The common crossword comes in many shapes and forms, and a little-known but particularly fiendish variation on the theme is the Scrowdros. As its name implies, the clue words are fairly normal, but the manner of entering words into the grid has an important twist – the letters of every word must be jumbled, so that every single letter is out of its correct place. It's worth noting where a word contains duplicate letters, this rule still applies. Therefore, the only valid jumbles for a word like ROOT would be ORTO and OTRO – it's not allowable to move the second O to replace the first and form something like TORO. It follows that a word like TEEPEE could not be used in a Scrowdros puzzle, as it would be impossible to place all of the Es.

The Scrowdros offers two levels of challenge – in its full-blown form, clues must be solved and then the solutions slotted into the grid correctly. However, it's perfectly fair play to be given the answer words and let the puzzle be to complete the grid correctly – even this can be a significantly tricky task, and the best initial approach is to look for letters which must appear in both a horizontal and a vertical word, to fix three letter words in place, and to fix in place those letters which appear several times in a word.


The clues to this puzzle are quite straightforward, but each answer is to be entered in the grid with every one of its letters out of its correct place. Thus the clue 'Item of headgear' might yield the solution 'hat', which could be entered as ATH or THA, but not as HTA, TAH or AHT.

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