Solve Crossword Puzzles and Improve Your Spelling

Some time ago, I was at the hairdressers and we started to talk about crosswords.  My hairdresser was telling me that when she started work she started to solve crosswords to pass the time travelling to and fro, and during lunch breaks.  She used her trusty dictionary and thesaurus, and found that by using them to solve the puzzle they improved her spelling markedly.  She didn’t necessarily need to know how the words were spelt at the outset, but the the dictionary and thesaurus helped her fill in the gaps.  She still solves crosswords, and uses the same dictionary and thesaurus.

Using a dictionary to solve a crossword is not cheating!

Solving crossword puzzles is a great way to improve your spelling and build your vocabulary bank.  Crossword solvers have often said to me that using a crossword dictionary does not provide them with an adequate challenge. They believe they should be able to have all the answers in their memory.  Some even go as far as saying it is ‘cheating’ to use one!
Relying on your memory is fine, but there are certain things you just don’t know or can’t recall at that particular time. Researching  words and facts will enable you to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you have solved the puzzle, and have extended your general knowledge on a particular topic. The advantage of this is that once you have learnt the information, you will be able to remember it again the next time it appears in a crossword or in another situation. There many cases with the English language where a word can have a number of meanings or emphasises. Using your dictionary helps you to boost your language knowledge.

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