Keep in Mind Multiple Meanings of Words
Let's call a spade a spade. But does that mean we're calling the spade a shovel -- or a suit of cards? Some words have not just one or two meanings, but several. If part of the puzzle isn't coming together, and one of the clues could have more than one answer, try them all out. Particularly, be on the lookout for words with multiple meanings in the question mark clues mentioned earlier. Puzzle composers and editors are a sneaky bunch; they'll use multiple meanings to throw would-be solvers off the scent. Thinking outside the box, both literally and figuratively, will help you finish the job.