Setka – Fear Itself

How to play Setka, the short version:

  • Answer each clue using only Puzzle Letters and vowels.

  • Clue answers, minus vowels and duplicate letters, go in the corresponding boxes in the grid. Only Puzzle Letters in the grid!

  • Puzzle Letters can be entered forward/backward/up/down/L-shape, but not jumbled. They also cannot repeat in a row or column.

For the optimal playing experience, play on your device in landscape mode (hold your device horizontally).

Click here to see the full instructions.

FEAR ITSELF, 5×5 grid
Puzzle Letters: F, R, T, S, L

1.    1.    1.    1.    1.   

2.    3.    4.    5.    6.   

2.    3.    7.    5.    6.   

2.    3.    7.    5.    6.   

8.    3.    9.    9.    9.   

Need help? Check out the Setka+ board. The plus sign denotes where each clue answer starts.


1+            1.             1.            1.           1.            
2.              3.             4.            5.          6.           
2.              3.             7+           5.          6.            
2+            3.             7.             5+        6+         
8.              3+           9+           9.         9.         


1. If a disease could pass through air ________, that would be truly terrifying. Perhaps little comfort, but COVID-19 absolutely cannot do that.

2. Internet figure who makes deliberately incendiary comments, thus unnecessarily and unfortunately adding an element of worry to human exchange.

3. They are a form of tax on imports, sometimes enacted through economic fears.

4. Measure of contagiousness.

5. It’s hard to keep the proverbial ________ upper lip and not let oneself be consumed by fear.

6. ________ation Therapy, aka Sensory Deprivation, is said to reduce anxiety.

7. Name of pizza shop in 1980s film where increasing racial tension and fear culminated.

Also, in a nice Setka coincidence, the initials of that film’s director.

8. Worried? Nu? ________! ________! (translation from Yiddish: Eat! Eat!)

9. According to many Ted Talks (by people with lots of economic security?), ________ is good for us and fearing it is worse than experiencing it. Case in point: your puzzle constructor was inspired to submit a satiric piece to McSweeney’s this week called “________s where I’m still waiting for the growth mindset benefit to kick in”, and it was rejected. (But write us if you want to see it!).

Prefer to play Setka with pencil and paper? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Download and print the pdfs below.

Download and play Setka, Fear Itself

Download and play Setka+, Fear Itself