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Author Topic: Need help on constructing  (Read 2232 times)


  • Guest
Need help on constructing
« on: March 14, 2011, 10:48:03 AM »
I've been solving crosswords for years and now I'd like to try and construct some and get paid for it.

My questions:

What type of software programs are used to construct puzzles?

Where can I find general advice, tips, etc. on constructing puzzles?



  • Guest
Re: Need help on constructing
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 03:50:36 PM »
As many do, I use Crossword Compiler to construct. ( ). I can't compare it to anything else, since I have used nothing else, but I can recommend it with a gold membership here on this site, which lets you access databases that are extremely useful in word lists, etc.

One amazing resource that I used to get me started with constructing was Crossword Puzzle Challenges for Dummies by Patrick Berry. It explains everything.

I hear you can also get a mentor. I got a mentor in an unconventional way, and I'm not sure what the usual process is. Again, these things are very good to have if you want to learn to write quality puzzles.

I hope I helped,

Ben Pall


  • Full Member
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  • Posts: 135
Re: Need help on constructing
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 08:02:45 PM »
Crossword Compiler 8.0 professional bundle is a good place to start.  Next, when you pay for the Cruciverb membership, you get access to a wordlist which has all the entries used in major puzzles for 25+ years.  Plus, you can get access to the Ginsberg clue database (free).  By signing onto the Cruciverb-L maillist you can request a mentor, and one will usually step forward (if not too swamped).  The mentor can also supply a decent starting wordlist which is better ranked than others that are available.  As far as learning the trade, I got a lot of mileage from the advice given in Coral Amende's book "The Crossword Obsession."  There are tidbits of construction advice that is scattered throughout that book.  Also check the Sage Advice on this website.

-Joe Krozel


  • Guest
Re: Need help on constructing
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 06:30:34 AM »
Experience is invaluable.  Resources will give you a good boost in the right direction, but the feeling of successfully laying words down side by side in a pattern and making up clues for those words is truly what will propel you into this craft.  Consider taking the empty grid from your local newspaper and trying to fill it without any clues to help you.  I started out with a 13x13 grid I found on where the patterns are ranked easy, medium, and hard.  I also use where you can search for words by the first few letters or last few letters,,, and occasionally Wikipedia.


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