Custom Crossword Puzzles - ideas for your own crossword

September 17, 2020 5 min read


Custom crossword puzzles ideas - what to put on your crossword

Custom Crossword Puzzles - ideas for your own crossword

We've helped lots of customers create their own custom crossword puzzles. Our customers have the fun part of deciding which clues and answers to put on their crossword. We have the not-quite-so-fun part of fitting all the words together into crossword designs.

But that's what we're here for - to help you create a really unique, personal gift for someone. 

Custom crossword puzzles might be the ultimate personalised gift. Think about it from the point of view of the recipient: they receive a gift that's all about them and the things they love. The effort you've put into their gift is obvious because the evidence is right in their hands! They get that you've taken the time to treat them as an individual and you haven't taken the easy way out and given them a gift you could have given to anyone.

A custom crossword is unique. It's personal between you and the person you're giving to. It strengthens connections.

Your Own Crossword

We've had many customers order crosswords for subjects that we've never seen before and we've collected them all together in once place. You might get some inspiration for your own crossword! One of these ideas might spark an idea of your own.

The crossword ideas below show just how versatile a custom crossword puzzle is when you give it as a gift. It's something you can give to many different people, or even to the same person several times. Yet it's different and unique and personal every time. 

In no particular order, here are some of the ideas our customers have come up with...

personalised crossword with clues print

Dates Of Birth

Family names as the crossword answers, dates of birth (or birthday day/month) as the clues. It's a thoughtful gift for grandparents who might lose track of all the grandchildren's birthdays. Never forget another birthday!

The Meaning Of Names

Family names as the answers, and the meaning of the names as the clues. You can find the meanings of different names online or in books. But it's a lovely idea  to make more of the meanings by using them as crossword clues.

The most entertaining twist we've seen on this idea is a customer who gave all the members of the family a nickname, a bit like the Spice Girls: The Sporty One, The Quiet One, The Sleepy get the idea. We liked that the idea was so simple and so effective. The finished crossword was neat and concise and we loved it.

A Description Of People

Names of people as answers and descriptions of them - their behaviour or appearance or quirks - as clues. In one case, the crossword was for a retirement and we wrote a blog post about it (read more about this retirement crossword here). Again, a simple idea but it was beautifully executed and we're sure the recipient had a good laugh at some of the clues. It's a very personal way to mark a retirement.

An Annual Summary

A lovely idea - one customer does an annual crossword, featuring important places or events or funny things that happened during the year. It's an unusual, interesting way to look back on a year. Often we look back with the help of images (like facebook memories or flicking through photos on our phones), but looking back with words makes us use the images in our own memories.

Marking Time

Many customers use crosswords for important birthdays or anniversaries. They have titles like 'The First Fifty Years' or 'Twenty Years Together' and they're a real celebration of a person's life.

People's names always feature prominently on these crosswords - spouses and children - but so do places and jobs. And sometimes pubs and food. And sometimes other things too...but that's one of the big advantages of crosswords - they can be tailored precisely to celebrate a particular persons life.

Holiday Memories

A bit like 'Marking Time' above, some customers have created crosswords to remember a particular holiday: the places they stayed, the food they ate, the name of the lovely little restaurant they found. Holidays are usually remembered through photographs so it's great to see that some people like to remember them with words too. In years to come, these crosswords will be a lovely way to trigger memories.

Favourite Things

Other birthday crosswords often show someone's favourite things - ice cream flavours, football teams, music, books, films, places, beverages, food...the list goes on and on. 

A Crossword About A Family

A similar idea to 'Favourite Things' above, but for a family - where they live, where grandparents live, what they like doing, favourite family games and TV shows. 

A Football History Quiz

We had a wonderful order for a crossword based on a football team - it's history, important players, stadium. A unique and brilliant way to celebrate the team and a great gift for a supporter of the team. Read more about this football crossword here.

An Exam Success Crossword

A crossword celebrating exam success. The crossword is filled with little snippets of facts, fun and weird, that presumably the student had studied while taking their exams. Not a subject we see very often (we've only seen two crosswords like this) - but very effective and a wonderful light-hearted reminder of hard work.

A Retirement Crossword 

A crossword full of technical jargon and words associated with work - a clever, memory-jogging way to remind the recipient of their workplace, their colleagues  and the events that happened there. 

Celebration Of A Village

A beautiful crossword celebrating a small village - full of interesting facts, pub names and memories. Perhaps this was created by the customer for someone's holiday home or created for someone who lived in the village. Such a good idea that we wrote a blog post about it. Read more about the village crossword here.

printable personalised custom crossword with clues

Some Tips For Your Own Crossword

We love designing crosswords with clues because every one of them is so personal and so different. We design the crossword from your clues and answers - they're not always easy to design, by the way! We make lots of tweaks and adjustments to get your crossword looking as good as we can make it. 

If you're thinking of creating a crossword for someone, here are a few quick tips:

  • Don't have too many answers that contain lots of characters - one or two long words, with a mix of medium and short words usually works best.
  • Don't have too many long, wordy clues (the longer the clues, the smaller they need to be printed to fit them all in).
  • Don't include punctuation (like hyphens or apostrophes) in your answers - we don't print these in crosswords because they break up the design too much.

See details of custom crossword puzzle prints here.



If you're thinking of creating a crossword puzzle for someone. go for it! You can see from the list above that there are no end of subjects - you can be as specific or as wide-ranging as you like! Perhaps the most important thing is that whoever you're creating the crossword for should 'get' it - they are your only audience - success is measured by their reaction to your crossword. Good luck!

If you have an interesting crossword idea, drop us a comment to let us know about it!

3 Responses


July 18, 2023

Hi Sherry – yes, we do. Personalised crosswords can be about any subject you like – so you could make all the clues and answers celebrate the life of your brother. Hope this helps.


July 14, 2023

I am thinking of doing a crossrword puzzle about my brother who passed away and we are having a celebration of life for him.Do you do something like that.

kathy fuller
kathy fuller

February 04, 2022

How long does it take for you to develop a crossword puzzle of questions we would submit. How much does it cost?

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