Never a Crossword?

English language student completing a crossword puzzle


Crosswords are a great way to improve your English skills and clues open up new doorways into the English language. Colloquial English (slang) is often featured and allows students to come into contact with commonly used phrases. Anagram clues mean that learners can rearrange words to find the correct spelling. Synonyms are often used too and encourage a much wider use of vocabulary.

Types of Clues

We’ll give you the chance to complete a crossword later, but for now look at these different types of clues…

Colloquial English

Clues involving slang are wonderful to introduce you to everyday common language that is used at work or in social situations.

For example, a clue might be:

Without money (5)

The answer would be: skint (a slang word for poor)


Anagram clues can either be cryptic or more direct. Direct anagrams give you a clue and the word which you have to unscramble.

A good example of this type of clue might be:

Big Apple cocktail (9), hananmatt

The answer is:

Manhattan (Big Apple = another name for New York and Manhattan = a cocktail named after one of the best well known boroughs of New York).

Crossword clue defintion


Synonym clues are the most straightforward and the most common. (A synonym is a word that is similar in meaning to another word or words, and we can use them in the same way). They simply give you a word and the number of letters the answer requires.

For example the clue:

Male bee (5)

might be: drone

Try it yourself!

Now you’re familiar with the type of clues to expect, have a go at a crossword yourself. Here we’ve partially completed this crossword from The I newspaper to give you a head start. We’ll put the answers on our facebook page tomorrow. Let us know how you get on!

The I Crossword

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PS: Can’t wait to see the Facebook solution? OK, here are the answers!

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