What do we mean by LANGUAGE NEUTRAL?
The many and varied differences between the British and the American spelling and meaning conventions in the English language are a major irritation to people solving language-based puzzles.
Here's our solution.
Firstly, we carefully edit the list of words from which we create our content. We remove any words that have different spellings in each convention. So, for example, we wouldn’t use the word 'manoeuvres' which, in American spelling, is (double whammy!) 'maneuvers' – that's the DOUBLE VOWEL 'oe' replaced by the SINGLE VOWEL 'e', and the LETTER ORDER 're' replaced by the LETTER ORDER 'er'.
And there are many more.
In British English spelling, a consonant occurring at the end of a verb, usually the letter ‘L’, is doubled when the verb takes the 'ed' or 'ing' forms. In American English, this doesn't happen. So, LEVELLED in British English is LEVELED in American English. American English prefers IZE; British English varies but often prefers ISE.
We then carefully review the clues.
Apart from spelling, there are many differences in word meanings in British and American usage. So for example, in making a clue for the word JUMPER, we wouldn’t use any clue relating to clothing as the word refers to different garments. Sweater, jumper and pullover are synonyms in British English but in American English a jumper is usually sleeveless.
It gets even more difficult when avoiding the use of basic descriptors such as COLOUR/COLOR, FAVOURITE/FAVORITE and NEIGHBOUR/NEIGHBOR. When assigning a clue for the word YELLOW, we use 'Lemon or canary shade', or 'Cowardly', for example.
That's how we make puzzles which all English speakers, regardless of their native spelling and cultural conventions, can solve naturally.