Crossword puzzles are a great way to relax and pick up some interesting and educational things. Some of them are more difficult than others, but they are all equally entertaining. Although many would think that knowing how to do this like an expert you need to be naturally talented and very smart, the truth is that they are a skill. Like any skill, you can be more proficient in solving them if you put in more of your time and energy into them.
If you like doing this type of puzzles and want to be better, these are some of the things you need to keep in mind.
Make It a Daily Activity
Just like with everything else in life - the more you do crosswords, the better you’ll get. So, if you’re determined to enhance your skills, make it a part of your daily routine. In case you’re new to all of this, you can start with the easy ones and even use an online solver to help you in solving them. You will get the answers quickly and enrich your vocabulary, so you’re more prepared for the next puzzle.
Remember, even the most successful athletes were once beginners, but due to hard work and dedication they were able to reach the very top. The same principle is applied here. As the old saying goes – “Practice makes perfect.” You can do puzzles while drinking your morning coffee, or commute to work - just find a way to include them in your day. Over time, progress will be evident.
Keep an Open Mind and Learn
Clues in these puzzles are coming from all kinds of spheres, and to be good at playing them, you need to know a little bit of everything. From pop culture and sports to history and geography, you need to keep an open mind and absorb as much information as possible. There is no need to dive too deep, but make sure you stay up-to-date with current trends and events.
This is where watching game shows and playing board games can come quite handy. Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Scattergories, and similar popular releases will make you think outside of the box and enrich your vocabulary.
The Blanks Are a Good Starting Point
The easiest things to spot while doing the crossword are FITB of Fill-In-The-Blanks clues. Given this fact, they also represent a good place to start solving a puzzle, so make sure you find them first on the grid. After that, you can continue with smaller, three-to-five letter words.
When it comes to smaller words, they tend to repeat in different crosswords. Generally speaking, you will be able to find them as the number of options is not very big. Some of them will be well-known to frequent solvers as they are seldom used in everyday life but often appear in puzzles.
Focus and Don’t Jump to Conclusions
When you try to solve clues, you need to keep in mind that some words in English are spelled the same way but have a totally different meaning. That’s why you need to focus on the task on hand and pay attention to other clues as well.
However, don’t be afraid to guess the answers. If you’re doing crosswords the old-fashioned way by using a pencil, you can always write the word lightly, and then if it doesn’t fit, erase it. For those who are more tech and use apps, the same tip applies. If you have the wrong term, you can simply delete it by simply clicking on it.
Don’t Stress Out
It can be frustrating when you get stuck on some clue, but don’t let your resolve of finding the right answer melt. Move to another part of the grid and come back to it later. Don’t forget this is supposed to be a fun and relaxing activity. There is really no reason to continue doing it if you don’t feel comfortable but agitated.
Overcoming this type of self-imposed pressure can help you develop more as a person and learn how to deal with difficult situations. After all, by doing this type of mental exercise, you also train your resolve to complete a task at hand and boost your self-confidence.
These are just some of the basic ways to increase your crossword skills. Remember, it takes time to perfect the ability, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Do these word puzzles as much as you can, and you will be able to witness your improvement as time goes by.