Puzzle apps and sites every crossword lover needs to know
The Crossword Fiend
The Crossword Fiend has daily and weekly summaries of the best daily puzzles, complete with download links that you can solve on your own. It also has a daily review of these popular crosswords, sometimes with suggestions for difficult clues in the original.
Currently, the website lists daily puzzles from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Newsday, the Puzzle Society, the Universal Daily Crossword, along with many other weekly crosswords from other publications. You can open the original link or download them as PDF or PUZ files.
Specialized crossword apps open PUZ files, which you’ll find in the next section. The default Adobe PDF reader now also allows you to edit files, but there are many other free PDF editors worth trying.
The default digital version of a crossword puzzle has its own file format: PUZ. Alphacross is one of the best Android apps to support these files and Across Lite is highly recommended by iOS users. For desktop users, Crossword Solver is an excellent free program.
Once you’ve downloaded a PUZ file from a source like The Crossword Fiend, import it into the program. It will retain the full puzzle format, with features like clicking on a number to see the corresponding clue or vice versa. These programs make the puzzle experience much better on screens, especially compared to PDFs.
The apps also support automatic downloads from popular crossword sources. The New York crossword usually requires a subscription. Once you get used to the apps, you can start searching the web for original puzzles from crossword enthusiasts.
Cryptic Crossword Tutor
In a normal crossword puzzle, you try to find a word that means what the clue says. But there is a different type of crossword puzzle that tests lateral thinking. Cryptic crosswords are all the rage, but you may need a few lessons on its basics to solve it.
Cryptic Crossword Tutor (CCT) teaches the fundamentals of this genre in a simple format. The tutorial has three parts. In Basics, you will learn the difference through an example of how both types of crosswords would give a clue to the same word. There is a nice “tap to reveal answer” button that makes the lesson fun and interactive.
The second part, Devices, is crucial for solving cryptic crosswords on your own. Explain various word game mechanics such as anagrams, acrostics, homophones, inversions and the dreaded question mark. Finally, the Advanced section delves into some of the most popular tricks in cryptic clues.
CCT also has a cryptic clue solver, but it didn’t work well when we tried it. There are also Wordfit anagram solvers and puzzles, but you will find better apps for those. Stick to using this app to know cryptic crosswords.
Having trouble understanding the answer to a clue? Go to Crossword Heaven and try your luck. This puzzle site is likely to know the exact word you are looking for.
The search itself is simple. Type the clue in the box indicated and your needs in the Answer box. A number (like “7”) indicates how many letters the word should have. If you have already solved some letters, you can replace the missing letters with question marks (for example, “CA ??? A?” For “CAPITAL”).
Unlike many dictionary-based apps, Crossword Heaven has a little more knowledge of the English language alone. He knows some proper names and other useful information to help solve clues that are based on general knowledge, curiosity or popular culture.
Crossword Heaven only works online and doesn’t have a particularly mobile-friendly view. But if you want a quick fix on the go, Crossword Clue Solver has over 400,000 words in its offline app.
The search function works similarly to Crossword Heaven, but is not as effective at solving clues. It’s largely dictionary-based, so general knowledge and popular culture questions won’t work here. However, after a few tries with different permutations and combinations, you should get the answer.
The Big Crossword
With 103 × 103 cells in a single grid and over 1,250 clues, this is one of the greatest crosswords you’ll ever come across. Do you really think you can finish it all? And how fast can you really do it?
Teazel, creator of some other crossword puzzle apps, has put together this mega-puzzle for the word game dice. Tap any area to zoom in on that section and tap a number to see the clue. Most of these are simple, but there are also 140 cryptic clues to tease your brain. This is the good old “classic” mode but there is also a “search” mode.
In the mission mode, the clues are organized by categories, which is a different and different way to approach a crossword puzzle. To unlock categories, you need to spend in-game points, which you can earn by playing regularly, watching advertisements, or purchasing through in-app purchases.
There are also some tips, such as revealing the start and end letters or showing an anagram on the keyboard. From the moment you launch The Big Crossword, a timer starts in the app and will continue running until the puzzle is complete. How fast do you think you can do it?