Tips for solving crossword puzzles

Here are some tips to help you solve crossword puzzles.

Start with the words you know. Don’t spend too much time on the clues you can’t figure out in the beginning. If you start by filling out all the words you do know, the letters can help you solve the more difficult clues later.

Pay attention to the theme of the crossword puzzle. If the crossword puzzle has a title or an image some of the clues might be related to it.

Focus on the small words in the beginning. If you solve a lot of crossword puzzles you might be familiar with many of the smaller 2-5 letter words that constructors often use. These small words can provide letters for the more difficult clues.

Take a break to clear your mind. If you are stuck, put the puzzle down and come back to it later. When you come back a couple of hours later the answers might come to you more easily.

Use reference books. There is nothing wrong with using a dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia or atlas to help you figure out clues. One of the benefits of solving crossword puzzles is that you learn new things and improve your vocabulary.

Check off clues that you solved. Seeing your progress will give sense of accomplishment. It will also help you focus better on the unsolved clues.

Write with a pencil. This will allow you to guess on words you are not sure about and makes it easy to correct mistakes.

Pay attention to words with multiple meanings. Some words can have more than one meaning and puzzle constructors sometimes use tricky clues to throw you off.

Be patient. If you can’t figure out a clue, don’t stress. Sometimes the answers can come out of nowhere.

Be careful of uncertain answers. Sometimes you might think you know the answer, but are not one hundred percent sure. Avoid writing down uncertain answers as they can lead you astray so that you get the intersecting answers wrong as well.

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