April Extra 2021 – Grid Design

grid design in progress

Because Extras are exactly what they say they are, the 3D Team likes to experiment with all things relating to the creation of crosswords and so, this month, we are asking you to step out of your normal solving zone and have a play with creating a grid. This will give you a really good insight into how grids work and broaden your overall understanding of crosswords.   

We do have an alternative motive. As you know, we are a team of volunteers who create the 3D Crossword Calendar Puzzles and we do need your help in getting a good variety of grids to choose from. From the number who entered the RPM Trophy competition, we realise that a lot of you think that grid-creation is a specialist subject. It isn’t, not at all, it can be tremendous fun and the object of the exercise is that you do have fun. To this end, here are some tips:

  • Choose a theme that interests you, however simple, specialised, plain or obscure.  
  • You do not need to have an anniversary theme and can submit a grid which could be used for any month of any year.
  • If choosing an anniversary you can pick anything from July 2021 through to December 2022.
  • The percentage of themed words is a consideration but it is much better to have only a few themed words that connect well with each other than to have a high percentage of themed words split and scattered haphazardly about the grid.
  • You can use phrases, hyphenated words, snakes and/or bars where they are appropriate and add value to the grid.
  • The winning grid will be used as a future Extra or in the Calendar.
  • A completed grid will count towards your 12 for World Championship qualification for this year.

Go on – give it a go. Download and complete the grid and word table provided below. Information on where to send your entry is contained in the word table template. Entries are due by midnight, 31 May 2021.

Word Table (Example)

An example is set out below. Please use the same format and please give a full explanation of your solution if it is at all obscure. If a word is not in Chambers please give a source for it. (e.g. Collins).

DaySolutionDirection (letter count)ExplanationsComments
1AMERICA11d (7)Thematic: Song from West Side Story
6BIKKY43to (5)Colloquial form of biscuitOED or One Look

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