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The New York Times Crosswords App

Mobile app officially licensed by The New York Times

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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NYT xwd app-screenshot

NYTimes Xword App

Category: Crossword Puzzles - Standard American Style
Developer: Magmic Inc.
Rated: 3
Requirements: Compatible with iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad

Download from iTunes

Bottom Line

This app performs well and the interface is great with clear easy to read clues and a nice smooth workflow as you move from clue to clue or toggle between Across and Down. The touch screen responds well and even on the limited real estate of an iPod screen, the frustration level is kept to a minimum. My only complaint was the amount charged to access your New York Times premium crossword subscription via this app: $16.99 per year. I thought that was on top of the $39.00 NYTimes fee but now realize this is actually a reduced rate from the regular premium fee.

Solve all the NYTimes puzzles on the go!

Despite the fact that it was a relative late-comer to the game, The New York Times undoubtedly has the most consistently entertaining crossword puzzle in North America. That probably explains why it is syndicated in more than 300 other newspapers and journals across the US and Canada. However, while you can download and solve the daily puzzle on your computer, until recently, you couldn't solve it in a format specifically designed for a handheld device. Now, with this app from Magmic Inc. that is no longer the case. Billing itself as the "mobile app officially licensed by "The New York Times", this app makes solving your daily crossword a pleasure in spite of the cramped quarters and tedious letter-entering inherent in interactive crossword puzzles.

Some Great Features

It's nice to be able to zoom in on a section of the grid. On smaller screens (and with the larger Sunday puzzle) this is even more appreciated. You can also switch to a list view which displays each clue and its corresponding answer box in a running list. This is a good option if you want to quickly scan all the clues and put in any answers which are givens. Many fill-in-the-blank and some three-letter answers will be immediately obvious. When you return to the grid, these answers will then have been entered which can save alot of tapping and typing. I would recommend this option when first confronted with a puzzle. You may be surprised how many answers you can fill in right off the bat.

The Settings feature will allow you to set your preferences for how the program behaves when inputting answers. You can automatically skip to the next clue when an answer has been entered. You can also skip boxes which already contain a letter. Sometimes this is helpful and sometimes it's frustrating. For example, when finishing the last answer in the bottom right corner of the grid, the auto-jump will take you to the first clue at 1 Across. That's not always desirable.

Adjust Font Size

As we get older, puzzle fonts get smaller. Well that may seem to be the case but I imagine its just our eyes getting weaker. Nonetheless, it's nice to have the option of increasing the font size of the clues as well as the size of the keyboard. There are three preset sizes for each of these features. Increasing the size of the keyboard will be especially nice for any sausage-fingered solvers.

The puzzle keeps track of your time and you can share your results via various social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. You can also try establishing a streak of completed puzzles as some people like to do. I know of one solver who is up to 400 continuous, completed daily puzzles. Wow! Talk about dedication (or obsession).

The app is free to download and comes with a one week free trial of NYTimes daily puzzles as well as access to the puzzle archive. After that, if you want to continue solving the current daily puzzles it will cost you 16.99 for the year (2.99/month or $9.99/six months). This compares well to the $39.95/year or $6.95/month that the New York Times charges for their premium service. However, bear in mind that the app fee of $16.99 only allows you to do the puzzle within the mobile device environment. There is no option for printing the puzzles or transfering them to a laptop or desktop computer.

Is it worth it?

This is definitely a good app and offers a lot of value for the money. If you like to solve crossword puzzles on the go and need access to the latest and best daily crossword puzzles in America then you will get a lot of bang for your buck. On the other hand, if you already have a subscription to the NYTimes premium crosswords then this may not be such a great investment. There is another app called CRUX which allows NYTimes subscribers to access their subscription puzzles on Apple mobile devices. Also, the alternate allows you to access puzzles from a wide variety of other types of crosswords from other sources, not just The New York Times.

Which Puzzle Apps Would You Recommend

Do you know of a puzzle app that merits a mention here at About Puzzles? What's Your Favorite Puzzle App?
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