Making Crossword and Crisscross Puzzles

Contents :


These pages explain how to make crossword and criss-cross type puzzles in MS Word, OpenOffice, Ichitaro, or other wordprocessing program.

A crossword puzzle is exactly that. A criss-cross puzzle is like a crossword but instead of clues, you have the words and have to figure out where they go in the puzzle. I like criss-cross puzzles because they force the kids to pay attention to the length and spelling of the words.

Documents showing the steps outlined here are available in OpenOffice and MS Word formats here. These are the ones used for the pictures in these pages.

Step 1

The hardest part of making a crossword puzzle is the puzzle itself — getting the words to fit neatly together. Luckily, there are web sites that will do this for you. Step 1 is just to go to the site below and have them do the hard part for you. After that, the rest is just making your puzzle look nice.

Crossword Puzzle Maker ( is easier to use than it seems at first. Just put in the words you want in your puzzle and some clues for each word and you are set.

Word and Clue are the only parts we care about. Put your words and clues into them and then click the Make Puzzle button near the bottom of the page.

Warning : You must put in clues for each word, even if you are making a criss-cross puzzle. This web site ignores words without clues. A, B, and C are acceptable as clues, however, so there is no need for real clues if you are not making a crossword puzzle. Even if you are making a crossword puzzle, there is no need to put in real clues — we will put the real ones in later ourselves.

Crossword Puzzle Maker makes a nice puzzle but we want the answer key. So after it makes the puzzle, click on the Answer Key HTML button. Now you should see your puzzle with the words filled in. Save or print this page. We will need it later.

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