What is the course about?
Ever wondered how cryptic crosswords work? Want to improve your memory, vocabulary and problem solving skills? These brain-fizzing sessions for crossword novices will teach you how to unlock cryptic clues, and how to effortlessly build your vocabulary and trivial knowledge whilst having fun! With a background in neuroscience and psychology, your tutor will also teach you how to get the most from this classic pastime in order to develop communication skills and other cognitive functions.
What will we cover?
The workshop teaches the rules of cryptic crosswords, clue structure, and standard and some advanced clue types. It teaches basic and some advance solving strategies, and techniques for brain training including memory access and analytic reasoning.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Independently solve the majority of clues in cryptic crosswords appearing in the Guardian, Independent, Times, Telegraph, Observer, Financial Times, Private Eye, and many other newspapers and magazines. You will also have been taught your tutor’s carefully developed methods for how to get the most out of crosswords in terms of broadening your knowledge, strengthening your memory, and improving other cognitive skills.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is aimed at beginners – no prior knowledge of cryptic crosswords is required. However, the course is comprehensive, offering many useful tips for those with more experience, so would also suit those who class themselves as intermediate solvers.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course is classroom based, with the tutor guiding you through the mechanics of cryptic clues step by step, with lots of examples and practice. The course moves on to the language of crossword setters with exercises in how to set clues as well as solve them. Finally the course turns to cognition, discussing why cryptic crosswords may be a valuable tool for developing memory, communication and problem solving skills, with practice at techniques for getting the most out of crossword solving. There will be manageable homework assignments each week.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
All materials are provided but we encourage you to bring a cryptic crossword from your favourite newspaper or magazine, with the aim of being able to solve it yourself by the end of the course.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details