How to Solve crossword puzzles

Crossword puzzles can help build your mind and improve self-control, language skills, and confidence. Watch this video to learn how to solve crossword puzzles.

You Will Need

* A crossword puzzle
* A pencil

Step 1. Start with easy clues across

Solve the easy clues first, starting with number one and moving "across."

Step 2. Now move down

Begin with number one in the "down" category and answer all you can in the first pass.

Step 3. Connect intersecting words

Progressing from the puzzle's top left, fill in words that intersect with already completed answers.

Words that contain a lot of vowels are used frequently in crossword puzzles.

Step 4. Take breaks

Take a break periodically. If you try too hard, the obvious can seem unintelligible. When you return to the puzzle, note how quickly some answers occur to you.

Step 5. Check for anagrams

Check for anagrams in clues. Anagrams show up through descriptive terms or names that must be rearranged to divine the intended answer.

Step 6. Use the puzzle theme

Use words associated with the title of the puzzle.

Work with a friend – sometimes two heads are better than one when solving a crossword puzzle.

Step 7. Fill in the rest

Continue filling in answers, moving left to right and top to bottom.

Step 8. Practice and get better

Practice crosswords to get better. The more puzzles you do, the more familiar you'll be with standard puzzle clues and answers.


FACT: People who work on crossword puzzles more than four times a week may be less likely to get Alzheimer's disease.

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