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Puzzles are a greatactivity for kids to do to help them boost their self esteem; and the best thing is that it can often happen quite unconsciously, because they are having too much fun to notice! Spelling long words can be a puzzle My favourite word in the dictionary is ‘sesquipedalian’, and it means (a person who is ‘given to Read more…

If you have school-age children, crosswords and other types of puzzle games are great activities to supplement with their regular schoolwork.  They don’t have to stop learning just because they have come home.  If you have several children at school,  having a spelling bee around the dinner table is a great idea! You can choose to practise the spelling words Read more…

One of the wonderful things about the English language is that short words can be found hiding in longer words, and often they bear no relation whatsoever.  It has given us an idea for a new Clue Detective word building game.   We have called it Quintain.  You may be wondering why we are calling it Quintain.  Well as you know, we are always 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…

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…

by Denise Sutherland So, what makes a cryptic clue? There are some general principles that apply to most types of cryptic clues. We’re all used to regular crossword clues, which are basically definitions for, or possibly examples of, the answer. So you might have: Feline (7) = LEOPARD In a cryptic clue, however, there are two ways of getting to Read more…

When I was a child, my grandmother introduced my sister, brother and I to a great word building game.  It is called The Librarian’s Cat.  I would like to share it with you.  If you are looking for word puzzle games to play with your kids, then this it. Kids don’t have to have all the fun, adults can also Read more…

Codewords are crosswords without written clues.  You are provided with a grid, and each square contains a number 1 to 26 (ie. the letters of the alphabet).   You are given a small number of letters to start you off.  Your challenge is to study the numerical patterns in the grid, and using your literacy and logic skills, crack the inbuilt Read more…