Crossword puzzles are all the rage these days. So much so that many of the country’s leading newspapers, such as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, have their own dedicated crossword sections. In fact, the New York Times claims that it averages around 100,000 visitors daily to its crossword page alone.
If you’re unaware, crosswords are simply a type of word puzzle – one with which we’re all probably pretty familiar. However, did you know that there are actually many different kinds of crossword puzzles? While some contain very similar clues (e.g. no unusual vocabulary or grammar rules), other can be quite challenging (i.e., they have very specific rules and patterns).
Regardless of what kind of crossword you like solving, there’s a good chance that once you give them a go you won’t put them down again any time soon.
How to Write a Good Crossword Puzzle
While you may think that writing a crossword puzzle is a fairly straightforward process, the truth is that to write a good one you need to know certain things.
For example, if you want your puzzles to be challenging and fun to solve, it’s important that they have an easy-to-read length. Anything over 50 clues means they will be too complicated for most people and won’t offer much of an enjoyable experience.
Another important thing to think about when creating your crosswords are the words themselves. They should be relatively easy for readers to decipher and when it comes down to it, there shouldn’t be too many distracting words added in. Furthermore, the clues should maintain their difficulty throughout – not changing from hard to easy or vice versa.
To make sure that your crosswords seem as though they are worth solving, try implementing some sort of themed or recurring clue theme in each puzzle. This keeps people coming back while offering them something new on subsequent puzzles.
Lastly, we recommend making sure that you follow these guidelines so that your crossword is able to stand out among the rest:
1) The title of your crossword must also be its theme (e.g., “Games”)
2) Themes should recur in at least one of the puzzles within the puzzle (e.g., “Sport”)
Types of Crosswords
Playful: In this type of crossword, there are no rules or patterns to follow. Instead, it’s all about solving clues as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Traditional: These types of crosswords have a pattern to follow. This can be anything from using a specific number of letters in a row to include words, letters, or phrases. There are also often grammar rules that players must adhere too when solving these types of puzzles.
Specific: Specific crosswords often have some sort of theme related to them (e.g., animals). You’ll find many themed crosswords on websites like The New York Times Daily Crossword and Washington Post Crossword.
Why Write a Good Crossword?
Crosswords are a fantastic low-energy activity that can be used as a way to unwind or boost your creativity. They’re also one of the few activities you can do while still being able to talk to people, even if it’s just having them guess what the answer might be. Plus, they don’t require any special equipment and you can use your own words – so no need to worry about getting caught up in the jargon!
If you’ve ever tried crossword puzzles before and found them too difficult or frustrating, this blog post will help make things less stressful. Here are 6 reasons why you should try crossword puzzles:
1) It’s good for your brain
2) It helps you with creativity
3) It’s easy on the eyes
4) It’s relaxing
5) You’ll get better at it over time
The Crossword Process
First, you’ll need to decide what kind of crossword you want to attempt. If you have the time, it can be a good idea to read up on the different types so that you know what to expect. For example, if you prefer more challenging puzzles, then a circular crossword might be your best bet.
Next, find a puzzle book and start looking for clues in there. A lot of times they will tell you where to look in the instructions or give you a clue that points you in the right direction.
Once you find the clues, skim them briefly just so that you don’t forget anything later on; it’s easier that way!
Once all is said and done and all of your answers are filled out, simply go through each clue one at a time and fill in the corresponding answer.
If this sounds like too much work for your liking (we understand) then why not try doing some puzzles online? There are plenty of resources available now that make solving crossword puzzles easy peasy.
Finding Clues and Words
The first step to solving a crossword puzzle is finding out which clues you need to look for. For instance, if the word “topple” is the answer to a clue, that means that the answer is the word “top.” There are many other words that could also be used in this clue.
If there isn’t one specific word, words and phrases can still provide valuable clues. In fact, some clues don’t even provide any specific information – they simply provide you with the next letter in a multi-word phrase or the number of letters in a word or phrase.
Another thing to keep in mind when trying to find clues is that some words have multiple definitions. For example, the word “defunct” can refer to something that no longer exists as well as someone who died or passed away.
Shorter Is Better!
One of the most important things to remember when you’re starting out with crossword puzzles is that shorter is better! Lengthy clues require a lot of space and can make solving a potentially frustrating puzzle. A standard 11×13-size grid is best for beginners, but as your skill level improves, you may want to consider going with a 9×9 or even 8×8 grid.
Many crossword enthusiasts also recommend writing your answers in one column. This will give you an easier time seeing which letters are in the answer, and will save you lots of time when it comes to finding that elusive last word! Finally, if you really want to get into some tricky crosswords, try looking at them upside down!
Creating a good crossword puzzle can be time-consuming but it’s worth it.
The best way to get started is by writing a few practice puzzles and then finding a topic you’re interested in. If you are stuck, your puzzle may need a little more work. Make sure your puzzle has some way to fit the answer into the grid, such as letters or numbers.