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A defense-industry crossword puzzle

February 16, 2011 - 7:58 am

A former co-worker from New Mexico asked me to fill-in for him for a couple days at, the non-profit news site he set up to cover the defense industry, while he’s on vacation in North Africa, far, far away from the internet.

As CityBeat readers are no doubt aware, I love making crosswords and so, I thought, why not throw together a military-industrial-complex puzzle that covers defense in pop culture, the arms trade, military procurement and Congressional hawks? The great thing is, as the guest contributor, I can license this thing under Creative Commons and share it here in San Diego, where defense contracting is everyday stuff. You’ll notice a few locals in the clues.

Here you go:



You can also try to print out this entire page. Clues below.

I’ll update with the answers online in a couple of days (it would be a giveaway to link ‘em up front). In the meantime, if you wanted to show me how smart you are, you can email your completed crossword to davemaass [at] gmail [dot] com. I’ll give the first entrant to finish it correctly some kind of official award for excellence in defense-industry intelligence.


3. Wired’s national security blog, featuring Spencer Ackerman.
4. Bethesda, Maryland-based contractor that receives one of ever $14 spent by the Pentagon.
6. Relevant economic concept: “Guns versus ______.”
9. In Iraq, Bradley and Abrams.
10. Iconic helicopter built by Sikorsky Aircraft, a United Technologies’ subsidiary.
13. Of the five flavors of the 1980s fruit snack, Thunder Jets, this Northrup Grumman jet was said to be “so secret that they are only in a few pouches.”
15. 1980s comedy about university researchers developing space-to-ground laser systems for the military.
16. Washington State politician whose campaign was the top recipient of defense-aerospace industry donations in the 2009-2010 cycle.
18. Shay Assad, the Pentagon’s Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy, once was a top executive at this company.
19. _______ Defense Weekly began as All the World’s Fighting Ships in 1898.
20. President who made the term “military-industrial complex” famous in his farewell address.
21. L-3 acquired this corporation in 2005, despite its involvement in detainee abuse in Iraq and bribery in Benin.
22. The Obama Administration requested $3 billion in foreign-military financing for this nation in FY 2011.
25. The Navy’s “______ Combat Ship” program “has been plagued with billions and billions of cost overruns and wastes of taxpayers’ dollars,” according to Sen. John McCain.
28. Bush cabinet official who joined BAE Systems’ board of directors in 2010.
29. The founder of the firm formerly known as Blackwater.
32. In 2007, Halliburton opened its “second headquarters” in this city.
34. According to a 1992 Congressional report, this missile system “was not the spectacular success in the Persian Gulf War that the American public was led to believe.”
35. The United States has not yet signed on to the _____ Treaty, which prohibits the use, stockpiling and production of land mines.
36. Nickname of former Congressman Randall Cunningham, who’s serving time in a federal prison in Tucson for taking bribes from defense contractors.

1. The fictional military contractor that employs a town of geniuses in the SyFy television series Eureka.
2. War is a _____, a book by U.S. Marine Major General Smedley D. Butler.
5. “The Merchant of Death.”
7. Before he became the Obama Administration’s deputy secretary of defense, William Lynn was a lobbyist for this company. (Same as 18 Across.)
8. Chalmers Johnson work about the unintended consequences of American imperialism.
11. Common name for the AK-47. Now it’s a brand of vodka, umbrella and knife.
12. 2010 US-Russia arms treaty, formally known as “Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.”
14. Predator, Reaper and Global Hawk are all ______.
17. How the Strategic Defense Initiative is better known.
23. In 2009, KBR pleaded guilty to charges that it bribed officials in this African nation.
24. “Stark Industries” is a fictional weapons developer in this comic book series.
26. Fall Out Boy hit, “ This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an ____ _____.”
27. “I personally think he’s trying to destroy the Marine Corps,” Rep. Duncan Hunter said of Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ decision to cut funding of his tank-boat thing (abbv’d). Its manufacturer, General Dynamics, is Hunter’s top campaign donor.
30. City that hosts the Defence & Security Equipment International, the arms industry’s Comic-Con.
31. Brent Wilkes, a defense contractor convicted in conjunction with 36-Across, is currently free on appeal. Last summmer, he won $10,000 playing this game.
33. Nickname employed by Rep. Howard McKeon, current chairman of House Armed Services Committee.

Crossword Puzzle  licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Satellite image obtained through

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2011 - 1:04 pm 1:04 pm

    The City will be installing 14 wooden benches along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. The installations began last weekend and are scheduled to be completed in phase

  2. July 8, 2013 - 3:28 pm 3:28 pm

    Have you completely abandoned this website? I hope not – I enjoyed the articles, in particular as I’m heading down to SD this Fall.

  3. September 15, 2014 - 9:10 pm 9:10 pm

    what a great puzzle games, i think most webdev should be make this game like this

  4. April 8, 2016 - 6:47 am 6:47 am

    This is standard CW, which is always, of course, wrong. Liberals aren’t “White or black” and if you think they are and that they’re extremists, you’ve Click

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