In a crossword, some clues have a question mark at the end. Is there any way to tell what these question marks mean based on the puzzle? I.E. rhetorical, compound word, etc.?
There's only one canonical example I can find of a crossword using question marks to mean anything special.
Many American crossword puzzles (for instance, the New York Times) rely on a convention that, if a clue ends in a question mark, it's a play on words.
It can also be used to indicate something only loosely related to the topic:
Cause for a head slap?
In essence, the clue shouldn't be taken too literally. The British use an exclamation mark for a similar purpose.