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Novelty Crosswords: Missing Vowel Puzzles

A missing vowel puzzle is a type of crossword variant that, as the name implies, is rather light on vowels!

The puzzle is presented as a normal crossword, but with a novel twist: instead of orthodox clues, all the answers appear under the grid, BUT without their vowels. This may sound like a fairly simple puzzle, but actually it can be really tricky.

There are two difficult elements to solving these puzzles:

Firstly, it can be hard to think of words that fit a pattern when you are only given the consonants.

Secondly, there might be lots of options, and so it is tricky to work out that you have found all possible options, and also therefore it can be hard to solve areas of the grid with confidence.

As a first step, you might like to go through and see if there are words you think only have one answer. Unlike anagram crosswords that you should start solving by tackling the shortest answers, with missing vowel / vowelless crosswords, you should start with the longest answers, as these usually have fewer valid options than the shorter words, and they are usually easier to spot.

You will definitely have several answers you can't solve immediately due to the number of possible options, so therefore your eye will need to look for clues with a unique answer to get you started.

Where you find there are several answers, be sure to consider if all options have certain letters in the same place: if so then you can place these in the grid, which might help you with other answers. Simple tactics like this are easy to spot but can make solving quite a bit easier, and not everyone uses them to maximum effect.

And that is all there is to solving vowelless crosswords. How do you find them; do you like this puzzle type and would you like to see more of them? Share your thoughts on missing vowel crosswords in the comments section as we'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this crossword variant.
Date written: 27 Mar 2015

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