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...

Tips On Solving A-Z Puzzles
Every A-Z puzzle starts the same: with a completed crossword grid, save for the small matter of 26 squares being blank, and you as the solver must decide which letter from A-Z fits in each empty square, with the important caveat that each letter appears...
Added: 02 Apr 2015


What Is A Nina?
Well, the first thing to say about Nina, is that it is a name. But in the context of crosswords, it means something quite different indeed. A nina virtually always only appears in cryptic crosswords, and some authors are well-known for including them...
Added: 05 Apr 2015


Cryptic Crossword Solving: General Tips
In the series of articles on cryptic crossword solving, we've covered a huge range of different clues, with articles that look at each type of clue. So by now you should be familiar with the types of clue that might be thrown at you, if you've been...
Added: 10 Apr 2015


Cryptic Definition Clues In Cryptic Crosswords
One of the rarer clue types to be encountered when solving cryptic crosswords is called the "cryptic definition". How does this vary from the other clue types, and what does it mean? Well, it varies from them in this very important way: there is...
Added: 12 Apr 2015


How Much Can You Sell Crosswords For?
One of the most common questions that people have when they start writing crosswords, is what the going rate is. However there is no clear answer, as it varies on so many different factors. These include: - The grid size: generally the larger the...
Added: 24 May 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