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words CRISS CROSS intersecting each other twice
No. of Players: 1+
Type of Game: written
What you need: pen and paper


To fill in a puzzle grid with interlocking words.

How to play

Criss Cross word games, also called Fill-ins, are similar to Crossword puzzles. But instead of the interlocking words needing to be solved from clues, these words are given outright. There are many published book series devoted to this game, but it can easily be made at home. The gamemaster first thinks of a list of words in a particular category and then organizes them into an interlocking grid. The letters are then removed and the empty grid, along with the list of words, is given to the other players to solve. To increase the level of difficulty, a time limit can be set or the list of words can be all similar in length.

By the way, see our homepage for hundreds of free, printable criss cross, fill-in, and crossword puzzles. Or see if you can solve the World's First crossword puzzle.

And if you are looking for a warm-up for your next crossword puzzle, check out our Even Steven word game.

Up for a challenge?

Try the World's First Crossword Puzzle from 1913


Anton presents copies of the following empty grid to Bryan and Charlotte, asking them to fill it using a list of 24 words. He tells them the first player to finish becomes the next gamemaster. But Anton also sets an overall 10 minute time limit and requires them to name the category of the list. If no player completely finishes by that time, the one with the greatest number of words or letters correctly filled in is the winner.

empty criss cross grid for 24 words list of 24 one-word movie titles for criss cross word game

Charlotte was the only player to fill in the grid within 10 minutes. Here is the solution:

solution for criss cross grid with 24 words

But Charlotte could not guess the category. Bryan knows what it is and is happy to help out. He tells them the list of words are all one-word movie titles.

Since neither player filled in the grid in time and named the category, Anton declares a draw and flips a coin to decide who creates the next game.

Did you know?

Certified by Guinness World Records, the largest crossword puzzle (in physical size) in the US measures 7 feet by 7 feet and can be hung on a wall or conveniently folded for solving on your lap or kitchen table. It comes with a 100 page book packed with 28,000 clues for over 91,000 squares. If you get stuck, you can always check the 4 foot by 4 foot answer grid.

wall-size crossword puzzle with man standing next to it thinking

However, a still larger puzzle was published by Nikoli Co., Ltd on June 30, 2016. It measures nearly 130 square feet, has 244,971 blank squares, and 66,666 clues. It was created by 20 different crossword puzzle makers to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Japanese company.

man standing with back against stack of crossword puzzles

If these two puzzles are still too small for you, there is yet a bigger one according to Guinness. Verified on June 3, 2014, it took Hristo A. Yonitsov of Sofia, Bulgaria 14 years to write the 93,769 clues and craft the 984 foot long puzzle. The grid is spread over a hefty 1,000 sheets of paper and remains unpublished at this time.

More Word Games


A Hundred Fast ā€˜nā€™ Easy Crosswords (Volume 1) by Charles Waterford