This is the second installment of the Fortnightly Topic Challenges Rerun described here and the forty-third installment of the FTCs overall, with topics suggested and voted on here. This fortnight's topic is "Variety Crossword Grids" (suggested by bobble) and will span from the 15th of November to the 28th of November. During this period, we will compile the list of relevant questions and post it as an answer to this question.

In the meantime, please go and propose and vote on future challenges!

Everyone have fun, and happy puzzling!

Link to other Fortnightly Topic Challenges.

The suggestion is copied to this post for posterity.

Variety Crossword Grids

Normal crosswords has the entries go right-to-left and top-to-bottom, one letter per cell. Bah! That's too simple. The challenge here is to make a variety crossword where the words go in different directions and/or have variable letters per cell. Some ideas:

  • Words that go diagonally
  • Words that go "backwards" (left-to-right or bottom-to-top) in a grid with words that also go "forwards"
  • Words that go in circles
  • Words that don't go in straight lines
  • A grid where each cell contains 1, 2, or 3 letters.
  • A grid with triangular or hexagonal cells.

Examples of what I would consider variety grids are Around the Bend and Marching Bands crosswords.

The actual words and clues can be completely normal - or they can be "variety" as well. Just the grids have to be variety. Feel free to use currently-existing variety crossword types or make up your own.


2 Answers 2


List of all questions published as part of the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #43:

The highest-voted three of these are:

The most viewed three of these are:


Is this puzzle a good candidate for this challenge?

Self-contained math crossword with if-then-else clues

The grid has no variety of any sort but the circular clues and the if-then-else clues are definitely strange.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I would say so - you use numbers instead of letters and the clues are entirely self-referential. There's very little standard about that! The grid may be square in shape but I would say there are enough elements out of the ordinary here to count as 'variety'... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Nov 18, 2020 at 10:46

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