Reference Section

Below are links to resources for constructors, some of the best crossword puzzle sites for solvers, and providers of the software used on this website. If you have a link that you think should be included here, send an email.

For Solvers
  • More About Crosswords, Acrostics, and Sudoku
    If you're unfamiliar with any of the puzzles on this site, Wikipedia will explain it better than I could. The NYT says, "looking up answers isn’t cheating" when solving a puzzle, but we both know it's the lowest form of quitting. How do you live with yourself?
  • NYT Crosswords
    Home of The Godfather of crosswords enigmatologist Will Shortz, and the benchmark for all other crosswords. Plus variety puzzles including a personal non-crossword favortite: Cox & Rathvon's Acrostic.
  • Fireball Crosswords
    I highly recommend a subscription to editor/constructor Peter Gordon's Fireball Crosswords. Challenging grids from the top constructors, edited by one of the best in the business.
  • Brendan Emmett Quigley
    If Will Shortz is The Godfather, then BEQ is... OK, that metaphor isn't going to work at all. In any event, this rockstar constructor churns out two excellent puzzles every week.
  • The American Values Club Crossword
    This "reincarnation of the beloved but now dead Onion A.V. Club xword feature" with a roster of top-notch constructors is a highly-recommended subscription for anyone who loves crosswords.
  • Rex Parker
    The full name of this site is, "Rex Parker Does the New York Times Crossword Puzzle" and features post-solving commentary on the puzzle itself, with links to references on the most perplexing and awful entries.
  • Will Johnston's Puzzle Pointers
    I feel like I bookmarked this page back before there was an interwebs. Links to a bunch of free and subscription puzzles; includes historical calendars of links to puzzle files.
  • Across Lite
    Across Lite is the standard file format for crosswords. It's widely accepted for submissions, and it's the format used for "litzing" (extracting, proofing, organizing, and aggregating data from crossword puzzles).
  • Adobe Acrobat
    Only on the list because this site offers PDFs. If you don't know what a PDF is, I'd like to be the first to welcome you to Earth.
For Constructors
  • Cruciverb.com
    Where constructors meet on the internet. The Cruciverb database of historical puzzle data is a must-have for all aspiring constructors, because you won't find "MUSKRATLOVE" in any default dictionary files.
  • XWord Info
    Operated by Jeff Chen, XWord Info has links to a host of great resources for constructors including word lists and a puzzle analyzer. In addition, he maintains a list of all sorts of interesting stats and records for the NYT crossword.
  • Crossword Nexus
    Need some "Peter Gordon-type clues for Roman numerals"? Alex Boisvert has a couple of cool tools on his site. Try the Algebraic Crossword Script for kicking around your substitution/omission theme ideas.
  • Crossword Compiler
    THE software for crossword construction, and it sure beats a pencil and graph paper. Manages your word lists, clues, and grids; professional grid filler; and exports to all formats. Clever themes not included. Windows only, but see next link.
  • VMWare Fusion, Parallels Desktop, or Apple Boot Camp
    Here's a hot tip if you're on a Mac like me: don't waste time with Mac construction software. Consider one of these three ways to run Microsoft Windows and Crossword Compiler on you Mac - and start constructing like the pros!