Login:

Password:





Who's online? | Login | Leaderboard | Anagrams

Skeleton Crosswords And Symmetry

Skeleton crosswords are one of the hardest puzzles there are, and certainly one of the hardest crossword variants - probably alongside the cryptic crossword with the specialist solving skills that puzzle requires.

Like the cryptic crossword, one's ability to solve skeleton crosswords starts off fairly limited, but is built up over time as you learn the tips and techniques necessary to solve them.

One of the most crucial things to understand with skeleton crosswords is that the grids usually exhibit symmetry, and this symmetry can be used to help you solve the puzzle a lot more easily. This is because symmetries put in place certain restrictions as to how a grid must look in a way that an unsymmetrical grid does not. Using and understanding this is one of the keys to solving skeleton crosswords.

So, what type of symmetry do crossword grids exhibit? Well it does vary from grid to grid, but on Wordy Puzzle which is clearly what we're focused on here, they exhibit the most standard rotational symmetry that appears in nearly all crossword grids.

If you are unsure what this means, or find it hard to visualise the rotation in your head, then here is what it means mathematically:

Imagine we have a 10 x 10 puzzle to make the numbering very simple. If square 1 (row 1, col 1) is black, then so almost must be square 100 (row 10, col 10) in order to preserve the symmetry. Likewise if square 2 is white, then square 99 must be white to.

So when you are given information at the start of the grid about certain black squares and certain clue squares, you can use this elsewhere in the grid to make more deductions. In many cases, if you are given 6 pieces of information at the start of the grid, then there are 6 other squares you can mark as a result.

Your solving notation is useful too - clearly if you know where a black square is, then mark it: if you know a square must be white, or it contains an answer in other words, then you will want to mark this too. On paper many people put a dot in a square to mark it, and indeed you might wish to do the same with the online solver here at Wordy Puzzle too so you know that it must be an answer letter square, then fill it in accordingly when you know what it must be.
Date written: 01 Apr 2015



Comment on this post

You must be logged in to comment - please Register or Login

Other Blog Posts You Might Find Interesting...

Writing A Themed Kriss Kross Puzzle
Writing a themed puzzle is generally more difficult than writing a non-themed puzzle. This is usually because there are relatively few words on a theme, and therefore this will restrict the options for the particular puzzle type you are creating. This...
Added: 28 Jun 2015


Become A Cryptic Crossword Writer
Are you interested in crosswords, and would like to become a crossword author? Then this could be your chance to get your puzzles published on our expanding website! We are currently looking for some new, talented crossword writers to create puzzles...
Added: 15 May 2015


How To Solve Anagram Clues
Solving anagram clues is different for quick and cryptic crosswords. With quick crosswords, the anagram is always indicated, either by (anag) or (anagram) written after the clue. In contrast, with cryptic crosswords, it is never quite clear what the...
Added: 21 Mar 2015


The Benefits Of Solving Word Puzzles
There are many benefits to solving word puzzles. First and foremost, doing so is a very inexpensive hobby, puzzles are fun and satisfying to solve, and word puzzles provide a very effective form of 'brain training'. As opposed to solving logic puzzles...
Added: 26 Apr 2015


Wordwheel Player Update
We hope you are all enjoying playing the great range of puzzles we have available online here at Wordy Puzzle. We just wanted to let you know that we have implemented the most common piece of feedback we have received, which is to do with the...
Added: 28 Jul 2015




Back to Puzzle Blog


Puzzle Types:
Arrow word Puzzles
Pangram Puzzles
General Knowledge Crosswords
Quick Crosswords
Wordwheels
Word Ladders
Word Fit
Skeleton Crosswords
A to Z Puzzles
Codewords
Cryprograms Online
Every Letter Counts