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How do you solve crossword puzzles? With the pencil, your grey cells and a cup of tea, or do you take a peek at the dictionary?
Here’s some help to solve crossword puzzles online. I know solving crossword puzzles with the help of the web is pretty close to cheating. The Guardian even has its crossword answer button labeled as cheat. But heck, it’s the only recourse when you are stuck at the intersection of five down and three across. When all is said and done, a completed puzzle is better than an incomplete one.
But as a true blue crossword fan, I would urge you to only go to these online helper apps for solving the crossword after burning out your grey cells. Solving crosswords on your own is not only a vocabulary challenge but puzzles like these go a long way in keeping age related memory impairments at bay.
Most apps that solve crossword puzzles online rely on dictionaries and word lists to construct the clues from a few hinted alphabets. Not very remarkable, but even this simple technology can help save a few hairs when you get bamboozled by a crossword clue.
Here are seven websites that can help you fill out the little white squares and cross out the across and downs.
Most word solving applications study word patterns and provide answers. One Across says it “˜analyzes the clue as well’. You can enter a crossword clue and/or the length of the answer or an answer pattern made up of a few letters with a question mark as the wildcard. One Across also lists several ways to refine your answer search. Read it in their Hints for better searching.
With the crossword solver at AllWords.com, you have to know at least a few letters of the word. The word also has to be 3 to 20 letters long. Enter the few letters you know, more the better and AllWords.com’s word solver will spout out a list of words for you to choose from. You can also check the meaning to be doubly sure. This tool can also be used for playing other word based games like Scrabble.
CrossTips has a fast and simple interface. Enter the word length, fill in the known letters, and you get a word list as solutions. CrossTips comes in four languages – Swedish, American English, British English, and French.
Read a bit more about it here.
If you need a comprehensive online crossword tool, then Crossword Clue Solver is the site for the job. It has a wordlist based approach to start with where you specify the length of the clue and any known letters. For phrases and multiple length word strings, you can try out the three steps in the Crossword Solution Wizard.
If all that fails, you can take the befuddling clue to the Crossword Help Forum that seems to have pretty healthy Q&A sessions going on.
Ultralingua Word Hunt [No Longer Available]
Ultralingua is an online dictionary and grammar app. It also has a Word Hunt tool which you can use to find the word that’s on the tip of your tongue. Wild cards and advanced search options are applicable.
If you have trusted the Oxford Dictionary with your words, then this site of theirs could be handy while solving crosswords. AskOxford.com has an Anagram solver and a Crossword solver. With the former, you just have to type in the word and the possible combinations as whole words get listed on the right.
The crossword solver works on the same known letters and wildcards combinations as the sites mentioned before. The field can handle words with a string length of 30 words. The online dictionary uses the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary for its word lists.
This is one tool where you enter a clue phrase and get the word or synonym you are searching for. You can use wild cards too, but that’s what most of the other sites as shown above commonly do too. Dictionary.com’s crossword can act more like a reverse lookup tool. The Confidence (relevancy) percentage against each answer helps to narrow down on the solution.
A serious cruciverbalist (that’s the 14 letter word for the guy who creates or solves crosswords) might scoff at these seven web tools. But for the guy who is lost between his across and downs, it’s a chance to complete the grid.
Are you a crossword buff? Would you rather get thwarted by a clue than take the help of a crossword solver?
Image Credit: bradlauster