How To Solve A Backwords

How to Solve 4

by Sonia Eldredge |
Updated on

A Backwords puzzle consists of letters in a square, some of which you must colour in to create a completed fully symmetrical crossword. There are no clues, so you’re looking for patterns of same-length words in the puzzle to work out where the black squares should go.

In the example below, you can see several six-letter words around the outside of the square — SWITCH and SMOKER across the top, THATCH and ATONED along the bottom and SHANDY and RAMBLE reading from the top down the sides.

At this point you might think that you’d found the first part of the pattern, but don’t be too hasty! Keep looking and you’ll see that in the bottom left corner there isn’t a six-letter word as the letters spell out AMONGT.

But AMONG is indeed a word so have another look at the six-letter words you’ve found — can they be shortened to make five-letter words? In this case they can, making WITCH, SMOKE, HATCH, ATONE and AMBLE, with ANKLE in the bottom right corner. So now you can colour in the squares at either end of these words and your pattern will start to appear.

Keep working your way in towards the centre, making sure you check each time that there are definitely the correct amount of same-length words in the corresponding parts of the grid before you start shading. If you’re not sure if you’ve finished, you can count the black squares to make sure you have the amount stated in the instructions to the puzzle.

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