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Beginner's guide to solving crosswords

Here, Electricka and her Muses elucidate some of the rudiments of playing crosswords for the most commonly solved type of U.S. crossword puzzle—the square. they also offer some tips and hints for solving puzzles better and faster.



This feature is in its initial stage of development. Return periodically to see additions.


beginner's guide to solving crosswords

table of contents


introduction to the guide

Knowledge of the rudiments of solving crosswords will help players solve puzzles easier, faster, and more skillfully.


play of the game

For the newcomer.

An overview of how to play the game of crosswords, American Style.

playing tactics & Techniques

A puzzle tactic is a plan or procedure for starting, proceeding, or finishing a puzzle; techniques are ways to work so as to correctly, quickly, and easily answer clues.


Common sense plus a little inside information and thought can go a long way toward improving play.

construction for solvers

Become a better solver by learning how to construct crosswords.

Every solver should have a basic understanding how puzzles are designed and constructed. Looking over the other fellow's shoulder will help you solve puzzles better, faster, and easier. Get a start on constructing your own puzzles.

Solving software


An automated table created by the Muse Of Language Arts that contains a list of definitions for the crossword terms used in this feature.

The crossword puzzle terms in this glossary apply to both crossword solving and crossword construction.

  • If you wish to visit the Beginner's Guide To Constructing Crosswords feature, click here.

ETAF Recommends—Resources for crossword solvers

the fun is in the going. Good luck!




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