How To Solve Codewords

by Catherine Eagleson

Codewords are crosswords without written clues.  You are provided with a grid, and each square contains a number 1 to 26 (ie. the letters of the alphabet).  

You are given a small number of letters to start you off.  Your challenge is to study the numerical patterns in the grid, and using your literacy and logic skills, crack the inbuilt code and spell out all the words. For example P might be 18 and A might be 9.  The clues you are given are starting letters. 

Occasionally, we have been asked by some of our puzzlers to compile codewords with no letters for the ultimate brain-teasing challenge!

Codewords have so many benefits!

Codewords are great for puzzlers of all ages, whether you are wanting to build up the words in your vocabulary, or keep your brain fit to make a real attempt to ward off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.  Solving a codeword is the perfect activity to give student if they have completed a designated task.  It will challenge them, keep them focused, and fill them with a sense of achievement when they have cracked the codeword and completed the entire grid.

Tips and tricks for solving codewords

The highest number of letters in the puzzle grid is most likely a common vowel eg. A or E, although it is best never to assume anything.  Codeword puzzle setters do like to challenge their solvers and there will inevitably be some curve-balls along the way!

Look for letters of the alphabet that can appear as a double, for example BB, DD, EE, FF, GG, LL, OO

The letter S will often appear at the end of a word and act as a connecting letter for words that are plural.

The letter Q is often used only once, which makes it easy to spot.  If it has been used to make a word going across and down, in both cases it can only be followed by a U.

Codewords provide you with a real mental work out

When you have solved a codeword, you will feel a great sense of personal achievement.  It is a great feeling when you realise you have cracked the code, and you can move on to spelling out all the words in the rest of the grid. Solving Clue Detective codewords is easy.  It really is trial and error, but you canave fun experimenting with different letter combinations.  You will soon see if a letter doesn’t look right.  If it doesn’t, just take the letter out, or if press Revert to start again.  There is no need for pencils and erasers.

Codewords are the ideal portable puzzle to keep you entertained

Codewords are a great puzzle to take with you when you are going on a long haul flight, or commuting to work.  They can easily be solved on your favourite device, and will keep you entertained for hours.  There may be words in the puzzles you may never heard of, but once you have cracked the code, you will be able spell these, as well as the ones you are already familiar with.  You are not reliant on a dictionary to solve the puzzle, but you can always look up any unfamiliar words once you have completed the puzzle and boost your vocabulary and word power.

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