Crossword puzzles are simply the most popular word game in the world. Do you know that in the 1920s, several marriages were destroyed and lots of people lost their jobs due to the addictive nature of the newly introduced game? Yes, this was during the height of the crossword craze.
Crosswords came into existence during the 19th century. They were first seen in England. At that time, they were commonly found in various periodicals and children’s books. But today, it has evolved to become a significant adult pastime appearing in many newspapers. They can also be found in most magazines. Free crosswords are also being offered by many of these publications in their online versions.
Types of Crossword Puzzles
There are 3 major types of crossword puzzles. They include cryptic crossword puzzles, American-style, standard crossword puzzles, and criss-cross or free-form crossword puzzles. This puzzles which can be read across or down can be obtained from word squares, groups of words.
Cryptic Crossword Puzzles
Generally, these puzzles have crossword grids that take a lattice-like resemblance. Many of the squares (about half) are usually unchecked. The cryptic clues could be presented in a way that they could be read as a meaningful sentence. However, they majorly consist of two parts.
As in the standard crossword puzzle, one part uses some form of wordplay that gives hints to the answer while another part gives the definition. This wordplay may be introduced in the form of hidden words, double definitions, deletions, reversals, container, charades, anagrams and/or lits.
Standard Crossword Puzzles
In most North American publications, you will find crossword grids that are generally square and in which white squares are mostly featured. However, in some cases, there could be exceptions. When turned upside down, grids should maintain the same pattern – i.e. they should appear the same way or be symmetrical.
Here are some basic guidelines to adhere to when constructing this type of puzzle.
- No unchecked squares
- At least, 3 letters should be made available for each entry
- Black squares must not exceed one-sixth of the grid.
Criss-cross crossword puzzles
Criss-cross or free-form crosswords are the simplest crossword puzzles that can be created. These are word puzzles that feature grids with a set of words going down and another going across. They also have loosely interlocking grids. These words share the same letters at every intersecting point.
In order to deduce the word, a picture or a clue made of words which must be figured out should be provided. Squares for beginning words feature corresponding numbers to a clue. Criss-cross crosswords do not adhere to the guidelines set for cryptic and standard crossword puzzles. These puzzles are often asymmetrical. They are often being used in educational settings aimed at reinforcing concepts or building vocabulary taught in class.