User

Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
 
 
 
Forgot your password?

Navigate

Resources

Donations


You can help support this site by making a small donation using either a PayPal account:

or with a major credit card such as:

 

 

Click here for details.

Google Ads

Author Topic: Learning How To Construct Grids  (Read 4640 times)

Glenn9999

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Common Solver, New Constructor
Learning How To Construct Grids
« on: April 25, 2016, 07:04:47 PM »
I am interested in getting some questions answered about how to construct a crossword grid now, after getting into solving them for a year or two now.   Presently, I have not located any references that answer my questions. 

Are there any good accessible references in mind that specifically answer laying out a grid in a good way to facilitate fill, how to determine or help whether fill is possible, or any rule of thumb on how to best create fill?  I feel I made a good first try, but ran into problems that took a whole weekend to try to work out that I couldn't do it too well trying to fit a "interesting" word or two in and ended up with several boring words in the whole grid (cue Wah Wah horn).  And if I can't find other words in the grid that I'd be excited to see...

Also, what makes a "good theme"?  I came up with a good basic one to do this learning grid off of, but hopefully for what I do, I hope to find something that's as exciting to me as some of those fill words I like to see.

But the main thing is if I'm going to do it, I need to learn how to do it correctly.  And in that sense, have at least the chance of being published.

So, any suggestions?
My Blog of Totally Random Crossword Observations: http://glenncrossblog.wordpress.com

RichP

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2016, 10:59:22 PM »
Check out Sage Advice on the left and the thread under Construction - Etc. called  "General rules for filling in a grid?"

Glenn9999

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Common Solver, New Constructor
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2016, 10:05:54 AM »
Check out Sage Advice on the left and the thread under Construction - Etc. called  "General rules for filling in a grid?"

Thank you for your response.  I've seen most of the "Sage Advice", but I'll take a look at the other thread.  What I saw initially seems helpful.  The only real thing I don't see a clear start on is how to do fill in order to find the most success in filling the area with at least one other word that could be interesting (besides theme entries).   

As I've been a bit slow for time and my work on trying to learn how to do certain types of grids I still can't finish, I'll probably have more questions/need of assistance when I can walk-through what I have here.
My Blog of Totally Random Crossword Observations: http://glenncrossblog.wordpress.com

4wd

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2016, 12:07:15 PM »
check out the crossword constructors handbook by patrick berry focuses on a 15x15 grid though techniques can be applied else where.

Glenn9999

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Common Solver, New Constructor
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2016, 06:32:55 PM »
More self-referential stuff for when I sit down soon to get it done (while I take way too much time on grids, I'm solving about 95-98% of them successfully now): RichP refers to this thread.

Just to sound it out for myself as I think I may be getting on the track of how to answer this, minus the rough pictures I could draw and put in (video would be even better) - 15x15 here of course: Observationally, it looks like most grids are "woven together" then filled in. 

1. Start by placing the longer theme type answers (or whatever required for the theme) alternately from top and bottom to maintain symmetry and preserve a legal grid (answers of 3 characters or more).  But black square after themers and then set word on other side.

2. Then form crosses with verticals using the bounds of the grid to fill a lattice some place again working from top and bottom.  Leave one black square between words again in the middle.  These represent the words that one would have the most freedom to define for themselves and can be themers as well.

3. I'd have to play with it a bit after that, but I would say this is where you would have to word-shop, fit things, etc, etc.  Farthest away from the intersections is where you want your "odder" lettered words, closer to the intersections you want to take whatever (reasonable) you can get...

To answer a quick question from elsewhere, yes I'm well-aware of the software (CCW, etc).  But I want to learn how to do it instead of have a program do it for me.  Because I have a very particular set of skills...skills I might want to use. :)

check out the crossword constructors handbook by patrick berry focuses on a 15x15 grid though techniques can be applied else where.

Doesn't appear in Amazon, as does most other books I've seen recommended.  Sorry.
My Blog of Totally Random Crossword Observations: http://glenncrossblog.wordpress.com

4wd

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2016, 11:06:11 AM »

check out the crossword constructors handbook by patrick berry focuses on a 15x15 grid though techniques can be applied else where.

Doesn't appear in Amazon, as does most other books I've seen recommended.  Sorry.

sorry for the late reply been a little busy, you can get a copy from his website http://aframegames.com/store/ costs less to get it from there, was previously named Crossword Puzzle Challenges For Dummies and its available on amazon though it's a lot more expensive if you purchase it from there. here's a link https://www.amazon.com/Crossword-Puzzle-Challenges-Dummies-Patrick/dp/0764556223

Glenn9999

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Common Solver, New Constructor
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2016, 10:44:44 AM »
sorry for the late reply been a little busy, you can get a copy from his website http://aframegames.com/store/ costs less to get it from there, was previously named Crossword Puzzle Challenges For Dummies and its available on amazon though it's a lot more expensive if you purchase it from there. here's a link https://www.amazon.com/Crossword-Puzzle-Challenges-Dummies-Patrick/dp/0764556223

Sorry for the late reply in return.  I was able to locate this work and have since been able to work at figuring out grid construction, amid all the other distractions.  I hope to have something that can be solvable very soon of decent enough quality that I could consider doing something with it.
My Blog of Totally Random Crossword Observations: http://glenncrossblog.wordpress.com

4wd

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2016, 01:37:47 PM »
no worries, glad you got a copy it'll demystify things 8)

Glenn9999

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Common Solver, New Constructor
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2016, 03:03:57 PM »
no worries, glad you got a copy it'll demystify things 8)

Not quite at the moment.  Think I ended up with a bad theme to start with in terms of layout (lot of 13-15 letter items), so I've had trouble.  Hopefully I can find something I like that will also be easy to work with and get the rest.  I'm basically shooting for a Monday-type grid, so hopefully it'll be easy to figure out the rest. 

Regardless, Berry's reference will be useful, though how useful will remain to be seen.
My Blog of Totally Random Crossword Observations: http://glenncrossblog.wordpress.com

4wd

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2016, 03:42:21 PM »
you should try some shorter themed entries, they're easier to work with, try sticking to some of the recommendations in terms of line placement it'll make things easier when designing the grid.

those 13s / inconvenient lengths can be a pain, just keep at it and you'll make great progress plus the book will give ya a couple "ah ha" moments

Glenn9999

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Common Solver, New Constructor
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2016, 10:31:29 AM »
you should try some shorter themed entries, they're easier to work with, try sticking to some of the recommendations in terms of line placement it'll make things easier when designing the grid.

I think that original theme will make a great rebus puzzle I can attempt later (part of the theme actually is suited to it).  Meanwhile, I'll have to come up with something that's more Monday/Tuesday based as the rest of my ideas at the moment are all category-type trivia which probably would end up in late-week land.  I guess at this point I'm just looking to figure out how to walk (proverbially) before I try writing harder clues or doing harder layouts.
My Blog of Totally Random Crossword Observations: http://glenncrossblog.wordpress.com

4wd

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2016, 12:24:58 PM »
nice, just take it a step at a time, I've been focusing more on designing grids that are visually
appealing with a clean fill, clues aren't my strong point so gotta work on improving my clue writing
skills

Glenn9999

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Common Solver, New Constructor
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2016, 12:09:06 PM »
nice, just take it a step at a time, I've been focusing more on designing grids that are visually
appealing with a clean fill, clues aren't my strong point so gotta work on improving my clue writing
skills

Always good to know where you can improve.  Lately I've been trying to just look at other grids and see the distribution of word sizes and how to control the number and sizes of the words.  Of course, I'm sure I'll have more questions from somewhere once I can find something to run with.
My Blog of Totally Random Crossword Observations: http://glenncrossblog.wordpress.com

4wd

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2016, 12:52:22 PM »
Always good to know where you can improve.  Lately I've been trying to just look at other grids and see the distribution of word sizes and how to control the number and sizes of the words.  Of course, I'm sure I'll have more questions from somewhere once I can find something to run with.

Yup, carefully examining the grid can give you a better understanding of things, what I tend to do is pay close attention to the software's word count it gives detailed info on word lengths.

How about rebuilding grids in the software and examining the stats.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 12:54:31 PM by 4wd »

Glenn9999

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Common Solver, New Constructor
Re: Learning How To Construct Grids
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2017, 11:31:00 AM »
those 13s / inconvenient lengths can be a pain, just keep at it and you'll make great progress plus the book will give ya a couple "ah ha" moments

FWIW, if people read this and wondering how goes, I just finally decided to go with "any theme that will work" since I've been having problems coming up with workable themes I like.  I ended up with a kind of silly one (11-13-13-11), but probably won't publish anyway for being too trite and repetitive.  Good to be able to go on and have something to work with I suppose. 

Problem is, the way the letters line up, I'm finding it hard (grid layout or otherwise) to get good fill - I had to pull out DAWNOF (as in "Dawn of the Dead", again non-publishable I'm sure, ??W??F is the target in the grid right now) for fill just to make it possible to fill the rest.

Like I say with the solving, I'm sure I'm missing something.  Hopefully though, it can be figured out soon. :)
My Blog of Totally Random Crossword Observations: http://glenncrossblog.wordpress.com

 


Powered by EzPortal