Thursday, January 15, 2009

3-Dimensional Crosswords

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cube-fragmenting We are familiar the regular cryptic crossword, the 2-dimensional kind. Ever imagined what a 3-dimensional crossword would look like?

3D-crossword-directions-across-down-away1 These smart people at Sirius 3D Crosswords have not just visualized them but gone ahead and created such puzzles. The 3D puzzles have not just ACROSS and DOWN solutions but a third kind called AWAY intersecting the other two. In addition to the usual cryptic clues, there are also interesting visual clues.

Such as this one calendar-puzzle-3d-clue , which stands for TIMETABLE.

The puzzles at Sirius 3D Crosswords use a calendar for their framework. There's a clue for each day and a grid for each month. The 2009 puzzle is currently going on – check out the January 2009 puzzle on this page. Each month's grid and clues become available when that month starts. There is a prize for each grid and a trophy for the solver of the complete Calendar Puzzles 2009.

Puzzle downloads on the site are free; you're encouraged to donate to charitable institutions if you wish. The site has a foreword by Araucaria. An excerpt:

As a crossword setter I am always trying to think of new ideas. Inevitably the same old words crop up all the time, and inevitably with most of the same old clues, the same old grids. The invention of jigsaw crosswords was one successful innovation; and here we have another: the 3D crossword…

…At first I expect most of us will find it difficult to get into the third dimension - but persevere:  I believe you will find it very well worth while.
Araucaria.

The idea interests me for its novelty but I'm not sure if adding dimensions to the grid makes the crossword-solving experience any better. It would perhaps be a fun challenge for the crossword compiler, and solvers with an eye for visualization would relish it.

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2 comments

Chaturvasi said...

For me three-dimensional crosswords are nothing new!
Decades ago - long before PCs and the Internet with their wondrous possibilities - I came across such a puzzle in a Pan book of crosswords.
Schematic representation was given for the clues that went through a cube.

Sirius said...

Leonardo invented the helicopter but did it fly?

3D crosswords, with comparable clues, are easier to complete than 2D puzzles because there are more cross-overs r intersections of solutions. This can encourage a beginner.

At the same time, this gives the compiler more opportunities to use a wider range of strategies when setting. This is a distinct development. The aim is to increase the enjoyment of the solver so that she/he stays on the journey to the end of the puzzle.

Thank you for drawing people's attention to www.calendarpuzzles.co.uk

Best wishes

Sirius