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CHRISTOPHER SNIZIK

My first cryptic crossword


Published on March 11, 2021

I have been an avid reader of Games magazine (now called Games World of Puzzles) since I was a kid. I first encountered Games when I was flying somewhere with the fam and I went in an airport bookstore to pick up something to entertain myself during the flight. I instantly fell in love with the magazine and have been a regular reader and occasional subscriber ever since.

My first cryptic crossword puzzle

Among the most difficult puzzles in Games/GWOP are a variety of crosswords called Cryptic Crosswords. Cryptic Crosswords originated in the UK, where they are apparently more popular than they are here in the US. They use a grid like a normal crossword puzzle, but their clues are, you guessed it, cryptic... a puzzle whose solution will be entered into the grid.

For my first few years reading Games, I avoided the Cryptics because I couldn't wrap my head around them. Usually I would finish all of the puzzles in the magazine except the two Cryptic Crosswords and the two Cryptic Varieties. Finally, I decided I was at least going to figure out how to solve them... and once I did, I was addicted. They became my favorite puzzles in each issue.

Lately I decided to see if I could create one myself. I expected it to be nearly impossible to make an entire puzzle, but it actually wasn't; I made this one in just a couple of days.

So... here is my first attempt at creating my own Cryptic. You can download and print the puzzle here and the answer key is here.

If you don't know how to solve cryptics, here is a good article to get you started. And if you happen to be a fan of cryptics and have any feedback for me, i.e. any clues that don't quite make sense to you, please let me know in the comments.

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