Crossword Puzzle Maker

Intertwine words with cryptic clues for your puzzle-hungry readers.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $109,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Crossword Puzzle Makers do?

Crossword Puzzle Makers construct puzzles from scratch by designing a pattern and fitting words together perfectly. As a Crossword Puzzle Maker, you’re a master wordsmith, an impeccable speller, and even a spatial thinker — you might even be good at geometry. You probably love solving puzzles just as much as you love making them. And most of all, you’re just as aware of current events as you are historical ones, which lets you create well-rounded puzzles that keep ’em guessing.

Being a Crossword Puzzle Maker means knowing your audience. The famed New York Times crossword puzzle is known for its high level of difficulty, while a puzzle found in People magazine isn’t as challenging. Most crossword puzzles have a theme, too. Whether the theme relates to the publication the puzzle appears in, or something chosen randomly by you, it gives solvers one more clue to fall back on.

You start your work by choosing your theme, and then creating half a dozen or so anchor words and phrases to build the puzzle around. Once you lay your groundwork, you insert the black squares, keeping the pattern symmetrical and the blanks numbered correctly. You also create the very short definitions that appear as numbered clues, and you fill in the puzzle for the answer key. In order to meet the demand of generating a daily puzzle, you have boundless creativity.

Should I be a Crossword Puzzle Maker?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: Crossword Puzzle Designer

    How to become a Crossword Puzzle Maker

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Crossword Puzzle Maker-related education!
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