CROSSWORDS: Puzzle Sources


  • longest crossword booknewspapers, magazines, puzzle books
  • also, printing, .pdf from Applications, Web Sites [below]
  • + no training; familiar
  • + portable
  • + no batteries required
  • many crosswords+ recyclable
  • - reading glasses, lamp, pen(cil) and/or eraser may be needed
  • - dead trees, delivery trucks

Web Sites

  • nytweb browser with an interactive, embedded player and/or downloadable files
  • + largest number & widest variety of puzzles;
    many newspaper puzzles appear online, e.g., Mail Tribune (Universal); SF Chronicle#1 (LA Times);
    Oregonian #1 (Williams Square), #2 (NYT); Daily Tidings, SF Chronicle#2 (Tulsa World);
    these print puzzles may differ from those offered on newspaper's web site (if any)
  • + save or download puzzle for later?
  • + print, .pdf files?
  • - different user interfaces for sites & embedded players; less customizable
  • - advertising
  • - online connection
  • - if Flash or Java plugin used, security risk/updates or not avail. on all platforms, i.e., iOS
  • [section: Web Sites]


  • desktop and mobile apps to access and solve puzzles
  • crosswords ipad+ download, import, sync puzzles from variety of sources
  • + offline use, save progress
  • + consistent, customizable user interface (vs. multiple web sites)
  • + grid size/layout, font size?
  • + linked clues, e.g., see n-Across
  • + timers; social integration; fastest solvers?
  • + pen/pencil mode
  • + hints; dictionary/search integration?
  • across lite+ printing?
  • - something new to learn
  • - cost (for some; AL free)
  • [section: Applications]

Which to Use?

  • steve ipadIt will depend, of course, on the number, variety and difficulty of puzzles that you'd like to solve, places where you do puzzles, convenience, features desired, comfort level with computers and web sites, etc.
  • Here's what I (Steve) am currently using ("Your mileage may vary")
  • [daily/weekly] Crosswords (iPad): Brendan Quiqley; Chron. of Higher Ed.; Crossword Nation; MacNamara's Band; LA Times*; Newsday; NYT ($); Reagle*; iPad stores 1000s of puzzles, large screen, portable, excellent battery life
  • [occasionally] authoring: Crossword Compiler (Windows app on Mac via Parallels Desktop (VM); formerly via CrossOver); export .puz; generate interactive & .pdf
  • save paper trees[monthly] download *LA Times [.puz] on iPad; save in Crosswords (app) which doesn't access them directly; or download to desktop and print with Across Lite
  • [monthly] download *Reagle (4 current puzzles) to Crosswords, and [.pdf], print
  • [occasionally] download and print CodeWords
  • [daily] Mail Tribune -- sometimes after first pass by spouse
  •[monthly] "Don't Just Do the Puzzle OVER a Cup of Coffee -- Do It ON Your Cup of Coffee"; $10.98 @ Shop N Kart; print clues & .pdf template (to avoid writing on/erasing mug...)
  • [weekly/monthly] Mail Tribune: Sun (NYT); magazines: AARP; The Week
  • [monthly] print puzzles (LAT, Reagle; Codewords; KenKen; Sudoku; Numbrix; ...) for gym bag, car and breakfast table
References: Paper