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Get better at Cryptic Crosswords!

Get better at Cryptic Crosswords!

Here's one more course from the GenWise stables that has been shown to exercise a wide range of cognitive faculties. Learn the basics of unraveling cryptic crosswords, and end with creating your own that other participants try and solve!

Course Details

This course is open to all above the ages of 14. Families are welcome to join in as a group.

Cryptic crossword puzzle solving is a workout for the brain using a combination of both creativity and logic. It is both an art, and a science!

Solving cryptic crossword puzzles have been shown to exercise a range of cognitive faculties, including:

  • The general capacity to analyze, reason, problem-solve and think ?on one?s feet?
  • A specific aptitude for cryptographic or mathematical thinking
  • The visuospatial ability to mentally manipulate algebraic components of wordplay ?fodder?
  • The ability to pattern-match and, most specifically, complete word fragments provided by cross-checking letters
  • The ability to break free from familiar patterns of thought (particularly red herrings deliberately supplied by the setter) using new and unusual interpretations of clue components
  • The ability to retrieve words from long-term memory to match synonym definitions.

"The endorphins spike and the cortisol and the adrenaline drops - so there is this real general and genuine wave of pleasure."? From the book ?Rewording the Brain?, by David Astle.

In this course, participants will be taken through the various strategies for cracking crossword clues, as well as clue composition. On the final day, participants will have a crack at crosswords compiled by their fellow participants!

We hope this course can start your child on a lifelong journey towards loving wordplay and crossword puzzles!!


1. Cryptic Crossword Creator, David Astle, on The Brain Effects of Puzzles

2. The Grounded Expertise Components Approach in the Novel Area of Cryptic Crossword Solving

About Facilitator:

Radha Gopalan

Radha Gopalan

Radha is senior mentor and course designer at GenWise.

Her view of the world is one of hidden connections and she believes that a significant part of learning is to unearth these connections. She is an environmental scientist by training, with a deep interest in exploring and practicing "transformative education for sustainable living". Towards this effort she is engaging actively with rural and urban communities to further the idea of food sovereignty.

After 18 years as a global environmental consultant, Radha also wore the teacher's hat for several years at the Rishi Valley School, teaching Environmental Sustainability. She is a Visiting Faculty at the School of Development, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru and engages actively in popular education efforts around sustainability.

Radha has a bachelor's degree in Genetics from the Madras University, a Master's from Osmania University, and a Ph.D from IIT Bombay in Environmental Science.

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Will REGISTER if course is offered!
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