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5:28pm on Saturday, 12th July, 2008:

Crossword Puzzle Clue


I find books of crossword puzzles annoying, because it's impossible to look up the answer to one of the clues without inadvertantly seeing the answers to all the other clues. Sometimes, you think you have the right answer, but want to check before continuing, but you can't because then you'll see all the other answers. You therefore have to get someone else to look up the answer for you, which isn't always practical if you're on your own (which, when I'm doing crossword puzzles, I tend to be).

The reason you can't help but see the answers is because they're written on a puzzle-by-puzzle basis. Either there's a grid shown with the answers filled in, or there's just a list of answers in the same format as the list of clues.

What I want is for the the answers to be listed by clue, not by puzzle. If you want to know what the answer to 17 across is for the puzzle on page 40, you don't look up the answers for page 40 then try to read what's at 17A without seeing what's at 16A and 18A: no, you look up clue 17A and look for what's there for page 40. The worst that's going to happen is you'll see the answers for 17A for the previous and the next puzzle. If that's still a problem for you, simply do the puzzles out of order.

My gift to the crossword book industry...

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).