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The New York Times Crossword: History, Facts, and Puzzle Answers

The daily crossword puzzle in The New York Times is a puzzle with a long history dating back to the mid-nineties of the twentieth century. The first puzzle appeared on February 15, 1942 on Sunday. It would take until 1950 before a crossword was published every day in The New York Times.

The crossword puzzles are 15 x 15 in size on most days and they are a bit bigger, 21 x 21, in the Sunday edition of this well-known newspaper. The crossword puzzles have a theme which you'll find in some theme words and it can also be reflected in the style of the clues. The puzzles also satisfy some other constraints, such as a grid pattern with 180 degrees rotational symmetry in the black cell and each white cell must be part of exactly two words.

An extensive overview of the crossword's history can be found in this article.

A symmetrical crossword grid.

A symmetrical crossword grid.

The New York Times crossword books

Where can I find the answers of The New York Times crossword?

A public archive of the crossword puzzles of The New York Times can be found at XWord Info. You can browse the archives looking for today's puzzle or that difficult puzzle from last week. The archive stretches all the way back till November 1993 and it includes the puzzles of both weekdays and weekends.

XWord Info gives the solutions to all the crosswords and you can download them as well. Additionally, the website gives a whole range of other information such as common words, common grid patterns and the most prolific authors.

You can also read more about the crossword at the Wordplay blog which is the official crossword blog of The New York Times. This can be a good place to discuss your solving experience with others and to discuss the best clues of today's puzzle. You'll also find some interesting background information about a puzzle, its author or the theme of the puzzle.

Did you know you can make money by creating crosswords?

The crosswords in The New York Times are not generated by a computer and they are not created by a small team of dedicated crossword constructors.

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Anyone can submit a crossword to The New York Times and if it is deemed good enough then the crossword will be published. It's very well possible that some changes will be made to the clues to adjust the puzzle's difficulty.

Have a look at the following article if you wish to learn more about creating crosswords:

This article was written by Simeon Visser. I am earning money online by writing here at Would you like to earn money online as well? Read the success stories and sign up today to get started!


simeonvisser (author) on June 22, 2011:

I have worked on crossword software so that's why I'm familiar with it. I haven't gotten any crossword published myself. I do have some experience in creating various kinds of puzzles.

When you submit your crossword to a publisher you often get feedback on what to improve. You can also ask other people in crossword communities for advice and perhaps mentoring.

Jasmine on June 22, 2011:

Interesting stuff :) I read your article on how to earn money by creating and selling crossword puzzles before. I wonder - do you create them too? If so, do you manage to get them published? I may try creating a few myself (I studied two languages so I'm thinking it shouldn't be that difficult and it sounds fun :))

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