Also Known As:
This is a variety of crossword that dispenses with clues by giving the letters needed to complete the grid. The letters are listed in the correct columns, and in the correct order reading downwards. The only things missing are the black squares, giving the impression that the letters have collapsed to the bottom of their columns. The object is to restore the black squares and recreate the answer grid.
One column is usually solved in the grid as a start, and the symmetry of the grid is described. With this much information on hand, Dropout is usually a straightforward puzzle to solve.
As a solver, look for the longest Down words. These will usually be easy to position. Also look for chains of Down answers that will take up the full column, once they have a black square separating each word. When the obvious Down answers are positioned, it's time to tackle the letters in the emptier columns, which may contain no Down words. Spotting where letters won't fit with their Across neighbours leads to more black squares being positioned, and this in turn will give away the position of any remaining letters.