Cryptic Crosswords

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"The grave robbing doctor whirled about a tanner's knife."


A cryptic crossword clue has three parts: a wordplay hint, words that are used in the wordplay, and a direct clue. Above, "the grave robbing doctor" is a direct clue for Frankenstein. An anagramming hint is given by "whirled about a", and "tanner's knife" is an anagram of Frankenstein.

Object: Solve the given 13 cryptic crossword puzzles.

You can also design your own with the "Freeplay" variant.


Contributed by: Karl Scherer (February 2016)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



Click an empty position on the main board to move the red arrow, which marks where the system will drop a letter. The "word" pop-up menu automatically gives you the clues for the horizontal and vertical word associated with the current position of the arrow (even if the arrow is not positioned on a place carrying a number).

Click the red arrow to make it alternatively point to the right or down. If only one direction makes sense, then only one clue is presented.

Click one of the 26 letters buttons at the right to place a letter on the main board where the red arrow is placed.

Each letter has a counter associated with it which decreases whenever you click a letter. Knowing how many of each letter are used for the crossword helps to solve it.


Click "challenge" or use "</>>" to go to another crossword puzzle.

The "take back move" button allows you to go back one move.

Click "delete mode" to start the delete mode, where you can delete at any time any letter that you have positioned on the main board. The associated letter counter at the right will automatically be increased. Click "delete mode" again to leave the delete mode. You cannot write any letter during the delete mode.

The following four options are only available during "Freeplay" (challenge 14) :

If "edit walls" is active, you can click any position on the main board to turn it into a black wall. Click "edit walls" again to end the wall-editing mode.

Use pop-up menu "select number" to insert a number (to mark the beginning of a word) on the main board.

Use pop-up menu "walls" to insert a complete setup of walls as given in challenges 1 to 13.

If the red arrow is at a position that displays a number, selecting "-1" from the "select number" pop-up menu will make the existing number disappear.

The "word" pop-up menu gives you the clues for the horizontal and vertical word associated with a number on the main board.


The "Cryptic Crosswords Puzzle" was first published by the same author as the Zillions game "Cryptic Crosswords" in 2003. The Zillions game had a slightly different design.

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