If you’re familiar with crossword puzzles, then you know that a typical puzzle consists of white and black boxes. The white boxes would be where you will place the words that are hinted in the clues. But aside from the puzzle boxes you see in newspapers and other publications, there are other major variations of crosswords, some of which you might not have even encountered before.
Let’s go regional first. The American-style of crosswords is quite different from the British and Australian puzzles. For one, the American crosswords usually have word combinations were the letters eventually “check” each other. So if you figure out most of the across or down words, you’ll find that the answers for one direction is also basically filled out. Not like the American style, British and Australian crossword puzzles have the white boxes positioned in such a way that half or less of the letters check each other out. In a way, the latter two can be more difficult solve.
Another popular crossword in the UK is the cryptic crossword. This one can actually be more challenging. The reason is that the clues themselves are sort of little puzzles. So you actually try to solve the clues themselves before you get to the crossword.
Code breakers and code crackers are other names for a kind of crossword called cipher. Cipher crosswords are very different from cryptic puzzles. You see in cryptic puzzles, the clues are puzzles themselves but in cipher crosswords, the clues for the white boxes are replaced with number 1 to 26 which serves as a cipher for the letters of the alphabet. Numbers correspond to one letter and when filled out, the boxes should contain valid words. If you look at it, the cipher crossword puzzles seem to be closer to being codes than being puzzles.
Other crosswords include the diagramless and the fill-in crosswords. The former consists of finding out the answers to the clues and at the same time the location where they will place the answers on the puzzle grid. In this kind of puzzle, the clue numbers and black squares are not indicated. So this means, you have to see how your answers can be grouped together to produce additional answers from the clues provided. Meanwhile the latter one, the fill-in crosswords, consists of a list of words and a puzzle grid. The objective is to find how you can fit all the listed words on the grid in such a way that all the resulting words from each intersection are valid.
The cross numbers is another variation but as the name imply, the clues and answers are related to numerical values. The clues can be a mathematical formula where the answer to it is the one you will place in the boxes of the puzzle grid. Some questions or clues may refer to a year of an event or an important date. Whatever the clues are, numbers are usually the answers and depending on the difficulty, the intersections of the numbers can be valid entries as well.
There maybe other variations out there, but what were mentioned are the major kinds. Other crosswords might be just derivatives of those puzzles above. You can check all them out or just focus on the traditional one instead. But to add to the challenge, most people will try out different kinds of crosswords just to test their skills. Just remember to have fun.