The ideal way to construct crosswords

by Carol Lee
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Creating crosswords is really fun. An amateur crossword constructor would agree to it.

But this task comes with a set of challenges. ‘Make it easy but tricky’ is the motto followed during the construction.

Here are a few guidelines for a crossword constructor who is willing to construct simple yet entertaining crossword puzzle online:

1) Choose the right words

The answers in the grid, along with the clues present in the grid should be familiar with the general audience.

It may be tempting to put the solver in a complex situation especially when you have the goal to improve language skills.

Make sure you don’t make the overall vocabulary too hard and it becomes very difficult to solve.

How will you identify the right words?

  • Run your clues through an online readability test
  • Have a test solver from the target audience group and give the puzzle a trial

When you limit the vocabulary section, it makes the work tricky socially when it comes to cryptic crosswords.

The challenge turns into producing surface deception with cryptic indicators.

For example, you wish to signal an anagram with the word “capricious” but you’re the person solving the puzzle might not be aware of the word. Now, what will you do?

Whenever you are doubtful, try to maintain a balance. If the crossings manage to reach the answer, the answer will be a simple word.

If that is not the case, replace it with something more accessible which is less confusing or easy.

2) Provide a roomy grid

The visuals and design elements are crucial. They are as important as the content of the crossword.

Pick a font that is easy on the eye. Go for typesetting carefully.

There should be a good amount of space in the printed grid.

This helps the letters to fit into each cell without pushing for space with adjacent letters.

3) Make solving fun

The tiny little empty squares look like a tiny little secret that the solver is eager to know by applying efforts.

Solving a crossword is always fun because there is a ratio of effort to what your mind experiences to discover secrets.

So, it is always good to add some spices so that the solver enjoys while looking for answers.

4) Don’t dumb down

Keeping things simple is good but it should be interesting as well.

When it comes to comprehensibility, there comes to a point where a puzzle becomes so undemanding providing no intellectual challenge to the solver.

The goal should be not to cross over that particular point.

It could be incredibly entertaining if the grid is filled out and you are writing entertaining clues.

If required, steer your solver back towards the puzzle theme where there is an emphasis on wordplay.

If you don’t make things simple, your solvers will have a tough time discovering the answer.

All the best to all the crossword constructors who are looking forward to creating a unique yet entertaining online crossword game for their audience.

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