We’re pleased to announce a new weekly feature on the homepage, showcasing the recently released Grid quiz type: the Sunday Crossword!
Each Sunday at 7:00 am Eastern, we’ll be publishing a Sunday Crossword puzzle to the Sporcle homepage, and we’re looking for great submissions from our users to feature. If you’re interested in creating quizzes that are eligible for our Sunday Crossword slot, read on for guidelines and tips…
Sunday Crossword Rules/Guidelines:
For your crossword quiz to be considered for the Sunday Crossword slot, it must meet the following criteria:
- It must use the ‘Grid’ quiz type, and be at least 9×9 in size
- The quiz must be diagonally symmetrical
- An answer cannot appear in the crossword more than once.
- All answers must be at least 3 letters long.
- No sections should be walled off (the entire puzzle must be connected)
How-To and Tips:
- Diagonal Symmetry
This is a standard for both American & British style crossword puzzles. If the grid is rotated 180°, the black & white squares will be in the same position. A good way to ensure symmetry, is to toggle on the ‘‘Apply tool symmetrically’ option when laying out your grid, as shown here:
Example: Shown below are 3 sample grids. The grid on the left is symmetrical. The grids in the middle and on the right are NOT symmetrical.
2. Answer length
Since all clues must be at least 3-letters long, you’ll want to avoid a section like the blue-highlighted area shown below, where this across entry would be only 2-letters.
3. A connected puzzle
As mentioned above, the entire puzzle must be connected. The grid shown below, while symmetrical, has its left & right halves disconnected. This should be avoided.
Having a theme for your crossword puzzle is great, and using themed entries that are also symmetrical is even better. But these are by no means mandatory features of the Sunday Crossword quizzes. Here are some examples of themed crosswords:
5. Filling in your grid
It can seem quite daunting, trying to find combinations of words that fit together to create a puzzle like this. Thankfully, there are some online tools available to help you out! Here are a few:
http://crosswordtracker.com/ – Excellent tool for helping to write your clues, as well as wildcard searches that return possible word choices. This one is particularly helpful because its search results are not limited to dictionary words – proper nouns, short phrases, and abbreviations are also included.
http://www.keiranking.com/phil/ – For a 15×15 crossword, this site can assist you in laying out your grid, choosing a good symmetrical pattern, and it gives suggestions for words that will fit into your puzzle as you construct it.
These sites are also excellent for searching for words that match the letter pattern you may need to fill a space. Some of them may be limited to dictionary (scrabble-legal) words:
Creating new, original crosswords is of the utmost importance on Sporcle. Before considering a crossword for the Sunday Crossword feature, we’ll be checking it against various online newspaper & crossword puzzle search tools to ensure its originality, so please keep this in mind and only submit content that you have completely designed and created on your own!
7. Quiz Submission
If you’ve created a quiz that’s Sunday Crossword appropriate, give it the ‘Sunday Crossword‘ tag and release it in the Miscellaneous category. You may want to give it a name in the format of “Sunday Crossword: <theme>”, but it’s not strictly necessary as we can always retitle the quiz for publication.
Good luck, happy quiz creation, and have fun!