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As its name suggests, a skeleton codeword combines elements of both a codeword and a skeleton crossword. Each letter of the alphabet has been substituted for a number. Additionally, the black squares are represented by an even quantity (usually two or four) of numbers.
It should be stated in the introduction to the puzzle that the grid is symmetrical to some degree. However, no indication of the exact type of symmetry should be given, as the solver would be able to learn the identity of all the remaining numbers assigned to black squares, using the symmetrical nature of the grid, once the position of the first had been established. Consequently, the symmetry of skeleton codewords appearing regularly in a magazine should be varied from issue to issue.