Get a thrill from drawing a crossword puzzle---or go crazy trying to do it.
Addiction comes in many forms: alcohol, drugs, crossword puzzles. You know you are addicted when the first thing you do every morning is pull out your paper and begin working on the crossword puzzle. However, unlike alcohol and drugs, word puzzles are healthy addictions that strengthen your mind. According to Discovery Health, crossword puzzles "stimulate the brain and increase the connections between brain cells." But when you discover solving crossword puzzles is no longer a tease, it is time to move on to something more challenging: drawing a crossword puzzle.
1. Make a list of words and clues you would like to include in the puzzle. The words should vary in length, but avoid two-letter words. For example, a hint can be "Tree," and the answer "Maple." Or if the clue is "Hoosier State," the answer is "Indiana." List at least 20 words and clues.
2. Use your ruler and pen to draw a 15-by-15-box grid. Make 16 vertical lines 1/2 inch apart. Add 16 horizontal lines 1/2 inch apart to make squares out of the vertical lines. You should have 15 rows of squares across and 15 columns of squares down.
3. Write the words on the grid so two or more words connect. Label the first box of each word with a number.
4. Use diagonal symmetry, which means to match black squares diagonally. According to the Crossdown website, "If a black square appears in the upper left-hand corner, there must be one in the bottom right-hand corner." This is true for the entire puzzle. You should not have more than one-sixth of the puzzle filled with shaded squares.
5. Fill in the remaining white space with words, abbreviations and phrases. Separate the clues into two lists, across and down. Begin numbering the boxes from lowest to highest and jotting down the clues.
6. Separate the clues into two lists, across and down. Begin numbering the boxes from lowest to highest and jotting down the clues.
7. Erase the answers from the crossword puzzle to finish, or repeat Step Two and shade the areas on the new grid to correspond to the old. Add the numbers to the corresponding positions and write the clues at the bottom to finish.
Tips & Warnings
Save time by inputting words and clues in an online helper that will automatically create your crossword.