Archive for the ‘Puzzles’ category

Crossword Puzzles

July 15, 2013

So you think you might want to try your hand at doing crossword puzzles? Seem overwhelming?  I have been doing crossword puzzles for many years now. Here’s my handy dandy guide to doing crossword puzzles.

  1. Start on Monday. Many crossword puzzle providers start easy on Monday and then work up in difficulty as the week goes on. I usually can do the NY Times Monday puzzle in about 5 minutes. The Saturday puzzle usually takes me 30 minutes or longer. Sunday puzzles generally take me around 45 minutes or so.
  2. Use a pencil with an eraser if you use the printed puzzles. Don’t be afraid to enter a clue. Try it and see if it agrees with the corresponding across or down clues.
  3. If you like to solve online, use the program “AcrossLite”. It’s available for Windows and Mac. There are also several apps for smart phones and tablets. I use an app from Standalone Software on my iPad.
  4. Daily puzzles are (in the U.S.) a 15×15 grid. Sunday puzzles are a 21×21 grid. The grid is (almost always) symmetrical along the SW to NE axis.
  5. Puzzles with a large amounts of open space are always harder.
  6. Here is a link to some good tips on crossword clues.

Finally, here are a few articles or books on word puzzles worth looking at:

  1. Article about Will Shortz (NY Times puzzle editor)
  2. Book by Eugene Maleska called “Pleasure in Words” [no longer in print] You’ll either have to buy used or go to the public library. Maleska is the former NY Times puzzle editor.