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Mar 13, 2008

What's Your Crossword Strategy?

On yesterday's (March 12 Wednesday) Comment section, MH mentioned about taking a poll on different strategies we each employ in solving the crossword.

So, let's take a poll then. Here are 4 choices:

1) You fill in all the Across Entries first, then move on to all the Down Entries, in an orderly fashion.

2) You coordinate each across clue with each down clue, and systematically fill in entries from upper left corner to lower right corner.

3) You flit from section to section, filling in whatever know.

4) Or Else? Other secret weapons?

Please share with us.

Thank you.

C. C.

6 comments:

Katherine said...

Oops, I see my mistake on 17 across, it is "no man who's",,,, My mistake.

Anonymous said...

I get this puzzle in the Wisconsin State Journal. Nailed it in twenty minutes. I start at 1 across and do the "onceover" down the list, filling in the easy ones, occasionally looking at the downs to fit. Foreign words or people's names seem to be the most challenging.

Anonymous said...

I drive my systamatic husband wild as I start at the top left with the across's then check with the downs as I go allong which takes me almost randomly thru the puzzel. I like the three letter words best so my eye usually jumps to them.

Anonymous said...

I get this puzzle in a free newspaper called amNY

C.C. Burnikel said...

Below are some of comments I copied from yesterday' discussion regarding the strategies:

1) From mh:

Your comment about starting top middle cues me to ask something I've always wondered about: what strategy to others follow when solving? Start at upper right? Do the across first followed by the down? Do all the three and four letter words first and go back for the long words? Follow diagonal patterns from top left to bottom right or vice versa? Or do you change your strategy for each puzzle (that's what I do) depending on the pattern and difficulty? Maybe a poll here.

March 12, 2008 10:40 AM

2) From Dennis:

I always start at the upper left and work to the right, then just sort of drift down from there. No logic, just habit.

March 12, 2008 10:54 AM

3)From Dick:

I usually start upper left but will frequently start lower right. Neither way seems not to afford any advantage.

March 12, 2008 12:05 PM

4) From Mkat:

Odd as this may sound, I scan the clues and as soon as I know an answer, I start at that point. And whichever corner it is in, I go section by section. Though there is no rhyme or reason that stays consistent, the strategy is what stays consistent and tends to work for me.

March 12, 2008 1:19 PM

5) From Sallyjane:

My solving methodology:

I solve all my crossword puzzles the same way. I do the acrosses for the top line of the puzzle and the downs connected to them first. Next I do all the acrosses and followed by all the downs. Then I go back and fill in any that are missing. I've been doing it that way for so long, I don't even remember why! OCD perhaps? :)

March 12, 2008 6:08 PM

6)From i'vebeentominot:

Regarding the poll: I start with No. 1 across, then No. 1 down, then all across and all down.

March 12, 2008 6:10 PM

I always start from upper left, but then I dart around, filling in whatever catches my eyes and flow from there.

Some pro solvers rely only on Across clues or Down clues to solve the puzzle, just to challenge themselves I guess.

MooBossyCowCow said...

CC: Thank you for your superb commentary for this crossword puzzle. I thoroughly enjoy it. I find it in the Seattle Times. I began doing the puzzle only three weeks ago, and Monday I found your Crossword Corner. As for my method, I commit to doing first across, and then down. I must say I am never able to do that, as I check a down to confirm an across fit. Thanks again, very much, Steve