Crossword and word search puzzles are some of the educational past times that we can get into. Completing a crossword or a word search puzzle can become very challenging as it gets complicated, but it is even more challenging to make one. To create your own crossword or word search puzzle, you may find these steps useful:
- Research. Look at old crossword and word search puzzles to get ideas on the patterns and the way the clues are made.
- Prepare the materials. You will need paper, preferably graphing paper, so that you don't have to draw lines for the rows and columns, and a pen and pencil. It is best to write with the pencil first, so you can erase any errors, and then use the pen to make the final puzzle.
- Keep a dictionary in hand. It is very useful to have a dictionary as a reference, and to make sure the words you use are spelled correctly. It can also provide you with more ideas for your word clues and descriptions.
- Be creative. For crossword puzzles, the words used in the puzzle are usually mixed and are not related at all. For word search, the main clue is usually a theme. You can also use a theme for a crossword puzzle, to make it easier for you to come up with words to use in the puzzle.
- There are standard patterns for crossword puzzles. There is the American style grid and the British style grid, which have symmetric designs. When the paper is turned upside down, the pattern is still the same. There is also the Japanese style grid, where all corners of the puzzle are white, and black squares do not share sides.
- Using the standard designs in making your own puzzle may be very complicated, so you can start off with simple patterns, with fewer words.
- For word search puzzles, it is simpler, since all you need is to write down the words in vertical, horizontal or diagonal orientations using the graphing paper, and then fill out the empty spaces with random letters to “hide” the words.
- Take advantage of technology. With today’s technology, there is already free software available on the Internet that creates crossword puzzles for you. You simply need to input the words and their descriptions or clues, and the software will arrange these words to fit into the pattern that you have chosen. Other software is also available for word search puzzles, and other puzzles such as Sudoku.
- Practice. Your first crossword and word search puzzle may not be as good as the ones you see in newspapers, but it is a start. Create more puzzles, and also solve some puzzles in the papers so you can have more practice. It also gives you more ideas on how to put your clues together.
It will also be fun if you let your friends solve your puzzle and ask them to give you their reviews. In that way, you get to improve your work.