Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Crosswords in other languages

The crossword was invented nearly exactly 100 years ago — yes, 2103 is its centenary! We all know that in that time it's spread throughout all English-speaking countries.

But what about other countries? The answer is a resounding yes!

In almost every country that I researched, they have crosswords. The forms are often a bit different from what we're used to — the grids are often non-symmetrical, 2-letter words are allowed, accented characters are often ignored, and sometimes the clues are written into the black squares.

Here are some links to crossword sites from other countries, for your enjoyment.

Afrikaans blokkieraaisel

Chinese crossword
Part of a Chinese crossword

Chinese 填字游戏

Danish kryds og tværs

Dutch kruiswoordraadsel

Finnish crossword
Finnish crosswords often include picture clues

Finnish Sanaristikko 

French crossword
French grids use a different numbering system

French mots croises

German crossword
A German crossword
German Kreuzworträtsel

Greek σταυρόλεξο 

Hebrew crossword
Part of a Hebrew crossword

Hebrew תשבץ 

Indonesian teka-teki silang

Italian crossword
This particular Italian crossword, by Antonio Minicelli, uses rectangles rather than squares
Italian cruciverba 

Japanese クロスワード パズル

Korean crossword
A bit of a Korean crossword

Korean 크로스 워드 퍼즐

Polish crossword
A Polish crossword
Polish Krzyżówka

Romanian cuvinte încrucişate

Russian crossword
The Russian grids seem to be the only non-English ones that are symmetrical
Russian кроссворд
Swedish crossword
Part of a Swedish crossword
Swedish Korsord and even more Swedish korsord!

Spanish crucigramas

Turkish Kare Bulmaca

As for cryptic crosswords, as far as I can tell, they are very much a British English phenomenon. I think that some countries may have puns or plays on words in some clues, but I don't think there is anything that really approaches the full complexity of a cryptic.


  1. Italian crosswords don't use rectangles rather than squares: the crossword you took from my website is particular, because it is syllabic.

    Antonio Minicelli

    1. Ah, thank you for the clarification Antonio! I'll fix up the text accordingly :)


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