How to play crosswords

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How to play crosswords

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Crossword puzzles provide hours of wordplay enjoyment, and they also increase your vocabulary. With some practice and a few hints, you’ll be scribbling down the answers with ease.


Step One

Use a pencil so that you can erase mistakes easily.


Step Two

Fill in obvious answers, both across and down.


Step Three

Look at across questions and down questions again to see if anything new pops up - an easy answer you didn't notice before or one that has now become clear because of the letters that are filled in.


Step Four

Look for multiples in clues, such as 'friends.' Put an S in the last position, which may help you figure out adjacent words.


Step Five

Pay attention to clues in the past tense. Try putting ED in the last two positions. (This doesn't always work, however.)


Step Six

Familiarize yourself with frequently used - and often obscure - little words that crossword assemblers need to fill in niches here and there.


Step Seven

If you're completely stumped, put the puzzle down for a while and try again later. Or look at the clue another way - for example, maybe 'Getting to first base' refers to romance rather than baseball.


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