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How to be better at crosswords

You might think you don’t have the mind of a crossword puzzler, however anyone can learn to be better at completing crosswords. There are a number of steps you can take to better understand puzzles, how to solve them, and what steps you can take in order to gather the correct answers. 

Work in a group

Working in a group promotes collaboration, which leads to sharing knowledge. So, while you may not know something, someone else in your puzzle group may be able to help. 

If you can’t work in a group, you can always call a friend for help if you come across an answer that evades you. 


There are words that are frequently found in crossword puzzles, but don’t tend to crop up in everyday conversations. Words like aga, arno, elbe, epee, apse, olio and iota. Make yourself familiar with these common words filled with vowels that many crossword setters slip into their puzzles in order to make words fit. 

Follow The Clues

Crossword setters adhere to strict puzzle rules, so clues are written in the same part of speech as answers. Look for clues that that require answers ending in ING, EST, ED or S. It is possible that you can pencil these in ahead of time which could help you solve other clues. Before pencilling the answers in, check the corresponding clues- if it is also a plural then chances are the end letter is S. 

If you’re looking for an abbreviation, the clue will indicate this. If the answer is an acronym, the clue will generally feature an acronym within its text. 

Don’t rush

It’s easy to jump to conclusions when you read a “simple” clue, however many words have different meanings. So a clue reading “nurse” could be related to the medical profession, or it could be to breastfeed, or perhaps sip a drink.

Other words that mean many things: tire, spring, bear, entrance.


Looking up the answer isn’t cheating, it might feel like it, and it might even quell your feeling of success as you fill in the final answer. However, you may find yourself at an impasse, you have exhausted all other options so there is nothing else left for it. You can check a dictionary, encyclopaedia, atlas, or the internet. 

Consider this, the most compelling part of solving a puzzle is walking away from it with more knowledge than you had before. So you should never be too afraid to look something up if you have exhausted all other options. The only way to learn is to expand your mind, take time out to memorize crosswordese, capitals of states and countries, mountains, continents, seas, oceans, world currencies, and major rivers. Not only will you become a better puzzler, but spending times memorizing and recalling is great for your brain health.  

Type in your clue and hit Search!

Fill the crossword solver with the word your are looking for. Use '?' for unknown letters.

If you only have the first letter(s) of a word, type the letter(s) below.

or visit our complete Words that start with list.

If you only have the last letter(s) of a word, type the letter(s) below.

or visit our complete Words that end with list.