You have been at it all morning and you decided that it is enough. You slowly put down the paper you were reading on the table and placed the pencil you were using beside it. Even if you don’t say it out loud, anyone that is close enough can see the frustration from your face. You have been doing crosswords all morning and despite how hard you tried, you just failed to complete the puzzle grid.
You ask yourself in annoyance, what are the tips to beat a crossword game, if there are any and if there are none, they should come up with some?! Fortunately for you, you’re not the first one to ever been frustrated with not finishing a crossword. And even luckier, some people had the sense to organize a list of tips to solve crosswords faster.
Crossword puzzles have been around since the early 1900s. The first known puzzle ever published was in The New York World in 1913. The first creator who is acknowledged today as the creator of the crossword puzzle is Arthur Wynne. The popularity of the word puzzle received some notoriety in the 1920s but craze eventually waned down a decade later. Nevertheless, the fad might have died down but the popularity was still there which was why by the 1940s daily newspapers and even magazines include in their publications crossword puzzles for the entertainment of their readers.
Now you might already know that as you solve more crosswords, you improve in time. You can to learn more vocabulary and understand better the clues thus you are able to process them quickly than you used to. Even so, you might find yourself occasionally stuck on a puzzle or two.
There are several techniques you can use to make your problem solving easier and a bit faster. First, you need to understand is that puzzle makers would never want to create a crossword puzzle that is practically unsolvable, or at least that’s what I think. Despite the difficulty levels of a crossword puzzle, there are always some give-away clues and easy answers hidden in the clue list and the boxes of the grid. The first thing you should do therefore is browse over the list and look for the easy ones. Start with those.
The next thing you should look for are repetitive clues and answers that most crossword puzzles have. If you have been doing crosswords long enough, you would be able to identify these words easily.
Once you have done both techniques, the next step would be to practice your power of deduction. If you have assembled a number of answers already on the puzzle grid, you can actually deduce the answer to some of the clues by referring to the letters of the words already available. After building your puzzle solving experience, soon enough you will develop a high level of deduction skill.
Also, here’s a very useful tip. When you find that a clue is telling you or pointing you towards an answer that is a singular, present-tense verb or a plural noun, there’s a big chance that the right word ends with an “s”.
And lastly, have a couple of references or at least a dictionary by your side. Crossword puzzles are learning tools. If it encourages you to read and look for the answers, then I don’t see any problems with that. Others might call this cheating but in my book it is not.