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What Is The Question Mark? Crossword Clue Explained

When you’re solving a crossword, you’ll often come across clues that end in a question mark. What does this mean? And what is the answer to the crossword clue? Let’s look at an example…

What does the question mark mean in crosswords?

Crossword clue types are used to indicate the type of clue you are presented with. There are about a dozen different types of crossword clues, with each clue type having its own meaning. While some are self-explanatory, others are less obvious. The question mark is used as the clue type for an unknown word. The clue type indicates that the answer is a word you are searching for.

The Question Mark Crossword Clue.

A Question mark clue indicates that the answer is unknown. The crossword clue can be used in a variety of ways, with it often being used to indicate an incorrect spelling of a word.

For example, if the clue was “Heroes’ homeland”, you would know that the correct answer is heroes. However, it could also be used to indicate that a word is missing from a clue.

For example, if the clue was “Traveller’s _”, you would know that travellers was the correct word. However, you would not know what comes after the dash. A Question mark clue can also be used to indicate that a word is misspelled.

For example, if the clue was “Some are short, many are long”, you might be able to eliminate some as the wrong answer. If it was instead “Some are short, many are long, and some have a dot at the end”, you would not know which was the wrong answer.

Synonyms of the Question Mark Crossword Clue.

There are a number of clues that are synonymous with a Question mark clue. These include a slash mark and a dash mark.

  • A slash mark is used in a crossword clue to indicate that a word is missing from the clue.
  • A dash mark is used in a crossword clue to indicate that a word has been misspelled.
  • A dot is used in a crossword clue to indicate the end of a sentence or the end of a clue.

When Does the Question Mark Mean “Unknown”?

A Question mark crossword clue will indicate that a word is unknown. This can be when a word does not exist, when a word is misspelled, or when a word is missing from a clue. When the question mark indicates that a word does not exist, the word is often a proper noun.

For example, if the clue was “Last name of the author of Lolita”, you would know that Nabokov was the correct answer. However, Nabokov is a last name and no first name is given. Therefore, Nabokov must be the last name of another author and the first name given is unknown.

Another example of this is when the clue is “President during the Second World War”. You would know that the correct answer is Roosevelt, but the word president is a proper noun. There were multiple presidents during the Second World War, so you cannot say which specific president is being referred to. When the question mark indicates that a word is misspelled, it is often used to indicate that the correct word ends in an “-ed” or an “-ing”.

For example, if the clue was “Doctor’s efforts”, you would know that the correct answer is diagnosis. However, diagnosis ends in an “-ed”, so this is a misspelling.

Another example is if the clue was “Procedure for an ailment”, you would know that the correct answer is diagnosis. However, procedure ends in an “-ing”, so this is a misspelling.

When The Question Mark Means “Nonexistent” and A Word Exists.

If you know that the correct word exists but you do not know what the word is, the clue will have a question mark.

For example, if the clue was “Type of American football”, you would know that football is the correct word. However, you would not know which type of football is being referred to.

Another example of this is if the clue was “Wine variety”. You would know that the correct answer was wine, but you would not know which type of wine is being referred to.

When The Question Mark Means “Nonexistent” and A Word Does Not Exist.

If you know that the word does not exist, then the clue will end with a question mark.

For example, if the clue was “Country where the population is expected to increase by 2050”, you would know that the correct answer is unknown. There is no country with this name, so the word does not exist.

Another example is if the clue was “Battle where Wellington defeated Napoleon’s forces”. You would know that the correct answer is unknown, as there is no battle with this name.

Question mark

Summary.

When you are solving a crossword, you will often come across clues that end in a question mark. What does this mean? And what is the answer to the crossword clue? Let’s look at an example… If the clue was “Type of American football”, you would know that football is the correct word. However, you would not know which type of football is being referred to.

Another example of this is if the clue was “Wine variety”. You would know that the correct answer is wine, but you would not know which type of wine is being referred to. When the question mark indicates that a word is unknown, the word is often a proper noun.

For example, if the clue was “Last name of the author of Lolita”, you would know that Nabokov is the correct answer. However, Nabokov is a last name and no first name is given. Therefore, Nabokov must be the last name of another author and the first name given is unknown.

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