Word Maze

Also known as:

Round and About, Round Crossword

This puzzle has similarities with Pathfinder, but is more demanding, requiring solving skills more than word recognition. The completed grid consists of a chain of answer words whose letters form a path through the grid, moving horizontally or vertically one square at a time until all spaces in the grid have been filled. The last letter of one answer forms the first letter of the next.

Whereas Pathfinder presents the solver with a filled-in grid and a list of words to find, Word Maze offers a partially filled grid, and clues to the answers. The solver must answer the clues, then determine their path through the grid. This task is aided by having a proportion of the letters in the grid, and some sections of the Word Maze's internal walls, giving clues to the route to be taken by the answers. In addition, the starting square of each new answer may be marked with a bullet point, arrow or other symbol. This may even be a clue number, which makes the puzzle more straightforward, giving further clues to the route through the maze, and allowing solvers to target sections of the route that house answers they know.

Since only the first and last letters of any answer will help in deducing other words, the choice of answers, clues, pre-set letters and wall sections are critical to the success of this puzzle. Vague cluing and a lack of letters in the grid will make the puzzle prone to alternative answers such as EVADE and ELUDE or DISTURBED and DISRUPTED. Too few clues to the route of the answers will turn result in a demoralising slog, when the puzzle can be an enjoyable challenge.

Related puzzles:

Pathfinder, Spiral
The illustration of the puzzle Download example puzzle

Instructions:

Enter the answers to the clues into the grid. Words follow a maze-style twisting path. Arrows mark the start of each answer, and the last letter of one word is the first letter of the next.