The Middle Ages saw its share of were full of violent revolts, gruesome punishments, revolutions, feasts, knights, and princesses. Image Credit: Unsplash/Dorothea Oldani

The Middle Ages spanned hundreds of years – from the 5th century to 1485 – and were full of violent revolts, gruesome punishments, revolutions, feasts, knights, and princesses.

Click start to play today’s Crossword, where the medieval period is a part of the clue for 7-Across.

Life in this era was not easy. There were arbitrary laws, strange fashion customs and even bizarre culinary traditions. Here is a snapshot of what life looked like in the Middle Ages:

1. One name only

Before the introduction of surnames in England in 1066, everyone just had one name. When surnames were introduced, they often included nicknames, like Richard Red (if a man named Richard had red hair). Over time, the system evolved to a point where people would take the same name as their father.

2. Long-toed shoes were in fashion

From the 1330s, long-toed shoes were considered the height of fashion. The toes of the shoes became so long by the late 14th century that they had to be reinforced with wool, moss or whalebone. Nobles even tied the toes of their shoes to their leggings so they could walk around.

3. Animals couldn’t escape the law

History books have records of animals in the Middle Ages being taken to court for killing people. Many were ‘booked’ for petty crime, too. For instance, mice were publicly tried for stealing harvest, and swarms of locusts were convicted for eating crops.

4. Football was banned

No Champions Leagues or World Cups in the Middle Ages! King Edward II banned football during his reign and his successor, King Edward III set up the archery law of 1363, which ordered all male subjects to practice archery for two hours every Sunday.

5. Drainpipe sculptures

If you’ve visited Europe, you’ve probably noticed gargoyles perched on the edges of most buildings. They weren’t there to ward off evil spirits, but to drain pipes! Since they projected out of buildings, rain would flow out of their mouths and away from the building, rather than down the walls.

What do you think of the medieval era? Play today’s Crossword and tell us at