All In One

Also Known As:

Get It In One

For some, this is the ultimate straight crossword, with a one-word clue to each answer. The simplicity of its appearance belies the fact that this puzzle is considerably harder to set and solve than a standard crossword.

When creating a standard straight crossword, setters need pay little attention to potential clues as they fill the grid with answer words. This is clearly not the case with All in One. There's no point putting a good word in the grid, if it can't be clued succinctly, or with sufficient precision. Try cluing EQUINOX in one word. It's surprising how many staple answers in crosswords need explanatory definitions, having no suitable single-word synonym.

From a solver's perspective, the puzzle can also be a challenge. No matter how accurate a clue is, it may well suggest numerous answers that a lengthier clue would eliminate. It only takes a few similarly broad clues to make a section of the puzzle very tricky to solve.

The setter, as always, must ensure that the solver has a fair chance of getting started. A handful of very specific clues in the grid is the best way. The clue 'Wireless (5)' is a good example, leading the solver straight to RADIO. It also helps, in less specific clues, to choose a synonym that has the same tone as the answer. The informal answer LEG IT, for instance, is better clued by 'Scarper (3,2)' than 'Flee'.

It may seem something of a gimmick to produce a crossword with single-word clues, ruling out a host of excellent, concise clues that are only slightly longer. But the discipline imposed on the setter by the single-word restriction often results in carefully considered clues and answers, producing crosswords that are challenging and fun to solve.


A straight crossword, but the one-word clues make it more difficult than usual.

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