All About Arrow WordsArrow word puzzles are a crossword variant. They have several other names such as block arrow, arrow clues, clue arrow and indeed clues in squares.
They play very similarly to ordinary crossword puzzles, but as the clues are embedded in the puzzle, then they tend to have to be a lot shorter and more succinct than ordinary crosswords where the clues are outside the grid.
Because of this it would be almost impossible to write a general knowledge arrow word and certainly impossible to write a cryptic crossword in this style.
In the UK, when tackling an arrow word you will find that there are a lot more intersections between words than with orthodox crossword puzzles, and therefore many more clues/answers to be placed for each given grid size, and more letter clues for each word are possible.
It is not uncommon in arrow word puzzles for every letter to be fully-determined by clues in the opposite direction for several words, which is very uncommon with standard British crosswords (as compared with US puzzles where typically every run is fully-checked or fully-crossed, meaning that in theory you only have to solve all the across clues or all the down clues in order to solve the puzzle!)
Arrow word puzzles are a popular variant, and there are several arrow word magazines on the market that contain exclusively this type of puzzle.
There are also other variants of the arrow word, which can include puzzles where every clue is an anagram, and even some puzzles called picture arrow words where, as you may guess, the clue is a simple picture.
Last updated: 15 Feb 2012
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