How to Solve Rows Garden Puzzles
by Roy Leban
The Rows Garden is a crossword variant invented by Patrick Berry which consists of answers in both horizontal Rows and hexagonal Blooms.
Each Row, except the top and bottom Rows, contains multiple consecutive answers (usually two) reading left to right. The Rows are labeled with letters and you are given the clues for each row, but it is up to you to determine the length of the the entries.
The Blooms are grouped into three sets, distinguished by colors (usually White, Pink, and Gray). Each Bloom is a six-letter word or phrase and completely fills one hexagon of the appropriate color. All three Bloom lists are in random order, so you must use the Row answers to figure out where to plant each Bloom, where each answer starts, and whether the letters go clockwise or counterclockwise
Like in a crossword, every letter is used twice, once in a Row and once in a Bloom. This rule may be broken in some variant Rows Garden puzzles.
Most of the tricks you use in solving a crossword puzzle apply to a Rows Garden puzzle. Going back and forth between Rows and Blooms clues is especially important in a Rows Garden, as each Bloom shares three letters with each Row it intersects, instead of just one in a typical crossword.
However, Rows Garden puzzles present a significant complication — initially, you don’t know where each Bloom goes in the puzzle. You may find it convenient to take notes on potential answers. Press and hold on any clue to enter a note in Clue Options. Once you have an entered a Bloom’s answer into the puzzle, you can return to Clue Options to mark the clue as solved. If you’ve chosen to hide solved clues, any Blooms you mark as solved will be hidden, shortening the list of clues you have to look at.
If you get stuck, don’t forget you can get hints by tapping on the icon. You have the option to reveal a letter or answer and also to clear out any errors. It’s not cheating to ask for a hint — the goal is to have fun, so if asking for a hint increases your enjoyment, feel free.
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