How to Scatter About Crossword Clues


Crossword puzzles can be enjoyable, yet frustrating if they become overwhelming. To help get past a tough clue, there are various strategies you can try, such as using a pencil and considering alternative meanings of words.

Utilizing a dictionary or thesaurus to look up unfamiliar words may also help speed up puzzle-solving time.


An anagram is an intriguing form of wordplay that offers endless entertainment. They can be found everywhere from crossword puzzles and board games such as Scrabble to mobile phone applications like Words with Friends; created by rearranging letters of another word or phrase to form words or phrases with some relation to its original word or phrase and used to create puns!

Crossword puzzles provide many opportunities for anagrams, yet sometimes they’re difficult to spot. You can use an anagram solver to easily spot an anagram in any clue by reordering its letters before providing you with an answer. Furthermore, there’s even an online anagram generator where you can create custom anagrams!

Anagrams can be an effective way to make a statement, often with comedic or satirical undertones. Anagrams also serve as an engaging way of describing people, places, or objects; gifted writers such as the compilers of crossword puzzles often employ anagrams in this way to poke fun at or criticize their subjects.

Anagrams are fun ways to test your vocabulary and come up with new words while sparking creativity by forcing you to think outside of the box. Manythings offers lists of common anagrams.

There are various kinds of anagrams, including full and partial anagrams. Full anagrams involve all letters in an original word or phrase while partial ones only use some. Anagrams are great fun to practice with your children as they help develop their spelling skills while expanding their vocabulary.

Anagrams may seem difficult to decode, but they don’t need to be difficult. Anagrams can be found everywhere from poetry and novels to advertising fliers and advertisements. Some famous authors have even used anagrams as a clever way of hinting about future works hidden within previous ones; J.K. Rowling cleverly included one for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them within an earlier title of her books!

Double meanings

Double-meaning clues provide the simplest form of wordplay in cryptic crosswords, featuring two definitions for one answer that are connected by linking words. These linguistic tricks are particularly effective with answers that sound similar, such as homographs. For instance, Ned T’s seal cooked was rather bland (5,4) is an anagram for NEEDS SALT.

Reversal indicators are another feature of cryptics often found in crossword puzzles that add extra challenge, and often don’t appear in dictionaries – they allow wordplay constructors to flip the results of wordplay constructions around. While difficult to decipher at first, once you know your answer it becomes quite straightforward to apply reversal indicators; some recent Telegraph crosswords offer some excellent examples.

One type of wordplay is definition substitution. For instance, an initial reading of “cat’s tongue (7)” could be solved using PERSIAN as its letters form the name of its country; FLAGS could also serve as both noun and verb solutions.

Cryptic clues often utilize anagrams – words that have been scrambled together – as part of reversal clues, but they can also be applied to any type of cryptic. Anagrams can be difficult to solve but can bring immense satisfaction once completed.

Crossword puzzles offer an intriguing challenge, with intricate wordplay that is both rewarding and complex to solve. By expanding vocabulary skills and widening knowledge bases, crosswords help strengthen social bonds as well as enhance brain functions, and practice brain power.

Some may find cryptic crosswords difficult to solve due to their difficulty or language barriers; these obstacles can be overcome with some helpful online tools and a bit of practice – such as anagram makers and Roman numeral converters that help locate all of the letters necessary to complete words or phrases.

Also, use the Word Solver tool to verify your answers and see how many letters of the answer remain unknown – an effective way to prevent errors and increase accuracy.


As you solve crossword puzzles, keep in mind that clues may not always be straightforward. Some clues may contain wordplay and indicators that imply specific types of wordplay within them – for instance “agitated” can indicate hidden anagrams.

Contrary to standard crosswords, cryptic puzzles feature two distinct elements: an answer definition (the straight part), and wordplay that elliptically suggests this same answer (the cryptic part). While these parts don’t always appear together in clues, part of the challenge and fun of solving a cryptic puzzle lies in seeing through any deceptive answers and discovering their solutions.

Deb Amlen serves as head writer and senior editor of the New York Times Crossword column, where she tackles even the toughest clues with precision and expertise. In addition, she specializes in humorous wordplay as part of The Onion’s A.V. Club original constructing team; writing humor books herself; as well as being on its original crossword construction team for The Onion A.V. Club A-V Club A.V Club Crossword Club A.V Club construction team and serving on The A.V Club A.V Club A.V Club A-V Club crossword columnist; her puzzles often include some lighthearted touches with humor built right in.

Question marks

Crossword clues with question marks often signal quirky wordplay or require additional thinking when answering them, like the clue ‘Shall hard man have his head at last?’ for OUGHT (see examples here and here). These require considerable lateral thinking skills from puzzle solvers.

When a clue contains a question mark, this indicates that its compiler may be stretching the meanings of words or trying to be mischievous in some way. Such puzzles can be especially challenging to solve; be wary. If you find yourself having difficulty, try guessing multiple answers before making your final choice: I once saw someone try CHUCK, STEAK, and T-BONE before landing on SHANK as his final answer! If still having difficulties, consider consulting a dictionary as this will help uncover its meaning and wordplay!

An important rule for puzzle solutions is ensuring the wordplay fits with the definition of each answer. This can often prove challenging; to aid in this endeavor it can be beneficial to use a dictionary or thesaurus. A good dictionary will also introduce new vocabulary and word choices that could prove invaluable when solving crosswords puzzles.

Crossword puzzles are an excellent way to expand your vocabulary and knowledge of English. A dictionary is an invaluable resource in making the most out of solving crosswords; using it will also help you decipher wordplay clues more quickly and spot any hidden or obscure definitions that might pose difficulty for some solvers.

A good approach for solving crosswords is starting with down clues and then moving on across clues. Sometimes cryptic clues will be connected by connecting words which may prove challenging to decipher; if this occurs to you, try looking up words or phrases with similar letters in your dictionary which might offer clues as a potential connection between two down or across clues.