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Codeword is a type of Crossword puzzle variant in which, rather than being given a list of clues to answer and place in a grid, solvers are only given a grid where every cell is marked with a number from 1-26. Essentially a Cryptogram in the form of a crossword, these puzzles rely more on cryptogram-solving skill sets than crossword-solving ones, but still can pull on knowledge of words and phrases commonly seen in crossword puzzles.
Background[edit | edit source]
Puzzle Application[edit | edit source]
The core concept of Codeword puzzles is that they lack clues entirely, instead providing an 'encoded' version of the grid where letters are replaced by specific numbers, creating a kind of intersecting cryptogram.
As is normal for cryptograms, each letter is usually going to be represented by the same number for the entirety of the puzzle, meaning that discovering what a number represents in one part of the grid allows a solver to place that same letters elsewhere in the grid. To aid in the solving process, setters will often provide a space in which solvers can keep track of what numbers represent each letter. Additionally, many puzzles will contain some number of givens. These can range from thematic letters (e.g. A and Z) to one very common letter (e.g. E), or several relatively uncommon letters (e.g. J, Q, X), depending on the difficulty desired and the setter's wishes.
Codeword puzzles tend to use British-style blocked grids, in order to limit the amount of crosschecking that can be done to aid the puzzle. As a result, the solve path of most Codewords tends to be very cryptogram-centric rather than allowing solvers to apply crossword-solving skills.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Notable Examples[edit | edit source]
- TO DO