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A crossword is a word puzzle that usually takes the form of a square or a rectangular grid of white-and black-shaded squares. The game's goal is to fill the white squares with letters, forming words or phrases, by solving clues, which lead to the answers. In languages that are written left-to-right, the answer words and phrases. 27 Jul If you've ever picked up a crossword puzzle and said to yourself, “I am not smart enough” or “I don't have a big enough vocabulary for this,” allow us to tell you a secret: Once you learn a few basic tips and tricks, you'll find that puzzle-solving is not only possible, but highly addictive. And they're like mental. The Sunday puzzle, while larger than the others, is approximately as difficult as the Wednesday or the Thursday puzzle. We're here to help you solve and get better: Get started with our "How to Solve The New York Times Crossword" guide which includes various ways to tackle a puzzle and includes 13 free Mini puzzles to.
A crossword is a word puzzle that usually takes the form of a square or a rectangular grid of white-and black-shaded squares.
The game's goal is to fill the white squares with lettersforming words or phrasesby solving clues, which lead to the answers. In languages that are written left-to-right, the answer words and phrases are placed in the grid from left click to see more right and from top to bottom. The shaded squares are used to separate the words or phrases. Crossword grids such as those appearing in most North American newspapers and magazines feature solid areas of white squares.
Every letter is checked i. In such puzzles shaded squares are typically limited to about one-sixth of the total. For example, if the top row has an answer running all the way across, there will often be no across answers in the second row. Another tradition in puzzle design in North America, India, and Britain particularly is that the grid should have degree rotational also known as "radial" symmetryso that its pattern appears the same if the paper is turned upside down.
Most puzzle designs also require that all white cells be orthogonally contiguous that is, connected in one mass through shared sides, to form a single polyomino.
The design of Japanese crossword grids often follows two additional rules: The "Swedish-style" grid picture crosswords uses no clue numbers, as the clues are contained in the cells which do not contain answers.
Arrows indicate in which direction the clues have to be answered: This style of grid is also used in several countries other than Sweden, often in magazines, but also in daily newspapers. The grid often has one or more photos replacing a block of squares as a clue to one or several answers, for example, the name of a pop star, or some kind of rhyme or phrase that can be associated with the photo. These puzzles usually have no symmetry in the grid but instead often have a common theme literature, music, nature, geography, see more of a special year, etc.
Substantial variants from the usual forms exist.
Two of the common ones are barred crosswords, which use bold lines between squares instead of shaded squares to separate answers, and circular designs, with answers entered either radially or in concentric circles. Grids forming shapes other than squares are also occasionally source. Puzzles are often one of several standard sizes. The New York Times puzzles also set a common pattern for American crosswords by increasing in difficulty throughout the week: Their larger Sunday puzzle is about the same level of difficulty as a weekday-size Thursday puzzle.
Typically clues appear outside the grid, divided into an Across list and a Down list; the first cell of each entry contains a number referenced by the clue lists. For example, the answer to a clue labeled "17 Down" is entered with the first letter in the cell numbered "17", proceeding down from there.
Numbers are almost never repeated; numbered cells are numbered consecutively, usually from left to right across each row, starting with the top row and proceeding downward.
Some Japanese crosswords are numbered from top to bottom down each column, starting with the leftmost column and proceeding right. Capitalization of answer letters is conventionally ignored; crossword puzzles are typically filled in, and their answer sheets are almost universally published, in all capsexcept in the rare cases of link. This ensures a proper name can have its initial capital letter checked with a non-capitalizable letter in the intersecting clue.
Diacritical markings in foreign loanwords or foreign-language words appearing in English-language puzzles more info ignored for similar reasons. Some crossword clues, called straight or quick cluesare simple definitions of the answers. Some clues may feature anagramsand these are usually explicitly described as such. Often, a straight clue is not in itself sufficient to distinguish between several possible answers, either because multiple synonymous answers may fit or because the clue itself is a homonym e.
In most American-style crosswords, the majority of the clues in the puzzle are straight clues,  with the remainder being one of the other types described below. Crossword clues are generally consistent with the solutions.
For instance, clues and their solutions Dating A Player Advice Vs Advises Crossword always agree in tense, number, and degree. In the hands of any but the most skilled constructors, the constraints of the American-style grid in which every letter is checked usually require a fair number of answers not to be dictionary words. As a result, the following ways to clue abbreviations and other non-words, although they can be found in "straight" British crosswords, are much more common in American ones:.
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As an example, the Click York Times crossword of April 26, by Sarah Keller, edited by Will Shortzfeatured five themed entries ending in the different parts of a tree: The above is an example of a category theme, where the theme elements Dating A Player Advice Vs Advises Crossword all members of the same set.
Other types of themes include:. Another unusual theme requires the solver to use the answer to a clue as another clue. The answer to that clue is the real solution. Many puzzles feature clues involving wordplay which are to be taken metaphorically or in some sense other than their literal meaning, requiring some form of lateral thinking.
Depending on the puzzle creator or the editor, this might be represented either with a question mark at the end of the clue or with a modifier such as "maybe" or click here. In more difficult puzzles, the indicator may be omitted, increasing ambiguity between a literal meaning and a wordplay meaning.
In cryptic crosswords, the clues are puzzles in themselves. A typical clue contains both a definition at the beginning or end of the clue and wordplay, which provides a way to manufacture the word indicated by the definition, and which may not parse logically.
Going on a long flight or vacation? Check your answer by seeing if you can correctly fill in the other entries that cross it. You can usually tell when you KNOW you have the right answer but it doesn't fit. You have correctly solved this puzzle.
Cryptics usually give the length of their answers in parentheses after the clue, which is especially useful with multi-word answers. Certain signs indicate different forms of wordplay.
Cryptics Dating A Player Advice Vs Advises Crossword a steeper learning curve than standard crosswords, as learning to interpret the different types of cryptic clues can take some practice. In Great Britain and throughout much of the Commonwealthcryptics of varying degrees of difficulty are featured in many newspapers. There are several types of wordplay used in cryptics.
One is straightforward definition substitution using parts of a word. The explanation is that to import means "to bring into the country", the "worker" is a worker antand "significant" means important. Here, "significant" is the straight definition appearing here at the end of the clue"to bring worker into the country" is the wordplay definition, and "may prove" serves to link the two. Note that in a cryptic clue, there is almost always only one answer that fits both the definition and the wordplay, so that when one sees the answer, one knows that it is the right answer—although it can sometimes be a challenge to figure out why it is the right answer.
A good cryptic clue should provide a fair and exact definition of the answer, while at the same time being deliberately misleading.
Another type of wordplay used in cryptics is the use of homophones. For example, the clue "A few, we hear, add up 3 " is the clue for SUM. Dating A Player Advice Vs Advises Crossword straight definition is "add up", meaning "totalize". The solver must guess that "we hear" indicates a homophoneand so a homophone of a synonym of "A few" "some" is the answer. Other words relating to sound or hearing can be used to signal the presence of a homophone clue e. The double meaning is commonly used as another form of wordplay.
This is the only type of cryptic clue without wordplay—both parts of the clue are a straight definition. Cryptics often include anagramsas well.
More info can include words like "iota," above, which is common in speech but that the puzzle uses over and over. The answer might be some sort of pun, or you might have to think of alternate ways in which the words in the clue might be used. A question mark at the end of the clue means it's going to be a pain in the ass. A crossword is a word puzzle that usually takes the form of a square or a rectangular grid of white-and black-shaded squares. This is similar to the notation used in the aforementioned Daily Mail Blankout puzzles.
The clue "Ned T. The straight definition is "is rather bland", and the word "cooked" is a hint to the solver that this clue is an anagram the letters have been "cooked", or jumbled up. Ignoring all punctuation, "Ned T. Besides "cooked", other common hints that the clue contains an anagram are words such as "scrambled", "mixed up", "confused", "baked", or "twisted".
Embedded words are another common trick in cryptics. The straight definition is "bigotry", and the wordplay explains itself, indicated by the word "take" since one word "takes" another: Another common clue type is the "hidden clue" or "container", where the answer is hidden in the text of the clue itself.
LA Times Crossword - American Mensa, Ltd.
The answer is written in the clue: There are numerous other forms of wordplay found in cryptic clues. Backwards words can be indicated by words like "climbing", "retreating", or "ascending" depending on whether it is an across clue or a down clue or by directional indicators such as "going North" meaning upwards or "West" right-to-left ; letters can be replaced or removed with indicators such as "nothing rather than excellence" meaning replace E in a word with O ; the letter I can be indicated by "me" or "one;" the letter O please click for source be indicated by "nought", "nothing", "zero", or "a ring" since it visually resembles one ; the letter X might be clued as "a cross", or "ten" as in the Roman numeralor Dating A Player Advice Vs Advises Crossword illiterate's signature", or "sounds like your old flame" homophone for "ex".
With the different types of wordplay and definition possibilities, the composer of a cryptic puzzle is presented with many different possible ways to clue a given answer. Most desirable are clues that are clean but deceptive, with a smooth surface reading that is, the resulting clue looks as natural a phrase as possible.
The Usenet newsgroup rec. In principle, each cryptic clue is usually sufficient to define its answer uniquely, so it should be possible to answer each clue without use of the grid. In practice, the use of checks is an important aid to the solver. Some crossword designers have started including a metapuzzle, or "meta" for short: The designer usually includes a hint to the metapuzzle. The solution to the meta is a similar phrase in which the middle word is "or": Some puzzle grids contain more than one correct answer for the same set of clues.
In the 'Quick' crossword in The Daily Telegraph newspaper Sunday and Daily, UKit has become a convention also to make the first few words usually two or three, looked Funny Messages To Send Online Dating probably can be more into a phrase.
For example, " Dimmer, Allies " would make " Demoralise " or " You, ill, never, walk, alone " would become " You'll never walk alone ". This generally aids solvers in that if they have one of the words then they can attempt to guess the phrase. This has also become popular among other British newspapers. Sometimes newspapers publish one grid that can be filled by solving either of two lists of clues — usually a straight and a cryptic. The solutions given by the two lists may be different, in which case the solver must decide at the outset which list they are going to follow, or Dating A Player Advice Vs Advises Crossword solutions may be identical, in which case the straight clues offer additional help for a solver having difficulty with the cryptic clues.
Usually the straight clue matches the straight part of the cryptic clue, but this is not necessarily the case. Every issue of GAMES Magazine contains a large crossword with a double clue list, under the title The World's Most Ornery Crossword ; both lists are straight and arrive at the same solution, but one list is significantly more challenging than the other.
The solver is prompted to fold a page in half, showing the grid and the hard clues; the easy clues are tucked inside the fold, to be referenced if the solver gets stuck. A variant of the double-clue list is commonly called Siamese Twins: Determining which clue is to be applied to which grid is part of the puzzle.
Any type of puzzle may contain cross-referenceswhere the answer to one clue forms part of another clue, in which it is referred to by number and direction.
New York Times Crossword
When an answer is composed of multiple or hyphenated words, some crosswords especially in Britain indicate the structure of the answer. For example, " 3,5 " after a clue indicates that the answer is composed of a three-letter word followed by a five-letter word. Most American-style crosswords do not provide this information.