How to Solve Word Puzzles Like a Pro
Solving puzzles is a lifestyle. Puzzle section is without a doubt your favorite section in a newspaper if you are a puzzle solver and you learn different techniques from each puzzle; another tip, trick, or strategy. Over time, we have observed word puzzles diversify, even going the tech way and introduction of word puzzle tournaments. Not just that, but crossword puzzle helpers too. Novice or experienced, this is the guide for you to solve like a pro.
Best Starting Point
If you have been a player for some time, you would have noticed by now that this is where particular words repeat themselves from previous puzzles. Being a good solver is not about knowing all the right answers, but it is about understanding the right tricks and tips. You can get clues from a crossword solver to easily solve any puzzle. For example, when you have the grid with you, first, go for 3-4 letter word clues. In that light, you will note that there are common words that you can almost always bet on a cross puzzle. As a pro, you should be able to identify the clue words as fast as possible so that you can move on to more challenging segments.
Start Easy and Progress
Newspaper crossword puzzles get progressively tricky from the first day, Monday, going on. If you are a starter, here is your chance to start easy and go hard. Discipline is vital here just as it is in life; you can only get better with time. You don't need to challenge yourself to complex puzzles without having set your basics right, trying to push things like that may only end up discouraging you. A step at a time, you will get there.
When you come across a clue you have entirely no idea about, get help; Google, or dictionary, atlas, or encyclopedia. Look it up. It is in no way cheating. As you look it up, you will learn that the secret superpower of all crossword puzzle players is the ability to memorize. This is the information that you will use to solve tricky puzzles at a later date. When you learn to memorize, you get close to a pro mode with every puzzle solved.
The revolution of crosswords is such that, modern puzzles explore pop-culture, current events, sports, and even geography, unlike puzzles from long ago that were limited to dictionary definitions. The current nature of puzzles calls for a vast field of knowledge. You undoubtedly can't know everything, but learn a little about everything. One way is to read as much as possible.
One crucial pointer, don't be quick to jump into conclusions. The answers to a word puzzle are not straight forward. If they were, it would be no fun trying to solve anything. So, before you pick answers for particular quizzes, think it through. The puzzle creator will intentionally misdirect you to assuming answers with particular spelling but have entirely unrelated meanings. Critical thinking is a highly relevant skill if you want to be the pro.
Give Yourself a Break
When solving puzzles, you will continuously get stumped. Do not give up; instead, give yourself a break. When you return, you might come back with a reckoning. Sometimes all you need is a pause so that you can look at your challenge from a new angle and, usually, with puzzles, one right answer will open up to more solutions.
To tap into your pro- person, don't be afraid to make guesses, right or wrong when solving puzzles. If you are solving online puzzles, enter all your guesses, they are easy to erase anyway. To be solving puzzles, you also need to be very creative with an imagination that could build words from a letter and eventually make sense of it.
Learn From the Best
To be a master, you have to learn from the best, so, get tips from the key players, like Howard Barkin, who won the American Crossword Puzzle tournament. He has lots of tricks to share with you.
Crossword puzzles can be exhilarating. Once in a while, you will get stuck on a clue for a long time; this is a test of your patience. You will have moments when you are under so much pressure, maintaining your cool or losing it will determine how much further ahead you will get. When you can't proceed with one part of the puzzle, go to another part or give it a break altogether. The beauty of a puzzle is that you are your competition; you are using your brains and testing its limits. You will always have yourself for another round right? So, take a breather.
Whether you are playing in your office, or with thousands in a tournament, your success lies purely on your prowess. Take notes.