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Word counts / limits


Are there any rules of thumb on the number of 3 letter words that a puzzle should have?  For example, if I have a 76 word puzzle should I try to limit it to no more than 20 or 24 3-letter words?

Try to keep your 3 letter entries down to about 20-25% of your grid, though if you go a little over that
its fine. I find some grid designs wont work unless you go a little over. Reason being there aren't much
cluing options for threes, longer entries have more possibilities.

Thanks, that's helpful!

no problem :)

There's one editor (John Samson who edits the Simon & Schuster MEGA Crossword Puzzle books) that has a strict limit of 12 3-letter words in a 15x15 grid. That works out to about 15% if you have 78 words. This constrains the theme entry lengths somewhat, but as pointed out earlier, the 3-letter words are limited, so that's the reason for it. For most markets I think the quality and variety of the incidental fill overall is more important than the 3-letter word count. But clearly, when choosing a grid to fit your theme entries, selecting one with fewer 3's would be advisable.


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