Three Simple Tips for Crossword Puzzles

Crossword Puzzles pic

Crossword Puzzles

Patrick Stoup serves as the Chief Executive Officer for SAI, where his duties include reviewing monthly reports in order to monitor the company’s progress toward its long-term goals and plans. When the weekend comes, Patrick Stoup enjoys spending time with the Washington Post’s Sunday crossword puzzle.

Keep these three simple tips in mind the next time you are working on a crossword puzzle to help keep you moving toward its successful completion.

1. Learn “Crosswordese.” Crosswordese refers to words often found in puzzles that rarely see use in everyday speech. Words like ogee, arete, and etui prove common because they help puzzle creators fill in tight corners and small spaces. Also called repeaters, you can find these commonly used words in crossword dictionaries or sites specifically dedicated to them.

2. Pay attention to wordplay. Crossword creators often like to trick players using clever wordplay. For example, while “entrance” might make you think of doors, it might have more to do with putting someone in a trance than entering a room.

3. Understand crossword cluing conventions. Crossword puzzle clues are very carefully crafted, often following widely accepted crossword conventions. For example, if a clue contains an abbreviation, chances are the answer is an abbreviated word. Similarly, if your clue has a foreign word in it, the answer likely contains a foreign word from the same language.