Have you ever solved a cryptogram?  They are a lot of fun and, I would say, potentially  addictive! Once you start, you simply have to sit there until you have cracked the code! You really get an appreciation of the work done by the dedicated codebreakers at Bletchley Park during World War II. Cryptograms and Codewords Close Relations Cryptograms are very similar to Read more…

The traditional way of learning to spell is essentially by sounding out the letters and then memorising.  We all remember the old adages such as “I before E, except after C”.  But what if we adopted a more numerical approach? An alternative to traditional spelling bees : learn to spell by numbers As a teacher you can give your students Read more…

Word  puzzle games are great to incorporate in a child’s education.  Popular games include easy crossword puzzles and word searches and many others. These can become more complex as they grow and develop their thinking, and behavioural patterns. Puzzles Help Kids Learn Puzzles are not only fun, but they help children with reading, comprehension, logic, as well as expanding their Read more…

Sometimes you just can’t figure out the answer and it can be very frustrating.   Don’t worry, here are some great online crossword puzzle solving tools to help you out. Crossword Dictionary is a great little site that will help you fill in those blanks.  I entered A..le as my incomplete word and the result listed 17 possibilities!  This tame little Read more…

Some time ago, I was at the hairdressers and we started to talk about crosswords.  My hairdresser was telling me that when she started work she started to solve crosswords to pass the time travelling to and fro, and during lunch breaks.  She used her trusty dictionary and thesaurus, and found that by using them to solve the puzzle they improved Read more…

It’s an issue which will confront us all at some stage.  When should we (or our parents) stop driving because we have become unsafe? In the May 2013 edition of Royalauto, the RACV magazine, I read a sad but interesting story about Geoff and his gradual decline as a driver.  It began with subtle changes, in particular to do with his ability Read more…

by Denise Sutherland Double definition cryptic clues are a favourite of mine. They are deceptively simple. They can really confuse you, if you’re searching for the usual wordplay clues, but in fact they are quite simple. They are pretty much exactly what they say — two different definitions for a single word. These clues are often quite short — they Read more…

by Denise Sutherland One of the keys to cracking the cryptic code is learning about abbreviations. We setters use abbreviations in our clues all the time. They are used to ‘clue’ letters individually, or sometimes in pairs or triplets. Here’s an example. Say I am writing a clue for the word CICADA. One of the (many) ways I can break Read more…

by Denise Sutherland Way back a while, I introduced anagram cryptic clues to you. Anagrams are just one of quite a few types of wordplay that you’ll discover in cryptic crossword clues. Charades are another common wordplay device used in cryptics. You remember the parlour game of charades? People guess the name of a book, or a movie, or whatever, Read more…

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