The New York Times Company
New York Times Crossword is an iPhone and Android Games App, made by The New York Times Company. Today, it has gone through many interations by the developers - The New York Times Company, with the latest current version being 4.20 which was officially released on 2021-07-15. As a testament to the app's popularity or lack thereof, it has gathered a total of 86490 Reviews on the Apple App Store alone, with an average user rating of 4.9 out of a possible 5 stars.
It’s easy to play anywhere, anytime. As long as you’re logged in, you can pick up where you left off on any device. Your puzzles will be available in the app and on web.
The Crossword: The Crossword in the app is the same puzzle that’s printed every day in the New York Times newspaper. It increases in difficulty from Monday to Saturday. The Sunday puzzle is midlevel (but it’s the biggest).
The Mini Crossword: The Mini is a short crossword that you can complete in a few minutes — it’s perfect to play during the breaks in your day. The Mini doesn’t increase in difficulty throughout the week and features simpler clues.
Spelling Bee: Is scrambling your strong suit? Play Spelling Bee and see how many words you can make with 7 letters. New Spelling Bee puzzles are available every day at 3 a.m. E.T.
MINI AND MIDI PUZZLE PACKS
Download these themed puzzles and add them to your collection. The first puzzle in each pack is free. Make sure you check back for new packs.
Crossword subscribers can play the Crossword and the Mini from our archives, which date back to 1993.
FEATURES TO HELP YOU SOLVE
Check or reveal individual crossword squares, words or the whole puzzle, or turn on Autocheck to help you complete the puzzle.
Enable our dark color scheme to play at any time of day.
Time yourself or disable the timer to play at your own speed.
Complete the daily Mini Crossword and compare solve times with your friends. You don’t need a subscription to access this feature, but you’ll need to set up a free New York Times account if you don’t have one.
Subscription options include an annual subscription at $39.99 per year and a monthly subscription at $6.99 per month. This amount will be charged to your iTunes account if purchased within the app. Your subscription will automatically renew at the end of its term unless you cancel it at least 24 hours before expiration. You can turn off auto-renew at any time from your iTunes account settings.
Terms of service: https://help.nytimes.com/hc/en-us/articles/115014893428-Terms-of-service
California notices: https://www.nytimes.com/privacy/california-notice
Questions? Suggestions? Issues? Please contact us at email@example.com or from the app. Your feedback is important to us and we’ll do our best to assist you.
Please note: A subscription to New York Times Games does not include access to any other New York Times products, including but not limited to nytimes.com, mobile news content and other apps on non-iOS devices. You can cancel anytime. The cancellation goes into effect at the start of your following billing cycle.
Update brings errors...
Immediately after updating the app, there were clearly some wires crossed somewhere, because the stats section was showing a longer streak than I was actually entitled to. Later it seemed to have been fixed, and then it was wrong again. I finally figured out that the stats section and the archive section were each hanging onto a different set of mutually conflicting information, and uninstalling/reinstalling the app seems to have fixed that particular glitch. Also, even though I previously had notifications turned on for the publication of each day's puzzle, and had not changed anything, I was no longer getting them, but since I was asked to re-create that setting in the course of reinstalling, I hope that has been fixed as well. I don't like that the box which appears immediately after successfully completing a puzzle no longer shows the time. Otherwise, I find the app easy to use, and I really enjoy doing the puzzle this way.
NY Times online crossword puzzle app
For $2 or $3, you get access to the archive of the daily puzzle in addition to all the Monday through Sunday puzzles as they come out. A gold star is available for each new puzzle that you complete on the day of its issue. It’s an addictive feature that has kept me completing the puzzles each day now for the past two months and counting. Other collections of themed puzzles are available for nominal fees. The included archive alone looks to be enough to keep me occupied for several years to come, at least. These are fun puzzles to experiment with, since the technology allows for rapid, easy letter replacement. I frequently go with my gut on difficult and obscure answers, sometimes finding them surprisingly correct, sometimes transforming entire puzzle quadrants from one set of answers to a largely different set. The letter replacement feature makes this app a clear favorite over the old pen and paper technique. I use the app each day and highly recommend it.
Love the app - would like a remote collaboration feature
My wife and I love to solve the NYT crossword together each and every weekend night using this app. However, I travel during the week and I wish there was a remote collaboration feature where we can solve together when she is home and I am in my hotel room. I want to be able to see what she is typing (real-time) and be able to also type at the same time. (Note, we usually have a FaceTime call going while we are solving separately now--but the experience is not the same as when we are sitting next to each other). The current version of the app allows us to work separately, and then it occasionally, but unexpectedly, synchs--with her typing replacing mine and vice-versa. If you cannot support real-time collaboration (I think you can), can you at least add a manual synch control so we can both choose when to merge the other's player's typing--possibly with color-coding so we can see the other's additions/changes?
Good, but plenty to improve
I am a daily player of this app. I feel like NYTimes did a great job with a simple interface that outcompetes, imho, doing crosswords on paper. I like how the puzzles are released. It is more important to have it work well than to have too many bells and whistles. For this I am grateful. However, as a heavy player, I find myself regularly frustrated by an unfulfilling game-play relative to gaming standards today. I would like to see more accomplishment possibilities. I like rewards, badges, rankings and levels. I enjoy the puzzle talk where I can see explanations and chatter about the puzzles but this is apparently not available when a puzzle ages out to archives. The paid packages are nothing special. I would pay extra for themed puzzles that actually stick to enjoyable themes. I would like the ability to leave and see ratings for puzzles! Someday, maybe even a social aspect to the app could be attempted. I love the puzzles. I wish I was better at them! Thank you NYTimes.
Great app, but version 2.14 is buggy
Love the app and my subscription to the online crossword. Am having lots of problems with version 2.14 on the iPad though - it keeps failing to accept input from my Bluetooth keyboard (Anker folio cover) while at the same time all other apps on my iPad keep working fine with it. And then at the same time it won't even bring up the on-screen keyboard when I turn off Bluetooth. Have to restart the program, more than once sometimes, to get it to work again. Have tried deleting and re-installing the app from the store. No joy. Sure wish I had kept a cache of the previous version... Update: it fails in a similar way on my iPhone - the keyboard just disappears and you have to kill and restart the app to get it to reappear. I don't use any Bluetooth keyboard on my phone so this seems that all of this might be a case of the app just forgetting at times to reactivate the keyboard when it's needed. Annoying bug.
The puzzles are of course great, but twice now my streaks have been interrupted when I completed a puzzle in time, but was not connected to the Internet. Yesterday I finished the Saturday puzzle, was greeted with the gold "Congratulations!" screen, and then moved on. This morning it told me I had a zero day streak, and when I looked at the puzzle, the last three squares were blank! I was in an area of spotty connectivity when I finished the puzzle, and did not open the app again until this morning. The other time this happened was when I was on an overnight flight and finished while in airplane mode. The only thing I can imagine is that the app is calling home pretty frequently to send data back to NYT. The fact that iPhone says the app's cellular data usage is an absurd 1.1GB suggests it may be sending all kinds of other info besides where I am in the puzzle. That is NOT REASONABLE.
Great app for nerds🤓
Works very well. Syncs with the web app pretty much flawlessly (though I have seen some discrepancies with Spelling Bee). Puzzles are great because, obvi. Still, a few wishes. 1. The pencil button is hard to hit quickly. I use it a lot. Way way more often than I use anything else on the top bar. Would love if it were the top right icon (in place of settings) so that it would be easier to toggle. And/or behind the MORE button on the keyboard. 2. Another popular crossword app has what I’d call a “soft cheat”: it will tell you how many squares you have wrong without highlighting them. For really hard puzzles, this can be really helpful without giving away the answers. 3. Spelling Bee is so much fun! I wish we could continue and recall older games. 4. When entering a word on spelling bee, it would be sporting if the completed list was filtered in real-time so that you can quickly see if you’ve already entered a word. 5. A tiny UX niggle. On Spelling Bee, the top left arrow should take you all the way back to the app’s main page, not the yellow spelling bee intro page. Can’t imagine a reason any user would find this a useful interstitial step. Plus, to go back from that page, you have to use the close button, now in the top _right_. I know, I know. Tiny thing but the rest of the UX/UI is so good... feels overlooked.
No puzzling over why this app rules.
I start every morning with tea and the NYT crossword — delivered seamlessly to my phone. It wakes my brain up to solve these witty and sometimes challenging clues. With it comes an archive of past puzzles, many of which have made waiting in lines, or for the oil change (thanks but no thanks to your TV tuned to Fox) or even being put on hold by a robot actually fun. It gives you stats about your solve time and let’s you compete against friends who use it (though I don’t know anyone personally who does). There is also the commentary, which I try not to read until after I’ve completed the puzzle because it does have spoilers, but is immensely enjoyable to read. In short, before I plunge into a day filled with scary news, deadlines and political rancor I spend some times with the Times puzzle. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A Mini Lover
I’ve been a crossword puzzle fan for years. The NYT crossword is legendary; if you can solve it, you’re a pro! I was excited about this app because of its “minis,” quick puzzles you can complete in minutes. You can get a bundle of 30 for $3 to $5. Each time I’d buy a bundle, a window appeared offering the opportunity to get a “subscription,” for $40. So, I thought this would include these mini bundles in the price. But when I purchased the subscription, I realized that I still have to pay for these bundles! WTH?! What a rip-off! It would help if they made it clear that all you’re buying is the puzzle that appears in their paper.😤 UPDATE: Now that the NYT Crossword Team has responded to my issue, and they’ve pointed me in the direction of hundreds of FREE Mini Puzzles, I am extremely happy with this app! It is SO much fun! I’ve alerted all my friends on FB to the enjoyment this app offers. And since most all of my friends are far more brainy, with much better vocabularies, and they possess quicker mental acuity than I do, I have no doubt they’ll be subscribing to this app. While it’s important for each of us to exercise our bodies, it’s equally as important to exercise our brains. And crosswords are a great way to do that. I highly recommend this app! (FYI, I use it on my iPhone 7.)
I have a subscription to the crosswords at half price due to subscribing to the digital NYTimes as well. I complete the crosswords solely through the app on my phone. I wish the app would also incorporate the other puzzles the NYTimes provides, like the Spelling Bee, Soduku, Set, acrostics, bonus crosswords, and other puzzles. These can be accessed through the help menu in the crosswords app, but I wish they could have their own apps or be accessed on the main page of the crossword app. If only the app could be set to display the main puzzle page (puzzle homepage) of the NYTimes, it would be very easy to access all the available puzzles through the app. As it is, you need to go to the help menu, click on one of the additional puzzle links, and get to the homepage through the menu bar of the puzzle. It’s a pain, and it doesn’t need to be. Please, NYTimes, provide easy access to the puzzle homepage on the Play page! Alternatively, give the app a new tab just for accessing other puzzles. It would make the app so much better!
Addicting in a good way
I started doing the NYT crossword a couple years ago (in my 50’s) and while I initially found it difficult and frustrating, I slowly advanced through the week, just as the experts said. The app makes solving more fun and extremely portable, and has been a lifesaver during Covid when I’ve needed diversions from the ever-present bad news. The app is well designed and fun to use. My only “complaint” is the color coding of results. Yellow means you’re on a streak. Blue means you’ve solved it but not on the day of publication OR you needed help. I wish there was a finer gradation of results. To me, there’s a big difference between solving a Thursday puzzle but on a Friday vs having to have the app “reveal” answers that I couldn’t get on my own. For my own interest, I’d like to look back and see how my solving has progressed over months. When they’re all blue, I can’t tell if I really solved the puzzle on my own or not. I don’t really care if I did it in the alloted 24 hour window. Other than that, it’s a winner.
Great—with one small exception.
I love the app and use it all the time. The UI is easy to use and smooth, and being able to browse (and download) past puzzles means I never lack for activities. The one thing that keeps this app from a five-star review, for me, is that I use a hardware keyboard with my iPad, and there’s a bug that’s persisted in this app for several years now. When you type a repeated letter (for example to solve a clue with the word “book”), the second letter is not entered into the puzzle. The keystroke is just dropped somehow. You have to wait probably a good ½ second before you type the same letter again. This only happens with a hardware keyboard (in my case, the smart folio), not the software one. It’s a small issue in the scheme of things, but it’s just annoying enough that I can’t give a full five stars—especially since the bug has existed for so long. Hope the dev team will consider digging into this, even though it’s probably not a quick one to solve.
Unfair and illogical subscription policy
The app and the puzzles are awesome, but fair warning about the subscription policy. If you subscribe but don't do all the puzzles that are released during your subscription period, and then unsubscribe or don't renew, then you would think the app would still give you access to all the puzzles from during the period your subscription was active. That just seems fair and logical, since if you subscribed to the physical NYT for only a year or whatever, you could do the puzzles at whatever point you felt like it. However, it doesn't work this way. If you miss the puzzles, you're out of luck once your subscription runs out, even if you paid for a whole year and only did a few puzzles. In other words, the only way to get your entire money's worth is to do an average of one puzzle every single day for the entirety of your subscription period. This may seem fine for some people, but for those of us who want to just do the puzzles at leisure, just whenever we have time for them, a subscription is a terrible way to go.
Good puzzles and app, subscription terms are a bold-faced lie
I bought a subscription for the puzzles in the app, under the impression that the subscription works on the website as well for use on my MacBook. Where did I get that impression? Directly on the sign-up page in the app, where it states that this is possible. There is even a step-by-step guide on the NYT website on how to access your iTunes subscription by linking your account. When I did this, however, I discovered that it does not transfer any information at all to the web. I talked to a NYT customer service rep and was told that this is not possible, and the website just hasn’t been “updated” to remove the false information. So you pay 4 cents more a month for the iTunes subscription to get LESS access across your devices, and when you ask NYT about it, they tell you that it was never possible and claim that it’s Apple’s fault that the instructions it provides on its website are completely false. Needless to say, I will be getting a refund on my subscription and I doubt I will ever give it any more time or money. A real shame, as I love the daily puzzles and think the app has one of the better faces among the many crossword apps available. DO NOT SUBSCRIBE WITHIN THE APP IF YOU WANT TO USE THIS ON OTHER DEVICES.
This page was last edited on 2021-07-15.
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