Login:

Password:





Not yet joined our word puzzle community? Then REGISTER NOW >>>
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...

Solving & Lit Clues In Cryptic Crosswords
When you are solving cryptic crosswords, most of the clue types that you come across are fairly intuitive: for instance a double definition clue fairly obviously involves two definitions that lead to the same answer. And an anagram clue, sure enough,...
Added: 11 Apr 2015


Cryptic Crossword Anagram Indicators
When solving a cryptic crossword one thing you can be sure of is that there will be some anagram clues, or partial anagram clues, in the solving mix. Some cryptic crosswords have over 50% of the clues containing anagrams in some form, whilst even the...
Added: 16 Apr 2015


Codeword Solving Tool
If you want help with solving codewords, then there are various tips and techniques that you can use, as outlined on other blog entries here at Wordy Puzzle. However, sometimes if you get completely stuck on a puzzle, then you might want some outside...
Added: 18 Mar 2015


General Knowledge Solving Tips
Solving general knowledge puzzles, surprisingly enough, requires a considerable amount of general knowledge. So far, so obvious. But how do you go about getting the knowledge that you require to solve a general knowledge crossword? Well there are...
Added: 20 Mar 2015


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...
Added: 28 Mar 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