Rules for setting crossword puzzles
for Infinity Junction and associated publications

Follow these rules if you want your crossword puzzle to feature in any Infinity Junction production, in print, media, website etc. Infinity Junction aims at basic graduate level crossword solvers, not geniuses or nerds, so be intelligent but down to earth.

  • 1- All clues to be "self-contained," meaning the solver does not need to refer in any way to another clue or answer.
  • 2- Ideally answers should not spread beyond one run in the grid; if they do then each part must be a whole word (or words) and the clue questions must be written again for each clue number along with the part of the clues involved e.g.- (part 2 of 2.) The number of letters in each answer word should be given.
  • 3- Themes must not be employed, because if the solver is ignorant of the subject, then the whole crossword is undoable to them.
  • 4- Clues should not be cryptic. The answer must be directly related to the clue.
  • 5- Foreign language clues/answers must be indicated as such and the language indicated, e.g.- (Fr.) for French. Uncommon languages should not be used.
  • 6- Do not involve obscure or highly specialised knowledge in an answer.
  • 7- Myths and fairy tales should not feature, keep questions as much as possible to everyday knowledge and experiences of solvers. Ask yourself: will the average, educated 25 year old know about it, or easily find out?
  • 8- Arts and literature questions must be solvable by scientists!
  • 9- Science and technology questions must be solvable by non-scientists.
  • 10- Very long answers/words are discouraged, because if the solver can't get it, then several other clues may become too difficult to solve.
  • 11- New words and abbreviations such as used in texting should be limited to what an average adult member of the general public will know. As a rule of thumb, if it hasn't been widely used for at least 15 years then it's new and is excluded.
  • 12- No anagrams for their own sake, they must have a clue as well. The anagram part should be indicated with (anag.)
  • 13- Check the accuracy of your clues and answers pedantically. Using an incorrect word may stop people solving a clue they otherwise would. For example if you don't know for certain that an artist's colour is a pigment, or a dye, or a mixture, just say colour, don't assume it's a pigment. If you say something is worn around the middle, mean the actual middle, in a human that would be at the top of the hips, not loins, which are below middle.
  • 14- In intelligent adult crosswords, consider inserting 1 or 2 simpler clues, preferably grid-connected to a more difficult one, to help people get started. Not needed with simple crosswords.
  • 15- Alternative spellings- if you are not using the most common spelling of an answer, then say so with either, (alt spell,) or for antiquated versions say (old spell,) or foreign versions state language (in brackets.) If two countries with the same language spell things differently, state which which country your answer is from- example: ...ized is common in USA (US) but usually it is ...ised in the UK (UK.)

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