OLLI Course: CROSSWORDS Practicum: Intermediate

Course Description

  • practicum crossword?2016 Winter
    Ashland: 2015 Spring; 2014 Spring; 2013 Fall; 2012 Fall (Beginner)
  • Sessions: 6
  • Course URL: http://communicrossings.com/olli-course-crosswords-practicum-intermediate
  • In this intermediate-level, practice-only course, we will solve 'more difficult' crossword puzzles as a group.
  • Depending on class ability and interest, we could do New York Times: Thu & Sunday; Merl Reagle: Sun; NYT: Fri & Sat; or 'easier' UK-style Cryptics.
  • We'll discuss the tricky clues and funny themes we discover.
  • This practicum is open not only to those who have taken my earlier Crosswords courses, but also to others who would like to improve their crossword skills.
  • Below: more about Instructor, Topics and Resources.

About the Instructor

Course Topics

  • beach puzzle capital of norwayPracticum: prac·ti·cum [prak-ti-kuhm] n. "the part of a [university] course consisting of practical work in a particular field"; related to "praxis": exercise or practice of an art, science, or skill; practical application of a theory
  • There will be no planned presentations -- just puzzle practice. However, while we solve puzzles, I will highlight interesting/unusual clues and themes, answer questions, and point to reference materials (from my CROSSWORDS and YOU course) that you can access later.
  • Less experienced solvers are welcome; and/or you can consider my introductory CROSSWORDS and YOU course which covers history and culture, vocabulary, clues, themes, formats, sources, applications, and authoring -- along with some practice (1/3 of each session) involving easier puzzles.

Course Resources

  • curriculum menuThis web page will be used for course presentation & resources -- the following link (URL) is in the course catalog, and will be emailed to registered students:
  • This online version allows you to explore items that we skim/skip, or that you miss, or want to refer to later. This format also allows me to update the course with new or revised items on an ongoing basis, plus provide a more mobile-friendly version. Note: there will be no other versions, e.g., .pdf, as in my other longer courses.
  • conversation how are youWe'll select several puzzles each session, usually available online, and appropriate in difficulty for class ability & interest; for example:
  • crosswords hintsThere will be a refresher for certain puzzle types, e.g., rebuses; for cryptics, we'll review different clue types, e.g.,
  • We'll display each puzzle using an interactive crossword application like
  • across lite downloadA puzzle can be done in any order. However, to minimize group confusion, we'll generally work together on the same area of the puzzle, focus on the same clues, and fill-in a consensus answer -- or skip to nearby clues if we seem stuck.
  • The solving emphasis will be on learning and fun -- rather than on perfection and speed. The more experienced among us should refrain from answering for a few seconds to allow others to consider the clues.
  • I'll highlight interesting clues or themes, and refer to online solving resources. We might refer to various blogs for further explanations, e.g.,