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The appeal of Cross-over lies in the way its answers overlap in the grid. The clues are grouped in the order they appear in their row or column. Each individual answer will overlap its neighbours by at least one, but usually several, letters. For example, the chain of answers SPARE, PARENT, RENTAL and TALK would be entered in the grid as SPARENTALK.
The grid is very loosely interlocked, so it is the overlap of the answers, rather than intersections of Across and Down words (as in conventional crosswords) that help the solver as the puzzle progresses. For this reason, a good example of Cross-over will include substantial chunks of overlap between the answers. A weaker puzzle is more likely to rely on single-letter overlaps.
The downside of this puzzle is the look of the grid, which appears to have much wasted space. The puzzle can be given a better-looking, more interlocking grid, but the disadvantage of this is that it can shift the emphasis in the puzzle from the overlaps to the intersections, weakening the puzzle's distinctive feature.