword formalities: the for examples, the (Abbr.)s, the question marks, and the intentions of the clues are discernible. In other cases, the answers to the clues remain inaccessible. My ideal world is one in which everyone can obtain a legal and safe abortion long past the limits implied by Roe and imposed by the abortion bans proliferating across the country.

These Puzzles Fund Abortion Too
(TPFA2) is pack of fifteen crossword puzzles with reproductive and social justice content created to raise money for abortion funds.


  1. Point well made. I dare not even try solving this, lest it prove that I believe abortion bans are workable. Pity, because the concept was quite appealing.


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