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Novelty Crosswords: Anagram Puzzles

An anagram crossword is a novelty type of crossword puzzle, in that it is a crossword variant that is both rare and is fundamentally different to a normal crossword puzzle.

As you may have guessed, in an anagram crossword the clues are replaced with anagrams of the answers. So if the answer to 1 across is 'scale' then the clue might be 'laces' or a random shuffling of the letters in the word, such as 'sleca'.

The aim of the puzzle, then, is to simply solve all the anagrams and thus to fill the crossword grid, just like with a normal puzzle.

Clearly this variant of the puzzle is fun if you enjoy solving anagram puzzles, and most people do. The best way to tackle these puzzles is to adopt the following strategy:

- Start with the smallest clues, as it is usually easiest to spot these answers.

- Be careful whenever you think you've found an answer that there is only one valid anagram, and not several. If you find more than one, you might want to note them down.

- Once you've got an answer, enter it in the grid and use the information to help you solve other anagrams. If you are solving on paper you might want to cross out the letter(s) you have found from the clue it affects to help you solve the puzzle.

And that's pretty much all there is to it - by ensuring that you start with the smaller and therefore easier anagrams first, and always checking for multiple solutions as you go along, you should be able to solve any anagram crossword this way. Just be careful that the puzzle is of a type that doesn't include proper nouns or multiple word answers (the puzzle would usually state if this is the case) as if so you can get stuck for ages looking for dictionary words without realising the answer might be a town or person's name, for instance.

If you have any particular tips on solving anagram crosswords, then feel free to share them below.
Date written: 28 Mar 2015

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