Perhaps it’s no coincidence that etymology and entomology look alike. Cockroach comes from the Spanish cucaracha and describes the unpopular nocturnal insect and a worthless or despicable person, although perhaps it should mean a born survivor, who lives through any circumstance.

Beetle comes from old English bitula ‘to bite’ and to beetle off is to scuttle hurriedly like a beetle. Being beetle-browed means having tufted eyebrows like the antennae of beetles. A beetle-crusher is a big boot.

The ladybird is known in the USA as a ladybug which doesn’t sound as nice but is more accurate! In the northern hemisphere it is first seen around 25th March which has been the date of the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady, so the insect was named after Our Lady. The ladybird is better looking than most beetles but is also a very good predator of harmful pests, which is why it’s considered very bad luck to harm one that lands on you.

An insect is technically a small arthropod animal with six legs and usually has wings so a spider is not really an insect, having eight legs, but it comes under the creepy-crawly definition so we’ll include it here. Spider comes from the Old English spinnan ‘to spin’. Being spidery is having long thin angular lines like a spider’s legs, often describing a handwriting style.

Whether you’re a busy bee, a social butterfly, or an industrious ant, I hope you enjoy buzzing around our crosswords.

Happy Puzzling!