Monday, October 19, 2009

Numbering The Clue Slots In The Grid

In the previous article, guest writer Chaturvasi took us through the process of creating a crossword grid. In this post, he describes how to number the clue slots in the grid.

In the previous post we set a crossword grid from scratch, but clue-numbering remained to be done.

15x15 Crossword Grid, to be numbered

Here let's see how it is done.

Of course, there is no mystique about clue-numbering and any regular solver would know how it's done. Yet in crosswords published in small-time magazines in India I have seen many amateur setters not sticking to conventions. They number all Across clues sequentially and then the Down clues. Numbering in crosswords published in Indian language newspapers can be even more confusing.

The accepted practice is to start from the first blank cell and sequentially number all slots, whether Across or Down, where a solution word starts. Where the first letter of an Across word is the same as the first letter of a Down word, only one number is given.

Thus in the grid that we set, the first number will be in a1 (which is common for an Across word and a Down word).

Number 2 goes in c1, 3 in e1, 4 in g1. (These three are only Down words.)

Number 5 goes in i1 (the same number applying to the Across word as well as the Down word.)

While numbering, we should take care that we don't miss any cell that is in the perimeter or hemmed in by blocks elsewhere. (See a6, e8 or k10.)

After due numbering, the grid will look like this:

15x15 Crossword Grid, Numbered

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