How to: Create your own crosswords

Make your own word puzzles with Crossword ExpressIf you’ve got a way with words and like challenging your buddies to games then why not make a crossword puzzle for them? If you’re not very good with a pencil and a ruler then you might want to try installing a piece of software to help you put conundrums together. A good app to start with  is EclipseCrossword, an application which makes it easy to get started thanks to its step-by-step approach to crossword creation. You simply type in the words you want to include, along with their corresponding clues, and the program automatically generates the puzzle for you. These crosswords can then be printed or uploaded to the Web.

Once you’ve got to grips with the basic principles of making crosswords, you might want to install Crossword Express, which provides a more advanced approach. The software offers tools to help you create freeform crosswords, as well as other different types of games such as word searches, Sudoku, Arcostic and Slitherlink puzzles. You can then publish them on your own site using free Crossword Express Applets available with the app. If you get really good at crossword creation then you might even be able to make some money out of it. As the Theme Crossword Compliers Corner points out, many publishers will pay good money for targeted crosswords, so keep practicing and you never know what it might lead to.

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