Crosswords have been capturing the interests of many for decades. Since it graced The New York World in 1920s, it never looked back. It became a world-wide phenomenon with a lot of people trying to solve the hardest crossword puzzles ever.
To answer crossword puzzles, of course, you deeply rely on the clues. There are different kinds of clues a crossword uses. Knowing the types of clues make it highly possible for you to answer and finish the crossword.
• Straight or Quick
Simple and quick clues are the most simple definitions. Sometimes they would be in anagrams making it easy to decipher. However, there would be instances when a straight clue is not enough to figure out the answer, like in cases of synonyms.
We should also pay attention in the clues itself, when clues are in past or present tense. The answer would be in the same tense as the clue. Other straight or quick clues are those fill-in-the-blank clues which is where you can start solving the puzzle.
If there is a question mark in the end o the clue, it can be a pun, a metaphor or a wordplay. There are also straight clues which require colloquial answers. Colloquial answers or words would include whaddya, init, asif, etc.
Common three-letter answers are abbreviations are also used as answers. It is included or indicated in the clue. When asking for a PC key, there are also three letter keys like ESC, ALT, etc. Three letter answers can also be used when the clues are asking for directions or compass points.
• Crossword Themes
Crossword puzzles have themes. These themes are great clues when figuring out the words in puzzle. When the theme is identified, then the other words would have some degree of relationship, pun or somehow related with the theme word. An example of a theme, is a category theme where all the answers of the puzzle belong to one set.
Themes can be extremely unusual sometimes. One can identify the theme by answering the longest word or sometimes the constructor would incorporate the theme in the title of the crossword puzzle.
• First Entries
These kind of clues actually combine a few words into a phrase. This kind of clue is popular among British newspapers.
• Indirect clues
Some clues are metaphorical in nature. With this clues, the answer is not in their literal meaning. There would be times when the constructor would end the clue with a question mark to signify that it is a metaphor.
• Clues for cryptic crosswords
The clue itself has its own puzzle. This kind of clue has a definition at the beginning or end of the clue. Most of the times, the length of the answers are stated in a parenthesis after the clue. Cryptics whould also use homophobes and different kinds of wordplays. Cryptics would also include anagram clues and embedded clues. These kind of clues are more prevalent in United Kingdom.
• Double clue lists
There are times when one crossword grid can have two sets or lists of clues, one in straight and the other one cryptic. The solution can be different or the same. When the solution is the same, the straight clue sometimes serves as a reinforcement for the cryptic clue. This kind of format, enables both beginner and experts to work the same puzzle.