DAN CAPRERA DAN CAPRERA
Recently, I received my first crossword puzzle accepted by a newspaper in real life. This basically means I’m a master of puzzles (and not, as you might imagine extremely unqualified to write such an article) I thought I’d give you some suggestions on how to create the most perfect crossword puzzle you’ve ever made. Enjoy!
Find the best technology
The first thing to do is. When you’re creating a crossword game you’ll need the correct software. If not, the entire process could turn into a perpetual dark, dystopian nightmare and there’s no escape.
Then install crossword Compiler and Crossfire and any other software that includes”cross” in the title “cross” in the title then you’ll be ready.
Create an idea
Much like the gooey centre of deep-dish Chicago-style pizzas the most important aspect of any crossword that is good is the theme. Typically, a crossword’s theme is comprised of 4-6 questions which are, in some way, linked. In some cases, the theme may include answers that have all kind of pun (ex. “Pardon my… STENCH”). Or , sometimes, the subject is just the same thing such as “phrases that start with the letter ‘Q'” or “things that scare people” or “songs about horses.” For instance “songs about horses that scare people.” In essence, themes can refer to anything.
Therefore, in a hypothetical way If you were to create a puzzle around something like “America’s Cutest Antebellum Presidents” The theme would appear in the puzzle like this:
You can clearly see that, because these four entries are all excellent examples of adorable antebellum U.S. presidents, this is definitely a great topic for a crossword.
Of course, when you are making a decision on an idea for a theme, there are a few guidelines you must adhere to…
The theme entries should be as symmetrical.
On a common crossword grid (15×15 squares from Monday to Saturday and 21,21×21 on Sundays) The puzzles are almost always identical. This means that when you come your entries to the grid, they must be all of the same length (in the above example look at how the words are matched in the grid’s position and length).
On the contrary, here’s an illustration of a grid that isn’t symmetrical in a puzzle I’ve titled “Things That Don’t Exist”:
As I’m hoping you’ll be aware, the puzzle is comprised of four items which aren’t even there. But, as the four puzzles are with different lengths (not the same size) the puzzle has the least chance of ever being released… regardless although it’s an excellent concept!
Luckily, most puzzle-making programs can create symmetrical puzzles for you. Also, ensure you download that software and you’ll be set.
Do not repeat any word.
Contrary to the majority of Dan Brown books, one among the many advantages of crossword puzzles is they never use the exact same words repeatedly. Indeed, 99.9% of the time, puzzles do not repeat any words.
Pretty sneaky, huh?
If you’re making puzzles, ensure that you utilize only original words! In the absence of that, here’s an example of a puzzle that does the repetition of phrases (meaning that, unfortunately, it’s not going to be accepted by a respected newspaper).
The puzzle’s title is “A Pretty Cool Guy When You Actually Get To Know Him”
There aren’t any photos.
I can’t stress this aspect enough. DO NOT ADD PICTURES TO YOUR PUZZLE!
Sure. It may be fun and funny to incorporate an image of your stage headshot to your crossword puzzle… But do not! Newspapers aren’t going to make this type of puzzle!
Include the black squares
After you’ve decided on an idea It’s time to fill your black border pieces.
Like as shown on the “Cutest Antebellum Presidents” puzzle above, border blocks are helpful to break the puzzle into smaller pieces (just as B.S. Stories about assassins aid in breaking up Dan Brown books into manageable chunks that you can take in the subway).
If you thought the previous step was too complicated You’ll flip when you realize how many rules the block-adding section of this guide!
Blocks must also be arranged symmetrically.
It’s pretty straightforward… Like the theme of the puzzle, border blocks must be arranged in a symmetrical way too.
(As I’ve said that there are lots of rules within this section. If you find it helpful to think the scenario that reads these rules as you’re taking a thrilling road trip across the country with your favorite friend, actor Jack Nicholson).
Words should not be less by more than 3 letters.
When you’re building blocks ensure that all words on your grid have three letters or more.
(Ah the man! Jack has just released “Mustang Sally” on the radio… this road trip is going to be amazing!)
There’s an upper limit on words.
For the most themed 15×15 puzzles you need to have the maximum number of terms in the puzzle. If it’s a non-themed puzzle (when your puzzle isn’t based on an underlying theme; or when it’s just a collection of random, non-related intriguing words) it should be 72 words maximum. If you’re doing a Sunday puzzle, you’ll need the maximum. of 140 characters.
(Oh no! Watch out! Cops! Cops! The cops are dragging your (and Jack off the road!)
Don’t block off any part that are part of your grid.
If you’re creating an puzzle, you should try to keep the grid in place. Blocks shouldn’t be able to divide the grid into several sections. So ensure that the white blocks are connected.
(Hey! Wait just a minute… this isn’t an officer. No! This is your second most trusted friend: actor Michael Douglas! Oh, man! Yeah! This road trip has just gone from epic to awesome, baby!)
NO PICTURES!! !
Include the other words!
Ok. This is the complete openness… This part is a pain.
I’m not sure. There’s likely to be a more elegant approach to this. But for now, just… here’s how you can fit the rest of the sentences into the sentence.
You’ll need to make use of this website and this website to generate lots of fun terms for your grid. Also, make sure all words you choose to use are genuine words. or abbreviations that are well-known. Also, well-known phrases.
It’s going to take forever, and you’ll be miserable.
Write down the clues
Wonderful! Now that you know all the answers to your puzzle, you’re now ready to write down the clues for the puzzle! In the absence of information, a crossword is just similar to an Dan Brown book — simply a collection of nonsense and random words that do not seem to make sense on paper.
The clues are crucial.
You are sure to find that we’ve got more exciting guidelines to write clues! Let’s go!
Try to keep your clues as short as possible.
The person who claimed the statement that “brevity is the soul of wit” obviously didn’t have to create the crossword clues… due to the fact that the quote is too long for the basis of a crossword puzzle.
In writing your clues make sure to make them clear as well as original and succinct For instance in the case of trying to write a clue to”OREO” OREO (located in the right-hand left “cute presidents” puzzle) then you could make use of some of the clues below:
- Black and white bite
- Tiered treat
- Nabisco offering
- Alternative to Hydrox
- Stacked snack
However this could constitute an instance of poor clue.
Be sure that your information is 100% accurate.
Like other newspapers, newspapers are able to be accused of libel at the at the drop of a hateven crossword puzzles. Particularly when it comes to crossword puzzles. Make sure that the information you’re stating is accurate. In the event of a mishap you could be held personally responsible. (Don’t say that I am a liar.).
Here are a few examples of factually incorrect clues:
- MAINE: America’s most dangerous state.
- ODD: Similar to numbers 2 3, 6, and 48.
- The bride is married to your uncle.
- MILLARD FILLMORE: A cute antebellum president
Keep in mind… You don’t want your puzzles to be a mess of clues that look similar to this.
It’s a big no-no.
Send it off
Finally, after you’ve completed these 5 easy actions… then you’re now ready to submit your grid! Print out your grid and send it off to the closest newspaper (and make sure you include the dreaded headshot for your stage! ).
You’re now well close to publishing your first crossword that is real!
Congratulations!! ! Read more