How To Make a Crossword Puzzle

Crosswords are fun and simple to create. All you need to in order to create a crossword puzzle is a spreadsheet and your imagination.

Crosswords are basically a list of clues, that correlate to boxes on a grid. Each box in the grid is equivalent to one letter of a word. By solving a clue and finding the correct word, you fill the word into the corresponding boxes on the chart. The trick to crosswords, is that words cross. Words can be constructed both on the vertical and horiztonal axis, since the puzzle is set up like a spread sheet. This means that two words will intersect, and they must be sharing the exact same letter in this location.

Upon completing a crossword puzzle, you should be able to verify the correct answers by making sure all words fit in the appropriate gird and properly share the same letters on intersections.

  1. Making a crossword is fun and simple. First begin with a spreadsheet and determine the size of your crossword puzzle (it must fit within the spreadsheet). Next you will need to determine the number of clues you will want to create. All the clues must also fit on your spreadsheet.
  2. You will need to create your list of words and clues. Each clue must be short, but lend itself to the word your puzzle solver is trying to decipher. This can be done in two ways, for example using a two part word or a popular sentence followed by a blank (Movie ______) would indicate the word is likely "theater." Or, "a place to see movies" may be your clue, and likewise the answer could be "theater."
  3. Once you have all your clues figured out, place all the answers creatively on your spreadsheet. Look for ways to place words horizontally and vertically, so that each word intersects with at least one other word, or more.
  4. Label a number beside each of the starting letters of an answer on your spreadsheet, and put the appropriate number beside the clue. Separate your clues into both vertical and horizontal columns, and sort them in order. These will be easier for someone to follow and solve.
  5. The final step is to shade in all boxes of your spreadsheet that will not be occupied by a letter.  Finally, go back and erase all of the letters in the spreadsheet, if you have written them in. Print out your master copy.  This will create your empty puzzle for an individual to fill out. All that should be left is the empty puzzle with the appropriate areas shaded in, and the numbers indicating where the beginning letter of each clue word is placed. Also make sure to print off your list of clues. Finally, give it to a friend to enjoy!
  6. One other great and easy way to create a crossword puzzle is online. There are handy online helpers which require you to put in the words and clues, then will build your crossword automatically. These are great, and can be real time savers. Try this online crossword builder to get you started!


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