How to Solve Cryptic Crosswords

These lessons will take the mystery out of cryptic crosswords.  For some, the clues may seem perplexing and confusing at first, but once given a few hints on how to approach them, you will be surprised at how simple they are to solve. Unlike ordinary crossword clues with their straightforward definitions, cryptic clues require some mind bending and “thinking outside the box.” These puzzles are fun and very clever and, in my opinion, much more interesting than standard crosswords. If you enjoy word play, puns, anagrams and solving clues, you will likely enjoy cryptic crosswords. You may start to look at the English vocabulary in a different way.

Quote: “Thinking outside the box” should be encouraged.
A bit of humor: Unless it’s a litter box and you’re a cat.

Are you ready to think “outside the box”?

This instruction guide will show you the tricks, give you several examples to flex your brain and some practice clues to test your knowledge.

Cryptic Clues Instruction Guide


It may take some time to become an accomplished cryptic puzzle solver.
The more you practice, the faster and easier it will become.

Here are a few sample crosswords for practice:

Cryptic Crossword #1

Solution #1

Cryptic Crossword #2

Solution #2

Cryptic Crossword #3

Solution #3

Cryptic Crossword #4

Solution #4

Cryptic Crossword #5

Solution #5

Note: Cryptic crossword puzzles are published in many daily newspapers and can also be found on some Internet websites.