Introduction to resources

Tools for improvers

This section of the website provides a guide to the resources available to help you improve your skill at solving cryptic crosswords.

It assumes that you know how cryptic clues work and have experience of solving them — if this is not the case, then work through the book Learn How to Solve Cryptic Crosswords, the app Learn Cryptic Crosswords or attend a course.

Topics covered

All of the key topics are covered in articles available from the Resources menu.

  • Puzzles for practice — how to find a source of puzzles to practice on that are appropriate for you
  • Dictionaries — reference tools to check word meanings and look up synonyms
  • Solving tools — specialist tools to help you when you are stuck
  • Puzzle blogs — solutions with wordplay explanations for some puzzles published in newspapers
  • Other websites — sites that provide general information about cryptic crosswords.

Resources included

There are many resources available for cryptic crossword enthusiasts, and the ones included here have been selected because of their relevance to improving solving skills and knowledge. Some of these resources are available online and free of charge.

The information provided for each resource explains what it is for and how to use it. It also covers practical considerations such as access and cost.

For resources that are available online, links to the relevant web page have been included. CZD Crosswords is not responsible for the content or policies of any third party website linked to from this site, but does aim to link to reputable sites only.

How this will help

This section will help you understand the range of resources that are available and choose ones that will best meet your particular needs. Use it to build a set of solving tools to support the development of your expertise.

The most important resources to have access to are:

  • a plentiful supply of puzzles that match your current level of skill development
  • the answers to the puzzles, ideally supported by explanations of the wordplay
  • a dictionary and thesaurus, both of which are available online for free.