Crosswordese encompasses all those bizarre animals, genuses, weights, and the like, which are only found in crossword puzzles. Words like ADDAX or BAHT or ITEA, while perfectly acceptable, should be kept to a minimum.
I find it handy at this point to draw up a list of as many possible theme words/phrases that I can think of, sorting the list according to word length. It makes it easier to juxtapose various theme words or replace any later if I have to. Let us say that I want to make a puzzle themed with computer terms, which I will define using wacky puns. First I develop a potential list of thematic words and phrases coupled with their letter counts, and tentative definitions. It looks something like this:
Begin with the grid. When I construct a puzzle, I first pick my grid size. This can be dictated by the theme (three or four 12-letter theme words are hardly enough for a 21×21 puzzle), or the market (most newspapers accept only 15×15 puzzles for the daily editions).
Themes are the newest development in crossword puzzles. Although not required, themes are increasingly preferred by more and more publishers and solvers alike. In a really well-constructed crossword, the longest words are related by topic or reference. This is the theme. Themes make crossword puzzles a lot more fun and interesting. Themes can range from the ordinary, like people with animals in their names (Stephen HAWKing, Thomas WOLFe), to “twisted” movie titles that elicit funny definitions (Mr. Holland’s SOUP, The SORE Tattoo).
Make vocabulary crossword puzzles and word searches quickly from your own words. Help your students learn vocabulary, reinforce facts, and prepare for exams.
AMERICAN CROSSWORD puzzles conform to a set of established rules. The most popular of these rules are the ones formulated by Simon & Schuster, the original crossword puzzle publisher, and enthusiastically embraced by most markets.