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Crossword cheaters of the world unite
I began playing the New York Times crossword in the app some time during 2016, when, as a new New Yorker, I figured out that it was a good way to distract me from the stench and misery of my subway commute. Access to all the Times puzzles already came with my subscription — all I needed to do was download the crosswords specific app.
The problem was that I was instantly horrible. Most crossword puzzlers will tell you that being good at crosswords isn’t so much about knowing things as it is about knowing the things that crosswords want you to know. You can only get so far without knowing that “emo” is the Times’ chosen musical subgenre; that lassos are apparently also known as “lariats”; that if the clue is anything related to opera, the answer is probably “aria.”
Acquiring that knowledge takes nothing but practice and paying attention. So, what’s a crossword puzzle beginner to do?
The Times puzzle checker button has been absolutely essential to my crosswords education. The third icon from the right in the upper right hand corner is a two-colored circle; aptly, it appears to look like a life raft. When you click on it, a menu with four options pops up in the bottom of the screen; “Check Square,” “Check Word,” “Check Puzzle,” and “Reveal/Clear…” The latter button gives further options for what you want to show or delete.
Cheat your way to victory, friends. Credit: rachel kraus/mashable
The top two buttons have been my crossword saviors. When your cursor remains on a word and you use the life raft, the word or letter will turn blue if it’s right, or red with a black slash through it if it’s wrong. I view this kind of … help… as a kind of half measure of cheating: They’re not giving me an answer, they’re just telling me if my answer is right or wrong.
The most basic way I use it is to check whether a word is correct while I’m going along. It gives me permission to type answers that might be right, but that I might not write down if I were to do crosswords in indelible ink (like the newspaper pros). In this way, what the tool has given me most of all is confidence, and a better understanding of and trust in my crossword instincts.SEE ALSO: Bored? 7 Addictive Games You Can Play For Hours.
My most dastardly use of the tool is to check letter by letter. In a half-filled puzzle, it’s usually easy to tell whether a square contains a vowel or a consonant. If you run through the vowels, using the “check letter” feature, you’ll eventually find the right one.
Because I make liberal use of the tool, I’ve gotten better. I used to use the “check” tool in every puzzle. Now, I complete Mondays and Tuesdays without it. (Crossword puzzles advance in difficulty throughout the days of the week.) I try to solve as much as I can without the “check” later in the week, trying to put my new-found confidence into action. I can even finish the jumbo-sized Sunday puzzles now, only starting to use the “check” feature about half-way through. It’s satisfying and fun.
The first thing to understand is that all cryptic clues tend to be made up of what are called the Ximenean principles – which say that all cryptic clues can be divided into three basic parts:
1. An exact definition, in much the same way as a conventional or ‘quick’ crossword clue2. Some sort of wordplay – this is known as the ‘fair subsidiary indication’ 3. Absolutely nothing else!
So bear in mind that you need to tease out which parts of the clue are straight definitions and which are wordplay. Don’t do what many who are new to these kinds of crosswords do, which is to read the entire clue as a single phrase. This will hardly ever give you the right solution.
One tip when learning how to solve cryptic crosswords is to try solving a crossword puzzle with a friend in the first instance – it can help to have someone to have ideas you can bounce off.
Another one, which may seem slightly odd initially, is to actually try and set a few clues yourself, so that you see it from the point of view of the crossword setter. If you’re wondering, most crossword setters are keen, ultimately, to let the solver emerge victorious, with a finished grid and a grin on their face. Equally, though, most solvers will insist on putting up a fight first.
The famous crime writer Agatha Christie once said that writing her whodunnits was not unlike setting a cryptic puzzle.
“You reckon it’s too crazily easy and that everybody will get it straightaway, and then you’re terribly surprised when they don’t guess it at all.”
How do ___ do? crossword clue – Daily Word Answers
Here is the answer for: How do ___ do? crossword clue answers, solutions for the popular game Crosswords with Friends. This clue belongs to Crosswords with Friends August 16 2019 Answers. In case something is wrong or missing you are kindly requested to leave a message below and one of our staff members will be more than happy to help you out.
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How do you master cryptic crosswords?
Beginner’s guide to solving cryptic crosswords
- Read the clue. Then read it backwards. …
- Think about the rest of the clue. …
- Harden your heart against the setter’s siren charms. …
- Repeat step three. …
- Look at the number of letters. …
- Solve the damn thing . . .
Is the Times crossword cryptic?
The Times Crossword is the best-known crossword in the world. Expert crossword solver and setter, Tim Moorey, dispels the misconception that cryptic crosswords are the preserve of the elite. In this accessible guide, he demonstrates that anyone who enjoys words and word play can learn to solve a cryptic crossword clue.
Do crosswords improve memory?
Brain Fact: Crosswords are fun and may improve your ability to find words, but they don‘t help your brain’s overall cognition or memory. A lot of people do crossword puzzles each day with the belief that this activity will help keep the brain young and even keep Alzheimer’s or dementia at bay.
And Some More
Another thing to bear in mind is that, nearly always, you can find the definition either at the start or end of a clue. So, for instance, ‘Place roughly under top of tree trunk’ would be torso.
However, the double definition rule explained above can be the one time when you will find an exception.
Another rule is to ignore all punctuation – cryptic crossword solving is the one time when you should do that!
Full stops, colons, brackets, commas and capitalisations and the like should not be taken notice of. More often than not, they are included to divide concealed words of anagrams in a way that’s misleading.
That said, you do need to pay attention when you see exclamation marks or question marks. A question mark often means that you have a clue which demands particular lateral thought, or a quirky interpretation of the words. At the same time, a pun may be involved. An exclamation mark may denote that something needs particular attention.
Finally, do pay attention to every word in the clue, since the setter has placed each one there to have some significance, even if you may find some which are there just so that the clue makes sense grammatically. That also means paying attention to different tenses. So if definition terminates in –ing or –ed, or is a plural, the chances are that the solution will take the same form.
Once you’ve mastered a few basic rules, you will find in cryptic crossword solving a pleasure that will last for the rest of your life, and give you hours of enjoyment. Be patient and persevere, and you will gradually find that you can complete more and more clues and more and more puzzles unaided.