How to Make a Crossword: Title and Cleanup Advice

You might consider the title an afterthought, but titles are important because they have to give you a hint regarding the puzzle’s theme or wordplay, but without giving away that theme or game entirely.

Crossword guru Eileen Saunders mentioned that title ideas can come from anywhere, citing the time that “a golf-themed puzzle’s title came from seeing a billboard that said ‘Sunday Driver’.”

Whether you’re making the puzzle as a gift or planning to submit it for publication, always make time to look it over.

Constructor Robin Stears’s closing ritual: “The last thing I do before I submit the puzzle is to double-check it one more time, ensuring that I haven’t used one of the words in the grid as a clue for another word, e.g., [Era] for EPOCH, and vice versa. I also read every clue to make sure it makes sense to me -— if the answer is a foreign word/phrase, I make sure the clue reflects that (e.g., [Detector of les odeurs] for NEZ).

“There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours constructing a puzzle only to have it rejected because of a silly mistake, like misspelling Arnold Schwarzenegger’s name (true story).”

1 thought on “How to Make a Crossword: Title and Cleanup Advice

  1. Pingback: Let’s Make Our Own Crosswords, Part Two: Advice! | Blog

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