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Crosswords

I don't publish crosswords myself, but here are some links to high quality crosswords that I like.

  • The New Yorker is currently publishing one of the best weekly crosswords. The puzzles, which are online only, published on monday - are made by a small diverse group of top-notch constructors and contain very fresh content.

  • The Washington Post has good dailies (which actually come from the LA Times) and an excellent Sunday crossword by Evan Bernholz.

  • The Guardian features daily "Quick" and "Cryptic" British style crosswords and a few additional puzzles on weekends. These puzzles can be extremely difficult for Americans as they often make use of British idiom / slang, and every other letter is uncrossed. The cryptics require a specialized set of skills but are very rewarding, once mastered.

  • The New York Times sets the standard by which all other puzzles aspire, but lately, not always as good as its reputation suggests. Puzzles ascend in difficulty throughout the week, with Monday being easiest and Saturday being the hardest. The Thursday puzzles tend to have the most interesting themes. The Sunday is generally at a Wednesday or Thursday level of difficulty.
Here are some crossword-related resources:

  • Across Lite is probably the best crossword solving software (and better than the embedded apps that a few of the above sites use). I tend to solve on an iPad, and it's not always easy to get the above puzzles into Across Lite. The Crossword Fiend website can help, as it links to a number of daily and weekly puzzles in Across Lite format. Some of these links are currently broken, however.

  • Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle is a daily blog which reviews the NYT Crossword. Rex Parker (the non-de-plume of Michael Sharp) is a solving expert who is not afraid to take Will Shortz down a notch! He is a big believer that crosswords should minimize boring wordfill, and should not assume all solvers are allergic to pop culture. I agree with him.

  • The American Values Club: xword contains the crosswords formerly offered by The Onion. This is an excellent collection of puzzles, edited by Ben Tausig. They are cleverly constructed, have funny themes, don't shy away from recent pop-culture references, and aren't afraid to throw in the occasional off-color clue (something that would never happen in the NY Times).

  • Cruciverb.com is a resource for crossword enthusiasts and puzzle constructors in particular. The site has message boards, a puzzle archive, and links to a number of daily puzzles.


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