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Stepquotes — Puzzles with a philosophical point of view

Eugene T. Maleska
Eugene T. Maleska

The stepquote is a puzzle form invented by Eugene T. Maleska. A long quote meanders down the grid from top left to bottom right. All puzzles here are by Maleska except as noted.

The revealed quotes may seem overly sincere or even hokey now, but in their day they were very popular. They expressed an unabashed philosophy that appealed to many. My grandfather loved to quote them.

There are 22 examples here, but that barely scratches the surface. Will Shortz tells me he has at least 15 volumes of Maleska's Stepquote puzzles published by Simon & Schuster.

Click any grid for a detailed view.


Sun 7/5/1964'STEPQUOTE' SPECIALTY
CONTEPLUMPALMSSTAB
ANIONRESEENEROERGO
REVETINNOCENTSABROAD
PIEDMONTWAREPERUSE
ELLENTISNATCHGIS
LLDISLAMSTOOPESSO
ARUNWAREAGLEDEAN
ASTARSTARERNYSAARC
DEIGNPARKASATTITUDE
AMORROAMEDCALLA
MINARETSTYFOBESTMAN
CESTAMORALSTETE
REPEATERGAMETEPESOS
OROLODIIDEALSORANT
MITTROOMRENTBLEB
PEPOEASEDTEASEDIM
OUTKEELSRSANDRUB
EDUCEDKEMITHESLATE
PERARDUAADASTRALENTE
EARNALBSCLEAREAGER
ERISYMCAKENYAEPERS
Contentment is a warm sty for eaters and sleepers.
Sun 5/2/1965"STEPQUOTE" SPECIALTY
EVENAFOALASKACARATS
ORATORIOMANTISINASHOE
HAREBELLBREATHINGSPELL
ISMSNEWCOMERSCELAODA
OUIPATHOEDTNAMEBLET
ARNESSENHLECAMAPADRE
NETTYGENERATEWELTER
ACKHOHOSMUSEALERS
GRAPHITEOLDPROVERBS
LURESAXELETTEREDOTOE
ANTSSWAMITIOANYYARD
NYUGUMCHEWERMAI
DORAFORPOHNOISYPENT
SNOBANABASISSARAONGO
TRIREMESSPENONVOTER
SHOALEDASSCAWSKEN
TUSHESPRETEACHRAMPS
ARCASCAESAREISASHARP
TRAMCHIRBITSCALEROE
IANINANLINESTORMKITE
SHIPSOFTHELINEUNOPENED
TENENTEONETONNINEPEGS
DINTEDDESERTTEDWISE
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted as wise.
Sun 7/4/1965"STEPQUOTE" SPECIALTY
IMNOIVESHUSHLLEW
CLOUTTASTEOSLOAIDA
AORTAAUTONOMOUSOMER
MISSPELLPOREDESCEND
ULEOLITISERAGLIOS
SOTOMASCCURENOTES
ARDENISTANDSENORA
COPTERFACERODENIL
LAPOFMANONSREDOLENT
ORELFINALESUSI
PYRAMUSNDMYOEMENDED
NOELESTERSKILO
WRESTLEDONAHOTSAGAN
AIXEDOSTYESPAGANS
SPACERNASSERSATED
HECHTEUWEHATSSILO
TOADSTOOLABITSGEL
DENOTESRUESBREAKAGE
ARESLENDSANEARRODEO
ROSEONITFORCEETONS
TOSSSEGOBOYDGOOD
I'm not a politician, and my other habits are good.
Sun 12/5/1965"STEPQUOTE" SPECIALTY
GREATTHNODICEMADRID
RISTORIEVENASANDONE
EMOTIONMINUITRESIST
EMPTYGSSORROWERSTE
NOUSSARTENNISSTAN
ENSUEDGENESILSCENT
PRECEDEALACARTE
ADRIANAONEANIMAL
TRENTINEAWLSABRADES
MOTEMDIIHIRAMCREDO
OMOASINGLEPEBBLEVIR
SIRESDELONDELATILE
TOTEMICONMELATTICES
LAVABOENAKEENEST
SCLEROMAINCENSE
CLARAESTEDDOSTAROF
ROTSGREASYMOUNERO
ITETRAMPLESKNEEFAR
PURIRIEPICALTARRING
TRAGUSNEMUROARRANGE
SENNETTREPIDINSMEET
Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
Sun 9/25/1966"STEPQUOTE," PUNNY STYLE
ISITHAPLEADERSCENIC
DENIERLUMIERECASITA
ERASEDAMERCESHESPER
SERLESTRCATAINPRO
ONUSRTOTOMBERSDIAL
FETEDISOTOPEIMPIETY
PURRORLEANSLOREN
DESIDERATADRIESUP
ORIAFUSOIDDESKTED
BRRDEPARTERERENOW
BARTERSTOTUTRETRACE
SNARERRELOCATETIL
THEAASARERIDESELL
MALLARDSTAIRCASES
COPONBIGELOWASIT
ANALYSEONEFOOTRUMOR
STLOLETSUPTOOTPEPE
HAMZASUDABDREWRET
ERIVANTRENAILRAVINE
WIRINGOERTAKESCANTS
SOAMESRESOLESTOTOOT
Is it harder to toot or to tutor two tooters to toot?
Sun 7/2/1967"STEPQUOTE"
BETTEMIDRASHMIAOWED
USHERARIETTAELUSIVE
STINTLASSOESTELAVIV
TENTHSTSINATRAREDO
ERGREEHDEMEANEDSET
ROSSADORERSMONOTONE
ESTURNSTOMSWIFT
LARKERSTFINENEW
LECTERNSSTARANDRIOM
HATWIDTHORAAMENDE
ANTMENOOSOONTREDDEN
SEWARDPATAHMEDSTD
ARONSLEIGHSAPRICOTS
SONERNEPUNSCORE
SCRAPINGSINAKID
THESPICESANDMANAIDA
AINSEESTARSINUTSIE
KNEESTOMATAGREETED
INTREATLICENSETARSI
NEWGATEETERNALORIEL
GROOMERTENSORSOLATE
Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.
Sun 9/3/1967"SLIDE-QUOTE"
LESSEESRACERMARIST
HETAERIAOCALAELINOR
ALACRITYBELLIDOGGIE
SEERNEEDEDELGINELK
ARLENSAARBRAZEN
DOTRUTHENIAOLEAN
SKIDOOBOOTERYORLE
THEBEALLRUEDELAPAIX
HOPISDEARSIRROSELET
ERISCARIBEBAD
YESLASRIOTSCANCAB
GARPREFERMLLE
PARASOLTHEMAIDTRAIT
ATOMSMASHERNEHEMIAH
STABPHARAOHDENIMS
TUDORPINASTERTEC
SLIDERTRETOASTS
EFTMADREDODGESWHIP
TREMORIDIOMINCUBATE
CERISENELMASTAVEDIN
HESTERGREENSPAREST
Learn to labor and to wait.
Maleska called this one a "slide-quote." It's not a true stepquote, just a straight diagonal, but it still comes with Maleska wisdom inside.
Sun 6/30/1968"STEPQUOTE"
THEACHCAPSJOBBED
HAABAIJONSONOPIATES
ENRAGEAGNAMEHARBACH
COLEVENELEVENLAMAR
AVISEMENTRASKSSIDI
PEELSPITIESSETHNEF
ERROLIRONREDNEAREST
WEAROFFTONNAGE
STEELEJUSOBEDIENCE
SHERPASTONEDFORM
NIPYEAHEINEYADNAM
AREAFIERCERAMONA
PRECEPTOREISSCRAPE
TOREROSDASTARD
ELEANORSEWANEEORATE
SONSAGAARSENEWAVER
COVESUISSENDLESINA
OPERAALMOSTASSTGAS
RELAXERENTAILSOLACE
TROTTEDEELERSPRATER
SPOONSDELEROCESS
The achievement of justice is an endless process.
Sun 1/19/1969"STEPQUOTE"
NOTHINBUSHERBARDS
TARRINGSALTINEPARTIES
ORIENTSCLAUDIAATACAMA
PROCHORALBEGGAREDGAR
HALTENOLASMALLALONG
ATEUPEEDSREANTAANTE
TESTEDSETOFFSAYTWAIN
ONESDETOURREARLCT
TURNUPSDARTEDDIET
MARSTACTSMITESMARAUD
AGAHAHAILONAEDIRNE
NONEUNREGENERATEDMIDI
ORISONPRONGTREESIS
FEASTSSONTAGYELLSENT
ATESDIESESNEOCENE
ICEEWESCRONESDOUR
TAMARGPSSTRAITTROPES
ALEMMEADHERPEOBURNT
LENISEAGERCHIPSSEGO
INDTINKERERHOLLOSCIA
ADAMANTNINETENELEMENT
NATIVESEVADERSSTRIPES
RENEESENSESHABITS
Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits.
Sun 5/25/1969"STEPQUOTE"
THEMANSADSACKALSACE
THEVIEWAREOLAEDENIALS
REMATCHLAPLATAJOURNAL
ICANIOWETOLAGONGDIA
PATRACISTUNTRUEPINT
OVINEANMAKEDIORTIDES
DECAMPSARAHSCONSOLES
VEEPNOTATEMETRO
SOLITARYCAREENDISTAL
APIERIOTSDELOSNOESIS
LETSLOGESTREWINGDAMP
TNTRUNSTHERISKWEA
USEDFIRSTAIDSTOAMEAD
SERENETEAINREELSOLDE
ASSESSSINGLERECALLED
PETESRESOLESUSA
TRIDENTSDEBATESCRIMP
CHESSTIERASYISTOSCAR
REVEBILLETSOTHATORA
ILEMIMEARABLEESSMIT
MALTESESMETANAEPICENE
EMERSONLEVERETDILATED
BRYANTORIENTEUCATOR
The man who can make hard things easy is the educator.
Sun 6/21/1970STEPQUOTE
LIFEISCRADLEARENOT
CAMPIONLENIENTNERINES
LEPANTOOSCEOLADARLENE
OTOEATSUPDRABBEDSER
VASESAUTESARLESHEIDI
IRENESPECTAGETSWINDOF
SESAMEARTICLESAIRLESS
MILASELLERTYPEE
SCOTERSDEEDROSEAIDS
BEARVITATOGOUTDEGREE
APRREDUCEREMITSUAVE
STOPINMARGARINESTENOG
SILASBRIEFTERRAEITE
OMELETLISTEDDEEMPAER
SERIUSEDSAIDDESTINE
STRADSISLERFOOL
SAVARINCONTUSEDNOISED
CREDENTIALITISAPKNAVE
AGREEABBOTENTIREGLIB
LADDYNAMICEASELSADA
ALAMEDANOTHINGDELUDES
RINGMENENHANCEINALINE
STRESASENSESCAMENT
Life is not a spectacle or a feast. It is a predicament.
Sun 2/21/1971STEPQUOTE
IMAGICHRONISTACRES
ARISENRAISETHEMAUVE
MARINAEINSTEINARSON
ANASTRANDSMEETHTKO
NICKIOTASELMOBRER
DALIOMENDODDERSEED
ANEMONESFENSNEERS
OLIODECEMTARRIES
SANDSSEDATESTEESUP
GOBOMATHMOTELTRA
RIBSOREIMPORTANBAER
ORRMRSAMIMETINKS
WEEDERSCIENCETESTA
SEVERERESNESSHAH
INSTEPITETEAROOMS
MASTICATESTENNPRAU
PATEROSOPINSKSANA
ALIBEATUPALDENSTAV
PAOLOSOCIABLEOOLITE
AGNEWTRAMPLERWIENER
LASTSSENATORSLEDGE
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Sun 4/23/1972STEPQUOTE
THEREISACROBATSPRAGS
HEROISMCHORINEELEGANT
ATEINTOTITANIAPATERAE
TAPEIRELANESCANEMPS
WESTCELLITENURESEPT
ARIOTPLEASUSOBATUNIE
SANGERASSERTRETREATER
APERSTEERSBEERSRS
PASTORATESIOOODEEM
LITERATORENUREDSCARFS
ARODTHSFALTEREDTEEUP
TWOZEESATOLLNESSCLE
EAGLERELIEVESACETILE
DYEINGDORRITTRANSITED
PINTWEINPHYLACTERY
RAMTOHOREGALESTAB
ABASHMENTSTREAKEDITED
MAREOLDERHANINBSTERE
ALGALAICALTRIESSLIP
DORBOTTTEASETINEAGO
ANAGOGESTATIONNATIVOS
NEVERISREVENUEGRADINE
SETSATARENOSEBELOVED
There is more pleasure in loving than in being beloved.
Sun 7/7/1974STEPQUOTE
ALLTHATWSABADOPETE
SELASSIEPLOWERSODOR
STARTERSULALUMEAGON
ESNESIERRASCAANAKA
ROENEATHPERMATRON
TURNAGOGEMESAIRANI
STOOPSREDWAREELUL
SAKISIDITOLELA
MEALBETIDESOLIAMA
MOLLENEWNESSMASONIC
ARMETMISBUTAROPER
AGISTERTIERODSALONE
RURELOIDREARYFIES
EATSONNETEMMET
RENEFORHESASLEEPS
SPOREHOGSSIMPSSTAT
HAYMAKERSSTOWEINA
ILSPALMTAENIASHEAT
RATATEABALLTHECENCI
ACEDANNABELHEROINES
ZEROSTRUMAINADREAM
All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
Sun 9/2/1979STEPQUOTE
FORLABTSELIOTHEART
OTELLOAERATIONAGNEW
ROBBERMCKINLEYLODGE
AMAGASPEOODLESREE
GATESHORTDFOODVENT
ECOLEANNEALGNUGOATS
DOSSIERSRYUNSCAT
TRAPTRIPUPTRIPOD
HALOESPOISONEDANILE
OVENTHEWEBSTRAGGLER
METBOERRETEASESIT
INTERNISTTHERMSRENO
NUEVAROOSTERSIRONED
GERENTNITERYISIS
RCAFLORESCIMITAR
TRASHCANATSUKOSNARE
HEROITOSHANASHAKAL
ESASTILTSITIONELA
CABOTMARINADEREPAST
ALIVEANIMATORTRALEE
MECOMSAPLESSDOLLAR
For labor, a short day is better than a short dollar.
Sun 6/7/1981STEPQUOTE
THEFASWIPERADIANS
SHORESTHAWEDELASTIC
PARISHHONOREMUCHADO
ALASINEWINCOMEMOT
RITEONWEARURIMART
TAINTWARESSTANTONS
ANODALREROUTEUAR
EVILDOUSEFMRADIO
MADRIGALTELLASTOSS
ACESANERMELONSHOST
DABTOMATOSAUCEDUR
ADAMELUDERSTIRCLEA
MIREDIRATESEVEREST
EASTERNMEADEDELE
REARESPONDDEARER
CHORTLESPEDESAMINO
DYESTEAARELTHSOLO
ORAHATREDATEAMRIM
RADIANTGENEVANATIVE
INORDERALAMOSTRITER
CONRADEDATERHEMAN
The fashion wears out more apparel than the man.
Sun 1/3/1982STEPQUOTE FOR '82
LORDMAPOSEDBALLAD
ANORAKREVERIEILOILO
SECUREEDITINGRECTOR
ARKEMOTEKARATETVA
LOEBEWISERRESHFLED
LUTESLATTERTODDLERS
ESSENCEAEVUMPARE
PORTALELULYOUCAN
INTERESTBREMENPRONE
SOIREETOMYMOOSSGT
LOTSPRETTYPENNYSEEM
EDTYESOEEROSTELLA
ELEMISTOMATRATAPLAN
PERUSESLURLATENT
SAYAERATOAMIADOG
STPETERSENURESSTEVE
AHASSAARDBETTEEBER
IERLOLLEDTHEREARM
GUITAREMANATEEDESSA
ASSUMEPINETARVEREEN
SAHIBSTAPESERYDAY
Lord, make me wiser every year and better every day.
Fri 12/31/1982
PHASEBAHARAM
FIVERADAPISA
CHEERSTOPRISON
SOCKETSSPECIFY
ADOPTISA
SPINGARNELSON
CLODORADEAAMI
RAWPOKIESTINN
INAIDYLLSSNIT
MENSCHERAUTAH
EKEDINAR
THEROADODDNESS
SONINLAWWEALTH
ANNATVAEMBER
REALHEXREAPS
Cheers to good health, happiness and wealth.
This "split stepquote" is not by Maleska but by a constructor named Cometa.
Sun 8/19/1990HOW TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS
HAVEEPREVINBAKER
DOMINIREVISEELIDED
RAMPANTIDEALSREDUCE
AGEBAHAMALATHESCIS
CAROLERACLNLATLATE
EMILESATTENDEEMITER
DACETAMEAUERCOVERT
ATIPBRERDUDE
INTEROFFICEHIREDMAN
ARIELCAINOLASERECU
DANSEOGDENNASHAPART
ATOCAPIOSANTOTONES
MENHADENSCREENTESTS
ASISMAIDOAST
MELOTTCOREHARPAGAR
OVALSTURANDOTSOLANA
TIMEPARACEORNDEBIT
IDIDEMILOOFYORERTE
VENIRETIRADENETTIER
ENAMELESCHARESTEEM
TRADESTAIRSATALL
Have either a clear conscience or none at all.
This is the last stepquote Maleska wrote. The title is "How to Achieve Happiness."
Sun 9/22/1991OOH, THAT BANANA PEEL!
THESRAFFDAMARL
HOSTAALUMFIRNCAMEO
RAMSEYNINOARIDPROVOS
SLEEPERADOCMLLACRIMA
VERDIESSENTIALLYHELEN
PRSSUSUDREAMERNEEDD
SHORTIDLECITS
AJARRAFFESSNATCHERGO
WERESKIRLERTRECOOP
NEIGHNOISEDDRESSCOAT
PARADIGMSARONEATEST
ERINTHESUBLRIEN
FOSTERSAMORIGOLETTO
CROSSTOWNUNTAMEPRIVY
HAZEAIMSEVENTYIDEE
EYEDFEMMESRETIESCENT
PULPLEAROTHER
EGGIRAEORRISAERIGIG
ARYANPREDICTABLEDIANA
TARRIESBRAOLESTINTED
SHADOWMEATROLEACIERS
ATONEARMEYOLKCUGAT
MERSETANEELOUS
The step is short from the sublime to the ridiculous.
This puzzle by Lawrence M. Rheingold is the last stepquote Maleska published. The title is "Ooh, That Banana Peel!"
Sun 7/10/1994STEPQUOTE
SORTVASSALAGESAPS
CROOKIMPERATORATSEA
OCTALDIAMETERSROOTS
WHATISTRINEATONES
LITBEVYSAINTEXUPERY
DEBASESNEERERS
INSISTEROSBIG
EBANENTIALDRSOCALA
LABSUNNISOILBANKS
SHULTZDEISMROUEN
ANTARESSTIESNISSANS
MIKESANTONSETSUP
MULETEAMSVENUSILE
ASIDECIAISIBLETALC
DEBTALLASITIS
SPIREMESGODEAD
LITTLEPRINCECOOLPAT
ENUREDCALLANESEYE
ATRIAENLARGERSRUMOR
PRINTONESEATERSCANS
SONGSEWERRATSKNEE
What is essential is invisible to one's eye.
After Maleska's death in 1993, Will Shortz published this tribute puzzle written by Alvin Chase.
Thu 4/27/1995
ITISNARCTOWN
GRANTORELILIA
AARGHTACOBELLS
SNAREDBASEBALL
AMISPENA
TATTOOERSECRET
ACHESDOGEKENO
BARTBEAUTIADO
OREOURSAFEDON
REWARMTROUPERS
RAPSDELI
REDSMITHDOGDOM
EGOMANIACFRITO
AGRATELEGAMIN
RYANOSLOAMES
It is the most beautiful of games.
This puzzle by Lois Sidway is the last stepquote puzzle published in the NYT. The subject of the quote is explained at 21 Across: BASEBALL. The speaker was the sportswriter Red Smith.