Skeleton Codeword

Crack the number code to the letters and black squares of a completed crossword grid.

  • Clue-Based Puzzle
  • Digital
  • Print

As its name suggests, a Skeleton Codeword combines elements of both a Codeword and a Skeleton Crossword. The solver is presented with a completed crossword grid in which each letter of the alphabet has been substituted for a number. Additionally, the black squares of the grid are represented by numbers (usually two or four).

The solver’s challenge is to crack the code to reveal the answers and black squares of the crossword grid.


The entry point for solving a skeleton codeword is knowing that the black squares form a symmetrical pattern. However, the exact type of symmetry is not usually stated as the solver would too easily be able to learn the identity of all the remaining numbers assigned to black squares, once the position of the first had been established.

Just as for a codeword, the solver’s tactics for guessing words in the grid involve looking out for common word endings, double letters and the likely position of the most used letters in English. 


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