More Double-Crostic Tips by Barry Tunick


1. General:

a. On your first run-through, give minimal time to all short entries. Focus on the longest ones. If they’re poems, titles or sayings you know, you’ll fill in a lot of the grid, making it possible to deduce quote words giving you the short entries.

b. Take advantage of clusters in the grid. When I make a DC, I scatter letters from entries far apart, but Sue’s program may group letters from one entry. (Note from Sue: this was certainly true in my original program, so it holds for the first 200 puzzles or so. I intend to redo those eventually. It may also be inevitably true for some of the very non-standard word puzzles, which have only a few relatively long answers.) Concentrate on these groups to find the quote’s sense. Ignore more isolated letters.

c. Get the quote’s sense or topic a.s.a.p. It helps figure out the remaining words. Learning the author may help you get the quote’s subject, and vice-versa.

d. Anticipate repeated-letter entries, which constructors use to "dump" surplus duplicated letters. E.g. teeter-totter, pepperpot, cha-cha-cha, Peppermint Patti.

e. Don’t enter 5- or 6-letter entries that have equal-length synonyms (e.g., begin/start). Picking the wrong one will cost you, as the wrong entry letters will result in wrong entry words—all of which will have to be corrected and take time.

f. If the quote is a poem, look for rhyme and meter to help you guess it.


2. Specific types on this site:

A. Ken Heiman’s Lyri-Crostics: Remember these are songs, so (as in f. above) look for rhyme and meter. As themes are often announced in advance, you reference-work users may want to get some specialized refs ready before you start.

B. George Jirgal’s Saturday DC’s: These are definitions, so anticipate words like "obsolete," "adjective," "synonym" and "meaning." One-letter words are always A’s.


http:www/ Copyright Sept 30, 2004; revised Feb 28, 2006