Saturday, March 15, 2008

Crossword rules

There is some variation in the conventions used in crossword puzzles from different publishers. Here are the rules for crosswords and mini-crosswords appearing on this site. These rules apply to American-style, fully interlocking crosswords only.
  1. Answers may contain multiple words. There will normally be no hint that the answer contains more than one word.
  2. If a clue contains an abbreviation, then the answer is an abbreviation. For example, "N. Amer. country" could be a clue for "CAN" or "USA".
  3. If the clue is not abbreviated, then the answer is not abbreviated. For example, "North American country" could be a clue for "CANADA" but not "USAMER". An exception is when the clue explicitly states the answer is an abbreviation; for example, "American postal service (abbrev.)" could stand for "USMAIL".
  4. If an answer contains word play or uses a non-standard sense of a term, that may be indicated by a question mark. For example, "Liquid paper?" could stand for "PULP" rather than more common sense of "correction fluid."
  5. Clues may refer to other clues or answers. These will be clear from context.

Happy solving!

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