Interest Groups Online Groups

Creating Cryptic Crosswords

This course is intended for members who have completed the Cryptic Crosswords basic course (or worked through Henry Howarth’s book) and who relish the challenge of the cryptic crossword creation process. You will create your own cryptic crossword, and we will also create a group puzzle to be published in the U3A newsletter.

  • Background and characteristics of cryptic crossword puzzles
    • designing an effective grid
    • categorisation of clue types
  • Creating a cryptic crossword puzzle by hand
  • Creating a cryptic crossword puzzle using free software see
  • Writing clues – tips and no-nos
  • The editing process – feedback from guinea pig puzzlers
  • Practical exercises and group work

OUTPUT of this process is an individual crossword and group crossword


Twelve one hour sessions by arrangement

Group Size & Availability

Minimum 3, maximum 6

Spaces Available

How to Join

You can join this group, or the waiting list, via the Beacon Members Portal. To join a group you must first subscribe to Interest Groups Online. This is separate to a local u3a membership. 

If you would be interested in helping to lead a group around this subject or any other, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

You can contact the group leader via the Beacon Members Portal. For any other queries or information please contact the Interest Groups Online team by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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