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Rating: 4.7/5 (73 votes)
Comments (29) | Views (7,200)

Ms.45CrosswordI've often thought that Jayisgames doesn't have anywhere near enough word games for my liking, and this almost makes up for that lack. This is a quick, clever Flash crossword puzzle from Taro Ito of Gamedesign, who brought us the recently-reviewed White Jigsaw and other addictive favourites of this site (Dice Wars anyone?), and it lives up to his previous standard.

Crossword works without clues. Instead, a partially-completed crossword is shown, with the remaining unused letters in a panel to the right. To put a letter where you think it belongs, click in a space on the crossword, then click the letter that you think it is. The letter will be moved from the right-hand panel to the puzzle, but watch out—it will appear in ALL the spaces where an identical letter is to be found. In other words, if the clue is _ _ Y, and you decide this must be SAY, click on the first space. All spaces with that letter will turn orange, and you can then click on the letter S to fill in those spaces. However, if you're wrong and the word is really FLY, you can click on S and then F in the right hand panel to replace it. Alternatively, you can click on the space bar in the right hand column to clear any letter already placed.

The game starts you out on Beginner level, and as you beat each level, lets you progress to Easy, Normal, Hard and Expert. If you get stuck, you can click Give Up, which will solve the puzzle for you—you can then click Reset and get a new puzzle on the same level.

Analysis: I love this game! I really like the fact that all the words seem to be real words that an English speaker would use, not those horrible jargon words that only ever get trotted out for word puzzles (Text Twist really gets my goat in this respect). It's easy to pick up, but still challenging.

The only very minor quibble is that I would prefer to have separate buttons for Reset and Give Up—I'd like to be able to Reset the crossword puzzle I'm playing now if I've dug myself into a hole of wrongness, and only Give Up if I'm finding it genuinely impossible. If you've a hankering for word puzzles, speak fluent English and have five minutes to spare I think you'll really like this.

Play Crossword


Wow - nice! I always like word games... just went through a series, not too hard but lots of fun.
Expert level started me off with like 4 letters in the whole grid; I found the best way to proceed is to just try to form one whole word, and check if the rest of the board seems to be making sense. If not, try something else - the common letters usually flesh out enough of the board to make rejecting incorrect choices pretty easy.


This is a lot of fun. It's a bit frustrating at the higher levels -- expert threw the word 'soccor' at me, which I only got because nothing else would fit the surronding words.

I wish there were a way to stay at the higher difficulty, though, and not have the game end when you win.


Ouch. Just got an expert one with a single Y in the bottom left corner - time for some guesswork. I find figuring out doubled letters makes life a bit easier - narrows the search space a bit (oo, ee, dd, etc).

Easy way to stay at higher difficulty - just press the Reset button instead of putting in the last letter: you know you're done by that time anyway...


Nice game, although it was a bit easy. Once you find one word, everything just kind of falls into place around it. Nice diversion for about 10 minutes, though.


I freakin' love this one. Brilliant game, well made, crafty.

First levels were bloody easy. Last level proved a great challenge. I'll leave a few tips for you folks who are perhaps a little stuck.

Tip One: Q is your best friend. Commonly followed by a U, you can put the U in. This can help greatly.
Tip Two: Double letters are great too. There are only a few double letters that will work. It's actually even better if the double letter part is surrounded by consonants. This implies that the double letters are vowels. In this case, they should be "E"s or "O"s, since "A"s, "I"s, and "U"s look weird as doubles.
Tip Three: Reset! If you give up and reset, you get a new board. There is no way to deny it; sometimes you just get dumb boards that don't work. Giving up (and reseting) isn't cheating, just playing smart. Feel free to use it.
Tip Four: Consonants and Vowels. You usually have no more than 3 vowels in a row, and no more than 2 consonants. There are other cases, but this should help for the most part.

Hopefully that can help! I'll post more if I think about them. But try to do it on your own, it's not too hard!


Good find, Ms.45!
I love these word games, I played this game for a good ten minutes. My only complaint was that it was too easy! This game would've been better with some more levels or tougher settings, but overall i found this game to be pretty damn good.


Great game :) Most word games just copy around the same old ideas with better graphics, but this was new and it was fun.


Agreed, this was not that easy as it went into the game... FUN FUN!


that was really cool. I thought I couldn't do it because the expert level only gave me two letters but then I did it and it was so exciting! : )


I think it'd be cool if there was a level with 0 letters given away. I found the game really fun, but really easy.


That was great fun, nice little distraction.

Last level was devilish :D


i had an expert level with 0 letters lol but i solved it with the double-letter clues, etc.


A comment on the description: "I'd like to be able to Reset the puzzle I'm playing now if I've dug myself into a hole of wrongness"

You can use the space button (below the letters at right) to erase any wrong letters. This let's you reset all, or a portion, of the puzzle that you're playing.


I absolutely agree with Ms .45, we need more word/crossword games! This was very enjoyable. Not too easy, not too hard, just right!


This has the layout of a crossword, but it's essentially a cryptogram. Games Magazine includes these once in a while.


That was a lot of fun. I finished it on my first time through with no resets, although I did have to think about the expert level for a moment. Once you get a few letters, though, the pieces start falling into place. I don't think that's a flaw, really, because it's kind of fun when it happens. It's still a challenge on expert in the beginning, but once the letters begin to pop up it goes quickly.


What Jim said: Little bit crossword, little bit rock & roll...erm, cryptogram. Mostly crytogram, actually. Nice gamee.


Love it. One suggestion: A casual-play mode that lets you play as many games as you want at a single difficulty rating. I could pass lots of time at Easy or Normal. :)


Yeah!!! More word games on Jay is Games. Thanks.


i just finished the game, i think it's interesting. good brain exercise


My three favorite JayisGames - SudokuCombat (by far!) - Weboggle - and now, Crossword.

I just wish that I could choose the difficulty level at the beginning. The expert puzzles are great!


i don't speak fluent english but i still enjoy the game.


0000000000 i reached the hard mode i baddly beated up beginner,easy and normal hahaha i am champion.


Great game, more cryptogram than crossword in a way. The one issue I have with it is that it thinks HELLOW is a word. Tsk tsk.


Ito-san knows about "hellow" as this was his reponse to my email notifying him of the problem...

"That crossword puzzle is the one automatically made.
The mistake is found in the dictionary data.







So, I'm not sure if it's something he plans to fix, or is able to fix. Perhaps he's using an online dictionary over which he has no control?

Regardless, it's a relatively minor blemish to an otherwise exceptional casual game.


i loveee this game it was great

Yonaka May 2, 2008 1:48 PM

Haha, I'm actually pretty good at this one!

Sylocat July 4, 2008 7:55 PM

Hmm, a nice cross between a cryptogram and a crossword. Sadly, having both of those as clues makes it a little too easy.


I'm surprised no one mentioned letter frequencies, as this game is half cryptogram, as mentioned above. If there are a lot of one letter, it is probably E, A, T, or S. The actual letter frequencies are usually represented by "etaoin shrdlu" by the way.
It's really easy to get "E" this way.


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