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Rachael and I like crosswords and similar puzzles. I was brainstorming ways to do a crossword variant that I haven't seen done, and came up with the concept of Build-A-Clue. You can see it online at http://toothycat.net/~hologram/BuildAClue.html .

Currently, it has some display issues in InternetExplorer. It should be usable (thanks to SGB for the tips), but it displays better in FireFox.

That page contains the grid, the clues, and the instructions on how to play. A copy of the instructions follows:
The clues to this semi-cryptic crossword all have three words. But they've been scrambled up in groups of three or four! You know that the first word of the clue to 1A is "item", "blue" or "watches", and its second word is "or", "which" or "with", and it ends with "underlines", "attracts" or "objects". But how they match up - well, that's what you need to figure out! Can you work out how the clues go together, and fill the answers into the grid?
Interface notes: You can rearrange the words of the clues by clicking on green cells. This will swap the word you clicked with the word below it. When you think you've got one clue row within a box solved, you can check the box at the side, which locks that line and turns it blue.
Because it can be hard to find the clue numbers as they're not in numerical order, you can click the underlined numbers to the side of the grid. That will scroll your browser to the clue you're after, as well as making it flash briefly.
There are text boxes by the side that you can keep notes in.
If you're finding the puzzle too difficult, you can click the following link to add an extra column to the clue boxes, containing the first letter of the answers. If you want to hide the letters again, you can do that by clicking this link again.
It seems to can shuffle the letters in the same way as the clues - BugOrFeature?? --M-A
Feature, I assume - the three letters in each clue-block are scrambled too, they're not paired with the clue numbers they happen to start off next to. --Rachael
Indeed, feature, most definitely. You've got to figure out which first letter matches up with which clue and which three words. --AC


Feel free to discuss the puzzle here. If you wish to discuss answers to particular clues, please include some SpoilerSpace first.

Enjoy! --AlexChurchill

Discussion (non-spoily)



  1. UI note: Add text boxes to note down possible answers to clues.
Good idea - done. --AC
  1. I'm not that good at crosswords, and I can't work out how you could start solving this sort of puzzle.  So maybe I'll leave it to the experts. :) --M-A

's tricky. --CH

I'd considered providing one word to start you off, and/or a way to include the first letters of each answer in the mixed-up boxes. Do either of those sound like a good idea to you guys? --AC
The latter would help me more than the former (I have solved - I think - 9 clues, so a starting one is not obviously a necessity). Starting letters might well help. --CH
Okay, I think I'll provide an option to add starting letters into the mixed-up boxes. Probably not today though. --AC
First letters are now available. I imagine these will make the puzzle quite a lot easier. --AC
Oy, you keep changing the puzzle. I think I'm still trying to solve the one several versions back. Got about twenty of them. --Admiral
Hmm? I did change one clue in the 4D/12D/13D box (due to it being misspelled in the grid), but the rest have never changed...? --AC


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Last edited October 10, 2006 5:47 pm (viewing revision 17, which is the newest) (diff)
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