How to Play Cryptic Crossword
Solve the cryptic crossword clues and fill in the answers on the grid.
Use the mouse to click on a square in the grid. The square you select is highlighted in pink, the word-space is highlighted in yellow and the corresponding clue is highlighted in the ‘Clues’ column on the right. Click again to change the direction of the word-space from ACROSS to DOWN (or back again).
Or, use the mouse to click on any clue in the ‘Clues’ column on the right. This will highlight both the clue (in the column on the right) and the word-space in the crossword.
Solve the cryptic crossword's clue and type in the answer. If you are correct, the word-space will be highlighted in blue. When you have finished typing in an answer, use the Space Bar to move to the next clue.
Deleting or changing letters
Click on the letter then use the Backspace key. Or click on the letter and just type another one over it. Once you have typed in the correct letter, it cannot be changed.
Moving about cryptic crosswords
Use the Space Bar or Arrow keys to move around the crossword. If you were in an ACROSS word-space on the cryptic crossword, the Space Bar will move you to the next word going ACROSS. If you were in a DOWN word-space, it will move you to the next word going DOWN.
PRINT: Click to print cryptic crosswords
- Available to YouPlay Premium Members only
- Print feature is only available for the daily cryptic crosswords puzzle
SAVE: Click to save your cryptic crosswords
- YouPlay Premium Members receive 10 save slots
- YouPlay Members receive 3 save slots
PAUSE: Click to halt the timer if you wish to pause during game play
EXIT: Click to return to the Game Selection page
Shows how many tokens you have won during the game
The timer starts as soon as you open the cryptic crossword
Boost your score - multiply your points by working faster and smarter
Click on a word-space in the crossword to select it. Then click on 'Use a Hint' and the word will be filled in for you
- YouPlay Premium Members receive 8 hints
- YouPlay Members receive 8 hints
About Cryptic Crossword
The distinctive black and white grid of a crossword is instantly recognised all over the world, so it seems surprising that the puzzle actually has such a short history. In fact the first crosswords only appeared in England during the 19th century. America can claim the first published crossword puzzle, created by journalist Arthur Wynne, for the New York World in 1913.
The appeal of those first crosswords spread quickly, and within a decade the puzzles were featured in almost all American newspapers. Publications in Europe and the rest of the world were quick to adopt the trend, making the crossword the most prolific and popular style of world puzzle on the planet. It is estimated that today, over 40 million people solve a daily crossword in the US alone!
In recent times, modern computer software has heralded major advances in crossword development, allowing anyone with the right program to construct a puzzle, themed to their own specifications.
Cryptic crosswords have been around for as long as the more traditional styles, but only really found an audience in the UK and other Commonwealth nations including Australia, India, South Africa, Canada and New Zealand.
Edward Powys Mathers, otherwise known as Torquemada, (1892–1939), is often credited as being the inventor of cryptic crosswords. He compiled for The Saturday Westminster from 1925 and for The Observer from 1926 until his death, and was the first setter to use cryptic clues exclusively.
Cryptic crossword clues contain two definitions of the answer and require a good deal of lateral thinking to decipher. Compilers use language devices to construct the clues such as anagrams, homophones, deletions and abbreviations which craftily mask true meaning with a layer of skilful subterfuge.
Scientific studies have recently shown that the focused mental activity used to solve puzzles can help prevent memory loss and degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s – another reason to get your daily dose of puzzling fun!
The crosswords featured on YouPlay are presented by Lovatts Publications, leaders in the puzzle industry for over 25 years. Known and loved for the care put into every puzzle by dedicated, specialist compilers, Lovatts crosswords in both print and online formats provide hours of quality entertainment. Christine Lovatt is recognised around the world as a master cryptic crosswords compiler; you can listen to her insightful Cryptic Tutorial.
Each clue in a YouPlay Cryptic Crossword is a puzzle in itself. You can call up hints if you need to, but true devotees know that the frustration is all part of the fun! Suitable for lateral thinkers of all ages, this crossword is updated daily.
Fun with Words
Wikipedia: Cryptic crosswords article