It is no hidden fact that the oldest means of passing time have passed the test of ages. And still, they are the best. Crosswords are one classic example of games that can help you enrich your vocabulary. Take up a crossword and witness time ticking by faster than it usually does. But I have seen people crinkling their noses and scratching their heads, thinking, “How to solve crossword puzzles.” But trust me, answering how to solve crossword puzzles and learning how to do it is no rocket science. However, before we jump to that part, it is imperative that I acquaint you with what we’ll be dealing with.
Crosswords, In Different Modes
Crossword is a structured game, comprising of boxes arranged in a pattern, forming words. There are two directions of the arrangement. The boxes are arranged in “across” pattern or downwards (down).
For a word to be correct, it should fit both across and down patterns. For instance, if a word going across starts from S, then that S should somehow fit when going down. Where it fits will depend on the word. And you have hints to make it all the more breath-taking.
That is the gist of how to solve crossword puzzles.
To further understand crosswords, we should talk about the analogy of their existence.
Even Crosswords have evolved through time. For as long as I can remember, our grandparents used to sit on that rickety old easy-chair. With the day’s newspaper in their lap, writing, crossing, re-writing in their crosswords. Face taut with concentration. In those days, there used to one crossword per week, usually in the Sunday newspaper edition.
Then came the glossy magazines, with each edition bringing a couple of much-awaited crosswords.
Nowadays, though, even crosswords come in digital form. You can find them online, or there are a bunch of crossword games. They take the ease of solving these crosswords up-a-notch in the games. You can undo the word, which doesn’t seem right, without leaving any mark. Also, it is possible to solve a word spending some built-in coins.
You can take your pick on how to solve crossword puzzles. Go for the good ol’ way, if you’re an old soul, or go for the modern way. It’s all up to you.
How To Solve Crossword Puzzles?
People have created such fuss around crosswords, calling those who solve a couple regularly a geek. It’s funny, really. Considering how simple and fun it is. I’m going to share a few things, which have been tested through generations. There are no rules. But some general conventions and tips and tricks for getting used to how to solve crossword puzzles. Here it goes then.
Analyze and Strategize
A little strategizing always comes in handy. If I talk of my way of how to solve crossword puzzles, I analyze the whole structure, including the collection of hints. Then I try to solve the easiest ones first.
They may be a clue that you think you can solve on the first attempt, a short word, or a fill-up. The idea is to get in as many letters as possible so that you can play around and get your feet wet before you take the actual plunge.
The fill-ups can be an easy target. They are usually related to completing the sentence using appropriate nouns, verbs, etc.
Other hints that may be a cakewalk are something like animals’ habitat names or such.
Think Out Of The Box
Crossword is nothing but a game of creativity. The more creative you get with your choice of words, the more chance you have of succeeding. So its time you wear your thinking caps and make the best of your vocabulary. It is one of the best tips anyone can give you on how to solve crossword puzzles.
It is more important because English, as we all know, is a queer language. One word, same spellings, but different meanings. Also, the people who set up these keywords, have years of experience under their belt for confusing people.
He may present the hint in such a way that makes you think on completely different lines. But that is his job. Yours is to not let him get away with his pieces of hints.
See Also: Top 10 Crossword Apps to Play as of 2020
Recognize The Pattern
Consider it as another step up the ladder in knowing how to solve crossword puzzles. Each crossword follows a pattern. These patterns are the same for both hint and its answer. If you can sense past/present words in the hint, then the word will end accordingly. So go through the clue attentively to unearth whatever pattern it is hiding.
Also, hints do “hint” (pun intended) the usage of short forms and non-native languages. Also, try and comprehend the hint in every light possible. I read once somewhere, which said “doctor’s number.” It took me a whole day to realize that it meant “numb-er” something that numbs, which made the answer completely different.
Kit-Kat Break Moment
I know, crosswords can be addictive. But sitting there pouring over hints and words, stuck on one, can be super frustrating. And outdoors can get less inviting. But another vital thing on how to solve crossword puzzles is knowing when to zone out.
It is very common that words come easily to you when you’ve re-energized. And, fed and watered. Also, fresh grass under your feet or whiff of fresh air wakes anyone up better than coffee.
Stick to One Source
OK, that is pretty important to get over your how to solve crossword puzzles issue. If you stick to once source for some time and not vary them at every chance, you get. You’ll fare just fine.
By source, we mean, if you’re solving in magazines, try continuing with that for some time. That way, you’ll get the hang of what the people behind setting the crossword are trying to do. What pattern they’re adhering to and several things like it.
But if you switch every week or daily, solving can get trickier. It is like you’ll have to start from scratch every other day. Also, if you can get into the crossword maker’s mind, you have solved half of it.
Apart from all of the above, I’d say things work differently for everyone. So you could try involving your parents or friends. Let us get rid of a misconception. Seeking external help is NO conning. Remembering that can aid you in how to solve crossword puzzles query.
If you love all things books, help comes in big volumes with an outstanding smell like dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. And for the tech-savvy in you, the internet is always there. Besides, a little assistance goes a long way. Be sure you remember the new words and facts you learn and benefit from them.
Games and activities like crossword can seem a little old-fashioned to the PubG playing millennials. But once you get the hang of how to solve crossword puzzles, you can’t seem to get enough of it. It grows on you with time. Also, it is extremely helpful in every way possible.
Just one thing, If you, like me, prefer to avoid the screen’s light, I suggest you get yourself a newspaper. And do it the old way.