Academic journal article Australian Mathematics Teacher

Crosswords-The Make-It-Yourself Game

Academic journal article Australian Mathematics Teacher

Crosswords-The Make-It-Yourself Game

Article excerpt

Number of players

Two or more players use pencil and paper and a 5 x 5 square grid.

Playing

Players take it in turns to call out any letter of the alphabet (as the game progresses, letters may be called more than once).

When a letter is announced, each player must write it in any empty square in the grid.

Aim of the game and scoring

Players aim to form words, as in an ordinary crossword, reading across (left to right) or down (top to bottom).

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Any word must be at least two letters long, and scores one point for each letter in it.

A word which is five letters long scores 5 for its five letters, and an extra bonus point for being as long as possible.

Letters cannot be counted twice in one direction, but may be counted once in an across-word, and a second time in a down-word. For example, reading across, the word "MEAT" scores only 4 (either for four-letter "MEAT," or the two two-letter words "ME" and "AT;" but the word "EAT" cannot also be scored. On the other hand the word "MEAT" could run across and overlap with the word "MARCH," sharing the letter "A" in common. This would score 4 across for "MEAT" and a further 4 down for "MARCH" (but reading down it is not possible to also score for "ARC" or "ARCH").

Variations and extensions

The Crosswords game can be made more challenging with a larger board (say, 6 x 6, 7 x 7, or 8 x 8), and with a sliding scale of bonus points for long words (e. …

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