Would you like to improve your mental flexibility and learn interesting things every day? Solving crosswords is like mental yoga – stimulating and relaxing at the same time. It eliminates worries and makes you calmer and more focused. Plus, it’s fun, especially if you like word games. With practice and patience, anyone can learn to solve crossword puzzles. You don’t need to be an expert as these riddles are not intelligence tests and do not measure your vocabulary.
It’s more about understanding the clues. The goal of the puzzle is to fill in all the fields with the correct letters and in some cases find the solution at the end.
Here are some tips for solving crossword puzzles
- Work with a pencil
Working with a pencil means allowing yourself to make mistakes, and as we all know, learning from mistakes will ultimately make you a better puzzle solver. So if there are multiple answer options, you can pencil in your guesses and generate other combinations.
- Targeted walkthrough
First read all the questions from top to bottom and write down the simple answers. If you decide on a direction (eg left to right), you can be sure not to miss a question. Writing in easy-to-solve words will automatically help you solve the rest of the puzzle, as there are already more letters.
- Solve words with few letters
First, look at 3, 4 or 5-letter words.
- dare to take breaks
Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. So if you’re stuck on a word forever, you better take a little break. After a while, the aha effect can suddenly set in, even if you were previously stuck.
- Include Cover Subject
The crossword puzzle to solve usually has a specific theme or title. If this is the case, part of the questions could relate to this subject. Especially when looking at questions with multiple possible answers, thinking about the title may be more likely to lead you to the solution. For example: if the title includes a Christmas theme, the tree you are looking for will be FIR rather than ASH.
- Note the part of speech
Sometimes you can guess what part of speech you are looking for based on the question. This offers the possibility of writing the ending already, even if you don’t know the word yet. With a verb, it is usually the ending -en and with plural words -en or -s. The few letters at the end of the word help solve other words. It’s best to use a pencil here too, as there are exceptions here too.
- use intersections
Check if a word is correct by resolving the entries that cross it.
- several meanings of the word
For some questions, it is advisable to look more than once, as the question itself may be ambiguous. On the one hand, it’s because a word in the question can have different meanings. BANK, for example, can mean both the bank to sit at and the bank to withdraw money from. On the other hand, a note can be meant literally. We often have to look at problems from different angles. For example, if you’re asking what route you can take to get to Rome, you’re probably not talking about a specific road. Rather, it is the proverbial answer to EVERYTHING. Because, as we know, “all roads lead to Rome”.
- Include the word solution
At the edge of a crossword puzzle, you will see the word solution, the letters of which correspond to the numbered squares of the puzzle. If you are only missing a few letters, you might be able to guess the word earlier. You can then enter the words into the puzzle and thereby generate new solution approaches.
- Use other resources
Looking for answers is cheating? Incorrect. If you’re really stuck and can’t find the solution, there are other resources you can use. Use a dictionary, atlas, encyclopedia or the Internet. This is how you learn because the best-case scenario for the next riddle is if you can remember the answer.
Become a puzzle pro with these quick tips
If you follow these little tips, you will quickly become a real puzzle pro. Sure, it’s good to be ambitious or want to answer as much as possible – but don’t forget to have fun doing it.