"Free form" crosswords ("criss-cross" puzzles), which have simple, asymmetric designs, are often seen on school worksheets, children's menus, and other entertainment for children.
Grids forming shapes other than squares are also occasionally used. For example, many weekday newspaper puzzles (such as the American New York Times crossword puzzle) are 15×15 squares, while weekend puzzles may be 21×21, 23×23, or 25×25.
For example, the answer to a clue labeled "17 Down" is entered with the first letter in the cell numbered "17", proceeding down from there.
Numbers are almost never repeated; numbered cells are numbered consecutively, usually from left to right across each row, starting with the top row and proceeding downward.
A crossword is a word puzzle that usually takes the form of a square or a rectangular grid of white-and black-shaded squares.
The game's goal is to fill the white squares with letters, forming words or phrases, by solving clues, which lead to the answers.One of the smallest crosswords in general distribution is a 4×4 crossword compiled daily by John Wilmes, distributed online by USA Today as "Quick Cross" and by Universal Uclick as "Play Four".Typically clues appear outside the grid, divided into an Across list and a Down list; the first cell of each entry contains a number referenced by the clue lists.The "Swedish-style" grid (picture crosswords) uses no clue numbers, as the clues are contained in the cells which do not contain answers.Arrows indicate in which direction the clues have to be answered: vertical or horizontal.In most American-style crosswords with the remainder being one of the other types described below.Crossword clues are generally consistent with the solutions.For instance, clues and their solutions should always agree in tense, number, and degree.If a clue is in the past tense, so is the answer: thus "Traveled on horseback" would be a valid clue for the solution RODE, but not for RIDE.Similarly, "Family members" would be a valid clue for AUNTS but not UNCLE, while "More joyful" could clue HAPPIER but not HAPPIEST.Some clue examples: The constraints of the American-style grid (in which every letter is checked) often require a fair number of answers not to be dictionary words.