About the NYT Crossword Puzzle
The New York Times crossword puzzle dates back to 1942 when the newspaper published its first puzzle in the Sunday edition of the paper. However, it wasn't until 1950 that the crossword became a daily staple in The New York Times. Since then, it has become the world's most popular crossword puzzle, enjoyed by people worldwide. Currently, the NYT crossword is available in The New York Times daily newspaper & website, has its own mobile app, and sees wide syndication to over 300 other newspapers and mobile apps globally.
Though the New York Times crossword puzzle is considered an iconic classic, the publication was not the first to publish word games of this type. Arthur Wynne, a British journalist, is credited as the inventor of the "word-cross" puzzle game. In 1913, Wynne published a "word-cross" puzzle in the New York World newspaper. The puzzle featured a diamond-shaped grid with no solid black squares, and the clues were mainly word definitions.
Today, the NYT Crossword, edited by Will Shortz since 1993, is a 15×15 square grid that incrementally increases in difficulty every day. The easiest puzzle is on Monday, and the most difficult is on Saturday. Sunday features a larger 21×21 grid that is supposed to be about as challenging as the Thursday puzzle.
Where to play
You can physically play the NYT crossword puzzle in the newspaper, online via the New York Times website, or through mobile apps for Android and Apple devices.
Players looking to play The Crossword through the NYTimes website must subscribe. An All Access subscription model includes access to News, Games, Cooking, Wirecutter, and The Athletic--a sports oriented publication. The Games subscription also grants access to games like Spelling Bee, Wordle, and others.
Those who prefer to play word puzzles on their phone can download The New York Times Crossword on Google Play and the App Store. Like playing via the website, mobile app users must also subscribe with an account to access The Daily Crossword.
Real word game addicts who subscribe can also look back through the archive of NYT crossword puzzles dating back to November 1993. Players who don't want to subscribe still have access to The Mini Crossword, a smaller and easier crossword that features a 5×5 grid every day of the week except for Saturday's 7×7 grid.
Tips for becoming a successful NYT Crossword Solver
The difficulty level of the NYT Crossword is subjective, but overall, it's a battle between the creator and the solver. Of course, a puzzle that's too difficult to solve is no fun for anyone, but the puzzle still needs to be a challenge to be engaging. Here are some tips to help you solve the daily puzzle:
- Start with the fill-in-the-blank clues, as these are the easiest to build from and solve.
- Do not be afraid to guess an answer or erase an answer that is not working.
- Consider the possible answers because the obvious ones are not always correct.
- The crossword gets tougher throughout the week; Mondays are the easiest, and Saturdays are the hardest.
- The Sunday puzzle does have the largest grid, but it is not the most difficult.
- A clue in quotes means that the answer is a spoken word or phrase.
- Clues with abbreviations suggest that the answer is also an abbreviation.
- Tougher puzzles usually have words with dual meanings.
- Clues with question marks usually indicate that the first answer you think of is probably not the right one.
- Every puzzle has a theme (especially on Thursday), and figuring it out can help you find answers.
- If you're completely stuck, there's nothing wrong with looking up the NYT answers online!