Cross 3 Word Game

Robert Harris
Version Date: November 13, 2015


Cross 3 is a word game for all ages, because the words must be exactly three letters long. To understand the rules, refer to the following example game sheet.

Cross 3 example diagram    


1. The game starts with one player writing a three-letter seed word on the game sheet.

2. The second player writes a three-letter word connected to the first word. Then the first player writes a three-letter word connected to the second word and so on. Each new word must be connected to the immediately previous word, not to an "old" word.

3. The new word can be connected in various ways: down from the end (as with TAG connected to BAT), down from the middle (END to GET), out to the left (AND connected t END), and so forth.

4. A word may be used only once.

5. Each word counts as one point.

6. Play continues until one player cannot form a new word to connect to the previous word. (If there are several players, play continues until all but one resign.)

7. A standard desk dictionary is the authority for determining what is a word.

8. The player with the most points wins.


1. Players may add a rule that all new words must be attached to either the first or last letter of the previous word, alternating in a down-then-back and a down-then-forward pattern. See the first example below. Or the rule can be that the new word must be attached to the last letter of the previous word, in a down-then-forward pattern, as seen in the second example below.

Example pattern     Example pattern

2. Players may choose to play Cross 4 or even a higher number, where words of exactly four, five, or more letters are required, with the same rules applying.

Cross 4 example

3. Cross Anarchy is played when words of any length can be added anywhere on the previous word, with scoring by counting one point per letter of the new word.

cross anarchy example


1. It is recommended that each player use a different colored pen or pencil so that individual contributions can be tracked easily.

2. A time limit per game might be useful if games go on too long.

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About the author:
Robert Harris is a writer and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college and university level. RHarris at