Welcome to the world of crossword puzzles. Learning through them is real fun and has these advantages: Intro
Welcome to the world of crossword puzzles. Learning through them is real fun and has these advantages:
Improves spelling and vocabulary
Involves skills such as reasoning and making inferences
Develops out-of-the-box and lateral thinking
Strong retention of subject specific terminology
An exercise to your brain cells
An educational tool that is interesting and fun
Can be solved individually within short time
Promotes team spirit if a combined attempt is made
Inexpensive yet useful pastime appealing to all ages
Provides a sense of accomplishment
Crossword puzzles jargon:
01. Anagram – It is word play in which all the letters of a word or phrase are used to form another word or phrase. Ex: LISTEN – SILENT; RESIST – SISTER; ANGLE – ANGEL – GLEAN; POTS – TOPS – STOP – POST – OPTS; ANTAGONIST – STAGNATION; WOMAN HITLER – MOTHER-IN-LAW; ELEVEN PLUS TWO – TWELVE PLUS ONE etc. Words such as 'change', 'different', 'mix', 'arrange' etc., are embedded in the clues to indicate an anagram. More simply capital letters are used. You will normally not find a crossword puzzle without anagrams.
02. Acronyms – Standard puzzles include a host of common and uncommon abbreviations
as part of a clue. Ex: 'Sailor' in short is 'ab' for able bodied; 'Book' is 'nt' for New Testament;
'good person' is 'St' for Saint; 'Oriental' meaning eastern is 'E' ; graduate – BA; unknown – 'x' or 'y' as in math; direction – N, E, W, or S ; German - de for its nation code etc.,.
03. Foreign Words:
Roman numbers – These are commonly given as part of clues. Ex: six 'vi' is VI; ten is X; fifty is L; hundred is C ...
In French 'the' takes different forms depending on whether it precedes masculine, feminine or plural word. So 'the French' in the clue could stand for le/la/les.
In Indian language(s) tea is 'cha', father is 'papa' etc.
04. Homonyms – These are same or similar sounding words that have different meanings. Words like 'reportedly', 'say', 'heard' are given hinting an homonym. Ex: hair, hare, heir; peace, piece, peas; right, write, rite, riot, ryot; stationary, stationery; plain, plane etc.
05. Lateral thinking -
Some words have two or more meanings. This is where the 'setter' confuses most. Ex: FINE - splendid or penalty; MESS - untidy or eating place; PLANT - shrub or factory; LOCK - a safety device or a strand of hair; OVER - completed or six deliveries in cricket; LIGHT - not heavy or lamp; MATCH - as in a tennis 'match', 'match' the following, 'match'-box; matrimonial 'match'.
'Article' could be an item OR piece of writing in newspaper OR 'a', 'an' or 'the' as in grammar. So you have to read the setter's mind!
06. 'Starters', 'initially' or 'heads' implies taking the first (initial) letters of the words in the clue.
Ex: All India Radio is primarily a gaseous mixture(3).
'Primarily' is the indicator. The 'gaseous mixture' is "air" taking the first letters of All India Radio.
07. Often synonyms and sometimes antonyms of words in the clue help in arriving at the answer. Reference to Thesaurus is advised.
08. Literal meanings: 'Less', 'without' etc., in a clue could mean some letters have to be deleted. 'In' could mean insertion of letters in a word. 'On' could imply placing some letters after another word. 'Within', 'extract, 'here' hint that the answer is a string of letters in some part of the clue. These are called hidden or telescopic clues.
Ex: Pole found in Sweden or The States (5).
"North" pole is found with in the clue itself.
The level of crossword puzzles varies from very easy to very hard. However, an effort has been made to avoid cryptic clues in these puzzles and set them as simple and interesting as possible to engage the students.
Try these for a beginning.
Chest expander! (3)
Not the first to measure time (6)
Oriental flower festival (6)
A large maker of trunk calls (8)
The classroom gets a new teacher (6, 6)
One good person steps into a branch of mechanics but gets a branch of mathematics (10)
Thinking of bull workers, exercises etc? It's much simpler.
02. Not the first to measure time (6)
What does 'not the first' imply?
How do you measure time?
The answer to both is
03. Oriental flower festival (6)
Thinking of a festival of flowers in the East?
Then you are in the wrong direction.
Abbreviation of Oriental(meaning eastern) is E.
Since the answer has 6 letters in it, perhaps
you should think of 5-lettered flower to arrive
at the name of a festival.
Daisy, Lotus, Aster, Tulip ....?
E + ASTER = EASTER a festival!
04. A large maker of trunk calls (8)
The word 'trunk' is key in this clue.
There are several meanings to it.
-Making 'trunk' calls for long distance via telephone as in olden days
-the 'trunk' of a tree
-a clothe 'trunk'
-the 'trunk' of an elephant
Now, read the clue again and think.
A LARGE MAKER OF TRUNK CALLS!
Obviously, the answer is
05. The classroom gets a new teacher (6, 6)
In this clue, "gets a new" suggests an anagram.
The answer is two six-lettered words ie total of 12 letters.
THE CLASSROOM has 12 letters indeed.
Rearrange them to arrive at two 6-lettered words for a synonym of 'teacher'.
06. One good person steps into a branch of mechanics but gets a branch of mathematics (10)
This a slightly complex one. Let's decode it.
Number 'one' in Roman is (I or i) implying letter 'i'.
'st' is acronym of Saint for 'a good person'.
So "one good person" combined in the clue stands for 'ist'.
One branch of mechanics is 'statics' (kinematics is another though).
Again in the clue, 'steps into' indicates 'coming inside' literally.
Inserting 'ist' into 'statics' appropriately, we get "a branch of mathematics".
GOOD LUCK! Ramesh Kosaraju PS: If you are unable to relate the clue and its answer after seeing the solution in any of the puzzles in this site, mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for clarification with reference to the crossword name and the clue number.