Making Crossword Puzzles

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Design a Crossword Puzzle in Microsoft Excel

I found this excellent article on making crossword puzzles on the Microsoft Website. It gives good ideas on how to use Microsoft Excel to make your own crossword puzzle.

Design a Crossword Puzzle in Microsoft Excel

Enjoy and be creative.

Frans Van Wyk

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Making Crossword Puzzles - Build Your Own

Continued: Making Crossword Puzzles....

Another thing to decide on, is which type of grid you’re going to use for your puzzle. According to Wikipedia there are mainly three kinds of grid. The American, English and Japanese grids. Here are examples of the three grids:




As you see the main differences between the grids are that the English grid uses vertical and horizontal blanks, the Japanese grid uses only diagonal blanks while the American grid uses a combination of all three.

So as not to cramp your style for your first crossword I would suggest that you use the American grid. Have a look at different types of grids, however, and choose the one you’re most comfortable with. You can find it in the newspapers and magazines you have access to.

Drawing grids by hand is tedious and boring, and it will be changed repeatedly as you design your own crossword. Because of this it would save you lots of time and frustration if you create the crossword on a spreadsheet. If you don’t have one you can download it for free here.

Happy Crossword Building.


To be continued....

If you're tugging at the bit look at this.

2008 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament Finals Part 4 of 4

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Making Crossword Puzzles – A peek behind the scenes

To embroider a bit on the idea of using a theme, I came across this article about Bonny L. Gentry at azcentral. She's a lady that's making crossword puzzles that have run in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.

It is fascinating to me what people use to generate creative thoughts. Here are a few excerpts from the article that shows how creative making crossword puzzles can be:
There are computer programs that help crossword-puzzle creators like Bonnie L. Gentry of Scottsdale with some of the mundane tasks, like deciding where the black squares go and suggesting short words.

But most of the work that goes into a crossword happens away from the computer. It comes with Gentry scribbling ideas and odd words on slips of paper, trying to come up with the creative and clever themes that make crossword fans smile.

Gentry finds a theme or quote to build the puzzle around. She did one, for example, built around this quote from golfer John Daly: "I hit the ball as hard as I can. If I can find it, I hit it again."

For another, she played off the phrase "win, lose or draw." Her three answers were "winning smile," "losing one's nerve," and "drawing board."

I never would have thought of going about it quite like that, but thinking about it in such a creative way, making crossword puzzles can be very interesting.

Here is a link to the full article…

If you are asked to give particulars do so it’s harmless.
Love to hear what you think.


PS. For those tugging at the bit... Making Crossword Puzzles.