Theme Crossword Compilers Corner.

 

Home    Tutorial     Samples     Manual      Contact

 

Are You:
1. Interested in compiling crosswords themed exclusively around a particular topic?
2. Currently being published or would like to be?
3. Interested in getting paid for your work?

If the answer to all these questions is Yes this could be a Website for you. Making the break from compiling for fun to getting published and paid for your work can be quite tough. We've got some helpful tutorials and links that you might find useful.

Compiling crosswords is a creative process and each compiler has their own ideas about what constitutes a great crossword. Themed crosswords should appeal to solvers more interested in testing or extending their knowledge of the subject than mastering the dark art of solving cryptic crossword puzzles.

Ultimately though it's the Editor of your target publication(s) who'll decide if your crosswords are right for their readership and offer you a compiling commission.

If you're already an established theme compiler you're very welcome to share you experiences here, so please get in touch and we'll be pleased publish your examples, articles or tips.

Themed Crossword Basics.

A theme or themed crossword grid should be symmetrical, and all the clues and words in the grid should relate to the theme.

A theme or themed crossword grid should be symmetrical, and all the clues and words in the grid should relate to the theme.

  Can Anyone Compile Themed Crosswords?
As you can imagine it's not possible to give a clear cut answer if the goal is to see your work published in your favourite magazine, it's the commissioning Editor who will make that judgement.

It's fair to say that if you're interested or knowledgeable about your chosen Theme and genuinely interested in crosswords you're in with a much better chance. The logic being that if you wanted to compile Aardvark Themed Crosswords for Aardvark Owners Monthly someone without a sound knowledge of Aardvarks might struggle a bit to hold the attention of the readership.There are some skilled compilers who can compile Themed Crosswords for any topic on demand, whether they can display a passion for the Theme is of course entirely subjective.

Compilers corner is primarily aimed those who are passionate about compiling crosswords directly relating to their chosen theme.

Narrow Themed or Broad Themed?
In the absence of any existing definitions it's worth spending some time considering this question.
Perhaps the best place to start is by considering the Magazine or Publication that you would most like to compile for.

As you're reading this Online it's fair to assume you can use a PC and have an Internet connection so if we take Computing as an example Theme we'll share some common ground.

If you've visited your local newsagent recently you will have noticed that the Computer magazine section is home to many different titles. A closer examination of these would reveal that some titles are aimed at just about anyone that uses a computer for any purpose. Others are aimed quite squarely at special interest groups within the computer community. Subscribers to these magazines may share some common interests but will buy the magazine that best serves their particular interests.

Imagine you are interested in compiling Computing themed crosswords for a general interest computer magazine you would be able to fill your grids with any words or phrases with a computing connection and write the clues accordingly. If however you were keen to compile for Vintage Mac Users Monthly, I think you'd probably be well as advised to steer clear unless Vintage Mac's were your thing. Of course there are many possible interpretations of broad and narrow but by and large these examples should make the point.

"Computers and Computing" is a Broad Theme
" Vintage Macs"
is a Narrow Theme

In summary if you compile your themed crosswords the interests of the user base in mind you  will stand more chance of seeing your work appear in that publication.

Recommended Authoring Software.

Follow The Link For The Free Demo

Crossword Compiler is a complete suite of tools for creating high-quality crossword puzzles. Fill grids automatically from word lists, find words, manage words and clues, and much more.

There are several different puzzle styles to choose from, and many tools to help you create great grids and clues in a snap. You can print out and export your puzzles in many ways, including interactive online crosswords for your web page.

The program combines ease of use for the casual user with many advanced features for the serious constructor.

Follow The Link For The Free Demo.

Crossword Compiler

  Compiling For Business Or Pleasure?
Of course there's nothing wrong with compiling crosswords for the fun of it, and offering them to a publisher purely for the satisfaction of sharing your skills with a like minded community or just seeing your work in print. However as these crosswords have taken you time and expertise to compile it follows that if they make it into print, they have a corresponding monetary value. Ultimately it's up to you whether or not to charge for your work.

Speaking from experience it's one thing to compile the odd crossword or two as a 'freebie' or donation if you prefer to a special interest newsletter, but it's quite another to commit to a series of 52 per year individually crafted for a weekly magazine or even 12 for a monthly. This is especially so if your Editors brief involves modifying the crosswords from time to time in support of an advertising initiative or to reflect topical sub themes. The skills are the same, but the research or creative process may involve you in more work than you might have imagined. Also you'll be working to their deadlines not yours.

A little gentle market research at a large newsagents will give you some idea whether or not your preferred theme is well supported by active compilers. Simply locate the magazines that best serve your Theme and see if they include a crossword! If they don't it's quite likely that they either don't want a crossword, or they can't locate a suitable compiler. Unless you ask you'll never know.  How you ask is another matter altogether and we'll offer some advice on that score later.

Variations On Themed Crossword Types and Styles
There a many different layout styles and presentations to choose from, or you could even design your own! If it's Themed as far as we're concerned it's worth discussing. By far the most commonly published style is the familiar symmetrical grid and that's really the standard, but as long as the publishers and readers like the style there's nothing wrong with something a bit different.