Surprise encounter

Surprise encounter - RUNIN
Surprise encounter

As a detective, I would first take a look at the crossword clue itself – “Surprise encounter.” This tells me that the answer likely has something to do with unexpectedly running into someone or something. From there, I would start looking at the letters that are already filled in to see if any words come to mind that fit the definition.

Next, I would take note of the length of the word – in this case, it has five letters. This helps to narrow down the possibilities and eliminate longer or shorter words. Then, I would take a closer look at the letters that are missing and try to think of any words that might fit. With ‘R_ _ I N‘, I thought of the phrase “run in” – this seemed fitting for the definition of a surprise encounter.

Finally, I would double-check the letters already filled in to see if they make sense with the word I’ve come up with. In this case, the letters already filled in confirm that ‘RUNIN‘ is indeed the correct answer. As a detective, it’s all about analyzing the clues and following a logical thought process to lead to the correct answer – and in this case, I believe I have successfully solved the mystery of the ‘Surprise encounter’ crossword clue.