Sympathy Tutorial

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2.1 Introduction

In the second tutorial module, we will compile a 15x15 blocked grid puzzle with cryptic clues. This module builds on the general techniques learned in Module 1 and introduces some Sympathy features used primarily for cryptics.

Cryptic construction needs a slightly different approach to that used for fully checked puzzles: because answers typically have every other letter "unchecked" (i.e. not confirmed from crossing answers), they have to be relatively well known words or phrases. It also helps if answers can be formed from other words, so that you can more easily write a cryptic clue. Interactive Filling is designed for situations like this where you need to choose the answers carefully.

Cryptics seldom have a theme, but it is common to start with an answer (or several answers) for which a good clue is already known. Often this is entered as 1 across so the puzzle starts strongly. In this example, we'll enter CANAPÉ as 1 across and build the grid around that.

Compilers of blocked grid puzzles often start with a stock grid, but in this example we will learn how to create a bespoke grid from a starting pattern. In the next step we will begin constructing the crossword by selecting the starting pattern.


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