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3D Crossword Specifications

The 3D Crossword is edited by Ben Tausig and is syndicated through Tribune Media.


  • Each 3D puzzle is comprised of three separate 9x9 regular crossword grids, each with standard rules of symmetry, fill, and redundancy.
  • In addition to the three sets of clues corresponding to each grid, there is a fourth set of THROUGH clues. The THROUGH set features a minimum of eight clues, each corresponding to three letter words that run through all three grids at the same position. For example, if the top left square in grid 1 is a D, in grid 2 is an O, and in grid 3 is a G, then the first clue in the THROUGH set might be "Four-legged pet."
  • The THROUGH clues might correspond to any eight sets of squares. The grids do not need to be identical, only similar enough to support the through entries.


The purpose of the THROUGH clues is three-fold:

- The first is conceptual - they give dimensionality to the puzzles by connecting them on an additional level.
- The second is practical - they offer an extra set of hints for puzzles that are meant to be easy. Difficult will be balanced as necessary, and if things are too easy at first I will make adjustments.
- The third (and most important, in my opinion) is as an opportunity for fresh theme types. I've already gotten several great submissions that take advantage of the third dimension by producing unique visual puns or adding another level to the theme.


Difficulty level is Monday-Tuesday. Clues should be brief (not above 27 characters per). Breakfast table rules very much apply. The minimum theme content is one 9-letter answer per grid, where the entries of course relate to one another in familiar, early-week ways. Standard, three-of-a-kind sorts of themes are acceptable, but the format also allows for thematic experimentation. Constructors are encouraged to be creative, though not too obtuse for an early-week audience.


Please send theme ideas, including clues, first, to datageneral AT


The rate is $175 per puzzle.


To see what the puzzle will look like, please see this Example

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