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A crossword is a word (or number) puzzle that takes the form of a square or rectangular grid of squares.

How to Play Crosswords

There are three major types of crossword puzzles: fill-in, hints, and cryptic.

A fill-in crossword puzzle provides a list of words or numbers that must be fitted into the given grid. This is my favorite type of crossword and I like the number versions.

A hints crossword puzzle provides a list of hints (such as trivia, definitions, etc). The answers to the hints must be fitted into the given grid. This is the most common type of crossword that you’ll find.

A cryptic crossword puzzle is a more difficult type of hints crossword. It provides a list of puzzles (such as riddles, puns, wordplay, etc) as hints. The answers to the puzzles must be fitted into the given grid.

How to Solve a Fill-In Crossword

Number Fill In Example 1 - blank

Fill-in crosswords can use numbers or words.

This example is an 8×8 number fill-in. The same hints and tricks can be used for a word fill-in.

Number Fill In Example - 2 Reorder

Smallest to Largest

The very first thing I like to do is reorder the lists from smallest to largest. I find this makes the puzzle much clearer.

Number Fill In Example 3 - One of a length

Just One

Look at the number/word lengths. Are there any that have only one? If so, there’s only one place it can go in the puzzle.

The example puzzle has only one number that’s 4 across, one that’s 6 down, and one that’s 7 down.

Number Fill In Example 4 - Go from (start large)

Fewest Options First

Now it’s time to look at other options. Start with the ones with the fewest possibilities.

For example, there’s a number that’s 5 long at the top. We have two possibilities (21465 and 22276). We already know the second number must be a 2, so know it must be 22276.

The same applies to our other 5-long number. We know the 4th number must be a 6, so we know it must be 21465.

Number Fill In Example 5 - keep going

Bigger First

Another way to look for options is to start with the longest words/numbers.

Here we have three numbers that are 4 long, each (2651, 4147, and 7215).

Find the options on the grid and fill out any numbers you can. For this example, all three numbers are easy to put in the right place!

Number Fill In Example 6 - mark off completions

Along the way…

As you fill in the grid, you’ll find yourself filling in some additional numbers/words. Make sure you cross those off your list!

In the example, we’ve already found four of our 2-long numbers (11, 14, 57, and 74).

Number Fill In Example 6 - Can you finish?

Can you finish?

That’s about it! Sometimes you might need a little bit of logic to figure things out but there’s no “secrets” here.

Can you finish the puzzle?

The solution is at the end if you want to check it out!

Get Crossword Puzzles

Now that you know how to play Crossword, why not grab some free Crossword puzzles or buy a book of Crossword puzzles.

Free Printable Number Fill-In Puzzles to download and print today
Buy Now: Number Fill-In Puzzle Books

Happy Puzzling,

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Number Fill In Example - Solution