Crosswords and the art of solving them

The popularity of crossword solving has soared great heights that even schools and educational institutions are encouraging the idea of solving crosswords. Some countries have already in place, a national level crossword solving competition with good prices at stake. These are normally done in two phases. In phase one, City Rounds are conducted in select cities and towns. Schools and institutions from cities and towns in the vicinity of the venue city are encouraged to participate. The participating institutions can send a two-student team to the venue to appear in an hour-long written test which is normally the prelims. In phase two, the winning teams from the City Rounds converge to a common stage for a three-day Grand Finale which comprises a written quarter-final, four onstage semi-finals and the onstage. The winners who figure out the crossword puzzle answers are adjudged the winner. Cryptic clues are generally used to make the quiz a tad bit harder.

crossword geeks

Over the years, regular crossword geeks, have tried to figure out a way to decode the clues made available to them in order to reduce the time required to find the crossword quiz answers. Their effort has not really paid any dividends as each crossword clue may be unique in its own way. The clues that lead to the answers may be the simplest of all things but can be twisted to mislead you to think of other answers than the most obvious ones. That’s the biggest victory for a crossword constructor. We only see the effort behind solving the puzzle. But the fact is, constructing a puzzle is even harder. Making sure the words fit within the puzzle squares and phrasing and presenting the clues in an acceptable manner to the solvers is a commendable task in itself.

Softwares can now be used to create crosswords. A plethora of options is available online to create puzzles online, by inputting the answers and the clues that are to be presented to the solver. This helps to make things more organized and systematic. As a first step, the constructor is prompted to select a template for the puzzle he wishes to build. It can be any among the different crosswords available, including Cryptic, American, Freeform or Vocabulary, simple word search for kids, shape or even a Sudoku, which is a form of a crossword. Normally these are a 9*9 square and must be filled in with the numbers 1-9, without any number repeating in the same line or in any of the sub3*3 boxes.

Many websites also offer Amateur tools to create very basic crosswords and also a professional suite to create much more complex and high-end quizzes which can take the wind out of the solvers! Here the constructors are given more options while creating the rules and grid. They are allowed to review the clues again after the software builds the quiz based on the input the constructor provided before they are published. Also, a very large clue database exists in such platforms, which again help the constructor as a guide to building his quiz around.