Would you like to make working crosswords more difficult? Ian Alterman suggests two methods, beginning with “to fill in the first ‘across’ word, and then use only the letters from that word to continue. An even more challenging method is to fill in the first ‘across’ word, fill in the ‘down’ word from the last letter of that word and complete the grid by adding the word that includes the last letter of a new word. There is,” he says, “nothing like an extra challenge to keep the mind sharp and the solving interesting.”

We can think of other ways. Do crosswords standing on your head, or submerged, or while reciting the Gettysburg address or wearing a blindfold or drinking eight Scotches. There’s nothing like an extra challenge.


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