Play PlusWord now at telegraph.co.uk/plusword, where a new crossword puzzle is published every day at midnight.
2022 has seen word-finding challenges take the puzzles and crosswords world by storm. Such brainteasers have existed for years, from the decades-old game of Bulls and Cows, via the Mastermind board game of the 1970s, through to the recent Wordle craze. All have at their heart a simple code-breaking challenge: using a series of guesses to identify a series of four or five letters, numbers or colours, then being told after each guess whether each letter, number or colour is a) part of the series and b) in the correct position.
We are pleased to have launched our own word-finding game, PlusWord, which marries the challenge of a code-breaking puzzle to the content of our famous crosswords. PlusWord is easy and fast to play, and consists of a miniature version of our Quick Crossword, in which some squares are coloured; the letters in those shaded squares let you work out the additional five-letter PlusWord.
The initial concept for the game came about almost two decades ago, in the form of a cryptic crossword compiled for some friends, in which a group of cells in the middle of the grid acted as a further puzzle in which a number of coloured cells led to a Wordle-style challenge.
Fast-forward to the present day and PlusWord was born on Christmas Day 2021, when somewhat the worse for wear and, keen to escape for a short while the many relatives which had descended on us for the day, sorting through the contents of an old filing cabinet brought to light the 18-year-old code-breaking crossword. An hour or so of frenzied work later, my in-laws and assorted other family members were somewhat bemusedly tackling the first PlusWord puzzle. Perhaps it was best for the sake of my marriage that those who completed it didn’t see the pointedness of the final answer: SCRAM.
Each PlusWord is simple to play and should take only a few minutes to complete. We think you’ll enjoy it, and hope that, like our Christmas guests, you stick around to play each new crossword puzzle. Give it a try here at telegraph.co.uk/plusword.
How to play PlusWord - our new crossword puzzle game
Solve the crossword, then use letters in the shaded squares to complete the additional PlusWord.
A letter in a green square appears in the same column in the PlusWord as it does in the crossword.
A letter in a yellow square appears in the PlusWord, but in a different column than it does in the crossword.
There is only one possible answer for the PlusWord; it may be that the PlusWord contains letters that aren’t found in the crossword, but it can always be worked out logically and without guessing.
How to check the PlusWord answer
The Telegraph reveals the solution to the previous day's puzzle every PlusWord in the Front Page newsletter. You can sign up here.
PlusWord can be found in the newspaper every day and online. Get playing now: telegraph.co.uk/plusword, where a new puzzle is published every day at midnight.
This article is kept updated with the latest information.
PlusWord Book 1, containing 150 puzzles, is available now from retailers including Waterstones and from the Telegraph book shop