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Tips in solving crossword puzzles

 
 
Lacy456
 
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2014 07:35 pm
Guys, i love solving puzzles everyday. But, crosswords are new to me. I'm a novice and want to know any tips to easily solve the puzzle.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 3,547 • Replies: 15
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neologist
 
  2  
Reply Wed 13 Aug, 2014 03:42 pm
@Lacy456,
There is one thing (besides cheating) that works well for me, assuming the puzzle is not beyond my ability:

I've found that if I put the NY Times Sunday puzzle aside after having looked at it and stabbed at a few answers, that my subconscious mind seems to work on it while I walk the dog or do some other activity. When I return to the puzzle, answers that seemed impossible came quickly. After working it and putting it aside a few times, I can usually get it completed.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 07:00 am
@neologist,
Excellent advice neo.
As you probably know, the Saturday NY Times puzzle is extremely difficult.
My sister and I do it together. She in Vancouver. Me in Florida.
We E mail back and forth at a leisurely pace to get it done.

Solving it with a friend is a lot of fun.
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 12:35 pm
@panzade,
I have only once completed the Saturday NY Times puzzle.
I got lucky. But I generally don't try.
Sudoku is a different story.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 12:51 pm
@neologist,
I've never solved a Sudoko...what's the secret?
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 01:30 pm
@panzade,
http://www.paulspages.co.uk/sudoku/howtosolve/
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 01:38 pm
@panzade,
I'm a master (mistress), or used to be, of the sunday nytimes and LAtimes crossword puzzles of yore, in pen. The puzzles would be near engraved by the time I finished and I often finished; usually as Neo said, after rest phases. No dictionary, of course. Have not subscribed to the NYT every day for decades now, so don't see those other day puzzles, and now don't get the sunday times either.

Alas, I tried online puzzles and they annoyed me (you know me, easy to annoy). I want to see the whole puzzle at once, per favore. Maybe the online puzzles have changed, and if so, please let me know. See, if I am getting nowhere on the upper left, I'll scoot down to the lower right, and so on. I want the whole picture. Is Will Short still around?


On suduko, I tried it once and said, what?


edit - on crossword puzzles, no tips except keep thinking.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 01:47 pm
@ossobuco,
Did any of you read Saturday Review? There was some literary game in there that I was horrible at. Might have been better after the internet, if I tried to figure things out that way but I think the magazine closed pre internet.
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 01:47 pm
@ossobuco,
Quote:
Is Will Short still around?
yup
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Shortz
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 01:58 pm
@Region Philbis,
Thanks! A young'un!


Enigmatology? Love it. I read more and see that it was a self designed major, and that did start about the early seventies. Whatta guy..
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 02:05 pm
@ossobuco,
I was weaned off the S Review when it folded. I believe the puzzle was a Quote-Acrostic with the answer being a famous quote in Literature.
I had no problem with it; having a code-breakers affinity for word puzzles.

The Saturday NY Times is the toughest on the market which I rank in difficulty by the number of Googles it takes to solve it.
2 Google searches is a triumph.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 02:12 pm
@panzade,
You google? Quelle horreur! (I speak no french)

Is do get it that that's a way to learn.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 03:27 pm
@ossobuco,
The alternative is a pile of unfinished puzzles, comprendre? Mon petite canard osso?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 03:59 pm
@panzade,
I won't duck that.

Back when I did those masses of puzzles, they didn't have too many unknowable words, and sometimes those were found by answering the stuff (er, spaces) around them..

I google all the time on everyday stuff now, so I probably would on that too. Maybe, or maybe not, after I gave up.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 05:01 pm
@ossobuco,
What's changed under Shortz's tutelage is that it's not only about words or definitions. Now it's about wordplay, like:
Letter opener...you spend time looking for an 8 letter word for some kind of tool and it turns out the answer is: addressee.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2014 05:26 pm
@panzade,
Yeah. That kind of word task showing up sometimes is what I liked about him/them. Well, and all the rest of it. Primo for wool gathering.

I also liked the LA Times puzzle but that one, if I remember, was solvable if you figured out the theme of the week. (I may misremember, twas years ago)


By the way, do you follow that Lovatt's thing? I've never been attracted to it so I've not even checked it out.
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