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Tips to Help You Become a Master of Crossword Puzzles

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    Whether as an independent task or as something to solve in a group, there is a real feeling of gratification that comes with the completion of a cross
    Whether as an independent task or as something to solve in a group, there is a real feeling of gratification that comes with the completion of a crossword. The humble crossword has been around in some form since the 18th century, but it was the launch of the New York Times’ crossword in 1942 that truly brought this puzzle to an American audience.
    Crosswords have since migrated onto the Internet, with players now able to access a range of variations on this classic form of puzzle. The mechanics of a crossword are straightforward enough, but they can be incredibly difficult to solve. Crosswords share many similarities with sudoku, another newspaper staple. They often seem doable at first, simply a case of filling in numbers or letters while following a few rules.
    However, the puzzle can take a difficult turn out of nowhere. Often, this spurs people on to persist and complete the crossword. Leaving a puzzle unfinished can be a source of irritation, but coming through a sticky patch to find the correct solution can be a magical feeling. Here are a few crossword tips to help you find that feeling.
    Start with the easy ones
    With all crosswords, there will be some clues that you find more straightforward at first. Get those in immediately – don’t worry about working through the clues in numerical order! By getting your confident answers in first, it may help you to unlock solutions that you could have otherwise been unsure about. Sometimes, you can fill in enough of the easier clues that some of the harder words almost reveal themselves.

    (Picture Source: Pixabay)

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    Check the grammar

    Sometimes, crossword clues may use grammar in a sneaky fashion to try and catch you out. This can lead to a situation where you opt for a word that mostly fits the pattern but goes awry at the end. Is the clue looking for a plural? If so, there is a fair chance that it is going to end in an 's'. Is the clue in the past tense? It could be that the solution ends in ‘-ed’. Is the clue looking for a present participle, where someone is doing something? The solution will therefore end in ‘-ing’.
    You can use websites like www.dictionary.com for comprehensive guidance on the grammar rules that may arise in crossword clues. Even if you’re unsure about the start of the word, filling in these suffixes can sometimes help you to work out other clues.

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    Don't be afraid to look for help

    Sometimes there may be one pesky clue that is just too niche, particularly historical terms that are no longer in everyday use. If you know that you’ll never be able to name a Roman helmet or a Greek enchantress (galea and Circe in case you were wondering), then don’t waste time or energy on hoping that you can pull the specific term out of thin air.
    By using www.crosswordsolver.com, you can save yourself a few headaches. The website’s tools allow you to search for the answers to specific clues, while tailoring the word length as required. While it is a great feeling to independently solve an entire crossword, solving all but one of the clues is an impressive achievement.

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    ((bold))((big))Check your answers((ebig))((ebold)) Sometimes, you may find that you rule out an answer to an unsolved clue because it doesn’t fit wi
    Check your answers

    Sometimes, you may find that you rule out an answer to an unsolved clue because it doesn’t fit with what you’ve already filled in. Check back on previous answers in that case. It can be tempting to think that a clue is permanently solved, but it could be that you’ve used a word which doesn’t quite fit with the rest.
    One example would be for this clue, sudden strong increase (7), where you’re confident that it starts with a ‘U’. Could it be ‘upswing’? How about ‘upsurge’? Either could be right, but perhaps another clue is reliant on the ‘r’ in ‘upsurge’. By trialing new solutions, you may unlock the answers you need.
    Fortunately, correcting mistakes on online crosswords is much easier than it is in a newspaper. There’s no need for a rubber or Tipp-Ex - simply delete your uncertain answer and see if a similar word works better.

    (Picture: Source: Pixabay)

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    Take a break

    Sometimes, you can sit for hours and rack your brain for a certain word that you think you should know. However, even the most intense bit of thinking might not be enough to unearth the right answer. In that situation, take a break from the crossword.
    The advice given by www.oxfordlearning.com on study breaks can also be applied to crossword solving. Walk around, have some water, or move on to a different clue - the right solution may pop into your head when you least expect it to. There's no need to feel like you have to complete a crossword in a fixed timeframe unless you're looking for that extra level of challenge.
    Find a way to approach crosswords that works for you. Some people work on their own, whereas others come together in groups. Some are adamant that you shouldn't check your answers, while others think that it is perfectly reasonable. Crosswords provide a form of intellectual stimulation, but there is something that matters even more when it comes to solving puzzles:

    Enjoyment, amusement, or light-hearted pleasure (3) - fun!

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    Enjoyment, amusement, or light-hearted pleasure (3) - fun!

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