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How to Solve the Lead-in to Gender Puzzle in the NYT Crossword


The New York Times crossword is an immensely popular and challenging word puzzle, featuring a variety of clues and themes designed to test your vocabulary, general knowledge, and logic skills. One common type of clue in particular is “Lead-in to Gender”, usually consisting of an answer “TRANS”, which could then be followed up with either male or female names forming “TRANSMAN” and “TRANSWOMAN”.

lead in to gender nyt crossword
lead in to gender nyt crossword

How to Recognize a Lead-in to Gender Clue

An introduction to gender clue is typically indicated by either using the words “gender” or its synonyms such as “sex” or “identity”, although sometimes such clues may use words which allude to gender like partner, spouse or parent – or by adding in words which suggest such as life which could then be followed up with BOY or GIRL for “LIFEBOY” or LIFEGIRL”.

How to Solve a Lead-in to Gender Clue

To solve a lead-in to gender clue, you’ll need to think of a word or phrase that can be followed by either males or females to form another one; it should also fit the number of letters and pattern of your crossword grid. Sometimes clues will also provide further clues regarding meaning, origin or usage; for instance “Lead-In to Sex (French)” could have as its answer “PETIT”, which when combined with either “AMI” or “AMIE”, means either “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”.

Tips and Tricks for Solving Lead-in to Gender Clues

  • Use a crossword solver or dictionary to identify words or phrases that fit the clue and the grid, including prefixes/suffixes that indicate gender such as “CO-“, “EX-“, NON-“, IN LAW” or TO BE”.
  • Consider the theme and tone of the crossword puzzle you choose. Some puzzles feature humorous, clever or punny clues which challenge you to think outside of the box when solving them.
  • Checking crossed words and letters will allow you to confirm or disprove your guesses, while sometimes providing clues regarding their gender. For instance, “Lead-In to Gender” might reveal that “FE” should follow instead of MA.

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