How To Use Crossword Puzzles

Crossword puzzles are a fun way of learning terms and facts.  You have a choice of using an online interactive version or a printable form of each puzzle in this series of tutorials.  The online version requires that your browser program be set to run Java programs.  That is the usual default setting for most browsers.  If you have a slow Internet connection, do not be surprised when a gray box appears first on your screen before the puzzle.  This is normal with Java programs.  If you prefer to solve crossword puzzles the old-fashioned way with pencil and paper, click the "Printable Version" link on the tutorial Menu page.  This will take you to a print-friendly page that can be printed with your browser's print button.  At the top of the print-friendly page, there is a "Solution" button.  This will allow you to get a printout of all of the answers for the current puzzle.

Using the Online Version

To enter a word, click on a puzzle square with a number in it.  This is where you type the first letter of the answer. The color of the selected square will turn yellow. The corresponding clue on the right will be changed automatically to red and will be highlighted in a box.  The clue for any intersecting word will also appear in red.  To switch direction between Across and Down clues, simply click either mouse button when you are over a numbered square.  Type the word you believe is the correct answer.  It is not necessary to select the square for each letter.  This will be done for you as the word is typed.  You do not need to be concerned about capitalizations because your answer will appear entirely in upper case letters.  Instead of clicking a square in the puzzle, you have the option of clicking on any clue and then typing your answer.  You can use the two scroll bars to the right of the clues to scroll through them.


Show Letter   This provides a clue to get you started in remembering the correct word.  Clicking the button will show you the letter that goes in the puzzle square currently highlighted yellow.
Show Word   Clicking the button will show you all of the letters for the word that is currently highlighted.
Check Word   Clicking the button will clear any squares containing incorrect letters for the word that is currently highlighted.  The correct letters will remain.
Solution   Clicking the button will display all of the answers for the puzzle.
Start Over   Clicking the button will clear all the answers you have entered, so you can start over again.


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Copyright 2005-2012 by Dennis O'Neil. All rights reserved.