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About Acrostic Puzzles

An acrostic puzzle (also called a crostic or double crostic) is a word game with two parts:

  • a series of clues and answers on the left, and

  • a grid of letters on the right that you read like a book (left-to-right, top-to-bottom) to spell out a quote.

Each letter in the answers corresponds to a letter somewhere in the quote, and vice versa. So as you type in an answer to a clue, the letters you type will also appear somewhere in the quote. And as you type letters into the quote, they will appear somewhere in the answers.

Below is a sample puzzle, with four of the answers filled in. You can see how the letters in those four answers also show up somewhere in the quote on the right.

Note also that the first letter of each answer is shaded. When the puzzle is complete, you can read down the grey column to get the author and title of the work from which the quote is taken.

The fun of acrostics is that you can work on the clues and answers on the left and the quote on the right at the same time. As you figure out some clues and type in the answers, words will start to form in the quote, and by guessing what the quote says, you get hints about the answers. The author and title in the first column of the answers give you yet another way to attack the puzzle. Using all angles to help you, you can solve the puzzle.

For a more complete introduction, see the tutorial.