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Crossword Puzzle Hints

Updated on September 16, 2014

Solving Crossword Puzzles

I love to work crossword puzzles. The little squares on the page just waiting to be filled in make me so happy! And yes, I use a pen. I have to cross out letters sometimes, but I still use a pen.

Sometimes I get stuck; okay, much of the time I get stuck and need crossword puzzle hints. I have learned quite a few of these hints and tips through trial and error.

I'll share what I have learned in my years of solving (read: trying to solve) crossword puzzles.

Photo Credit: Peggy Hazelwood

Crossword Puzzle Hint #1

If the clue is given as a plural word,

the answer is a plural word.

~Example~

Clue: charts

Answer: maps

Crossword Puzzle Hint #2

If the clue gives a character's first name

(from a movie or TV show),

the answer is the actor's or actress's last name.

~Example~

Clue: Rita of "West Side Story"

Answer: Moreno

Pen or Pencil or Electronic?

Are you a daring crossword puzzle solver? Image Source:  The Graphics Fairy
Are you a daring crossword puzzle solver? Image Source: The Graphics Fairy

How do you fill in your crossword puzzles?

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New York Times Crossword Puzzles

Did You Know

that the New York Times crossword puzzles

are easiest in Monday's paper and

hardest in Sunday's paper?

They are!

Easy Crossword Puzzle Books - Good for Getting the Hang of Solving Crosswords

Crossword Puzzle Hint #3

Figure out the clue to

find the answer.

~Example~

Clue: Porker's pad (Break it down:

porker is a pig; pad is a "house")

What is a pig's house called?

Answer: sty

(a pig's house is called a sty)

Crossword Puzzle Hint #4

Any number that is the answer must be

spelled out. (Numerals are not used

as answers in crosswords.)

~Example~

Clue: Voting age

Answer: eighteen

How to Solve Crossword Puzzles

Trickier Crossword Puzzles - For when you've advanced past beginner puzzles

Crossword Puzzle Hint #5

A good way to start completing a

crossword puzzle is to solve the

fill-in-the-blank clues first.

~Example~

Clue: _____ Twain

Answer: Mark

Crossword Puzzle Hint #6

A clue that ends with a question mark usually

means that the clue/answer combination

involves some sort of pun or word play.

~Example~

Clue: Grateful?

Answer: ashes

(a grate might be full of this item)

All About Steve - A Very Funny Movie Featuring a Very Special Crossword Puzzle!

The 2009 movie All About Steve stars Sandra Bullock as Mary and Bradley Cooper as the titled Steve. Steve, a news cameraman, shows up to go on a blind date with Mary, a quirky crossword puzzle creator.

Mary is smitten, the date is however cut short when Steve is called out of town on an assignment. Mary names the next day's crossword "All About Steve." She doesn't know much about the guy, but it's enough to fill a crossword!

It just gets better from there. Trust me. It's silly but wonderful!

Note: Sandra Bullock won a Razzy Award for All About Steve and the Best Actress Oscar for The Blind Side in the same year. I loved All About Steve. I tell you, it's great!

Also stars Thomas Hayden Church and Ken Jeong.

Crossword Puzzles or Sudoku? - Which type of puzzle do you prefer?

Do you like solving crossword puzzles or sudoku puzzles?

Or are you like me and say "phooey" sometimes?

Do you finish every crossword puzzle you start?

See results

Crossword Puzzle Hint #7

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!

When you're certain you have

an answer correct, work on the

clues that use those same letters.

~Example~

If you solved 1 across as MAP, play off the M (the 1 down answer starts with an M), then the A (the answer for 2 down starts with an A), and 3 down

(the answer starts with a P).

Crossword Puzzle Hint #8

Keep an open mind!

Some crossword puzzle answers are

two or more words.

~Example~

Clue: Develop a liking for; colloq.

Answer: Cotton To

Sudoku for you Number Fans! - I prefer a good word puzzle, but I know we're all different...

Crossword Puzzle Tip #9

Remember to use prefixes when you can.

Add "dis" to the word "cover" to make "discover."

Add "re" to many words like "lease" or "move" to make words like "release" and "remove."

Solve Crossword Puzzles All Year Long - Magazines Make Great Gifts!

Leave a 7-letter word for "remark" if you like. - That's crossword puzzle speak for "Leave a 'comment' if you like." Thanks!

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    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      Very helpful tips, might make my percentage of completed puzzles higher :> I hope!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      These crossword clues were actually very helpful, I'll have to remember them the next time I tackle a crossword puzzle!

    • BobZau profile image

      Bob Zau 5 years ago

      Nicely done- I remember, back in the day, before all of the technological distractions I would do crosswords several times a week. I miss my horse and buggy too.