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.
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.
Good app that is best for crossword (which I understand is the primary purpose of said app). I play the Bee a lot and find small glitches. There’s a slight delay in syncing across devices. I usually have to close and re open the app for the bee to reset for the new game the next day. Regarding crosswords, functionality works great. My biggest critique is that when clicking the info button, the app will re route to an in-app page of information and will also re route to a browser page outside of the app. When I go switch back to the app, sometimes for some reason I can’t get back to the game because the game app isn’t built for browsing the nyt app. Lastly, I wish the crossword app would contain all the games instead of just the crossword and the Bee. I have a separate game account from my digital subscription so I have to log out of the main nyt app app when I want to access other games. The games are buried in the main digital app and it’s cumbersome to find. It would be easier if they were accessible separately.
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.
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.
I’ve been subscribed to the NYT crossword for several years now and the app experience has barely changed. Given the amount of available data, there’s a huge opportunity for interesting player stats but there’s nearly nothing available - no way to track your improvement over time, no way to access any trends, no access to comparative data older than the last week, etc. The biggest issue for me is the homepage: a full row advertising “other games” that is just one other game (spelling bee, which i’m not interested in but can’t dismiss), THREE different links to the same “archives” page (four if you count the one in the menu) but no list of all the puzzles you’ve worked on (so: good luck finding one you’ve not finished if you’ve been picking from the archives and are mysteriously stuck at 99.9 completion percentage- you’ll have to just page back, one month at a time for multiple years), leaderboards that are only applicable for the mini, and of course, plentiful in-app purchase opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, I love the crossword, but the app feels essentially like abandonware.
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?
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.
A new UI change lessens the experience features-wise.
The new UI update follows the modern trend of improving aesthetic but ignoring the end user. Interest in a shiny toy fast wears thin. A revamp of app design is sometimes very welcome (possibly even necessary in the interest of security), and would’ve been in this case if some features weren’t removed. The previous UI (of which the screenshots currently on the App Store show) had two excellent features to keep me engaged with the app well beyond the daily crossword. The first was a random selection of past puzzles I could complete in my spare time, which would renew with a fresh set every week. The second was a row of crosswords I recently worked on but had not yet finished. It does not make sense to me for the new UI to remove these; it would only mean I spend less leisure time on the app. I might not agree with the new looks, and it’s actually meaningless to focus on that, but at least keep all the features! 1/5 for the devs who missed a few things and should try to get them back ASAP. Customization would be nice to have, as for example I don’t play anything other than the crossword and Wordle; but this isn’t my biggest concern here.
this app though simplistic, is good enough. i would probably give it a 3, they could do way better. also, considering there are so few letters, it would be faster and more entertaining to be able to swipe across letters to “type” words. and instead of deleting when i submit a word, leave the rejected word with the error message in place so i know what was wrong with the word. instead, add a “clear” button so i can clear it myself. some words are kind of ridiculous, and some very obvious valid words are missing. i should not have to email the New York Times which words are missing, they should have a dictionary or two… am I wrong? lately, for more than the past week, i just get a yellow screen and the starburst which insinuates loading. if i did not pay for the app, i could not say anything, but i do. and it is an incredibly expensive subscription considering you are expected to pay forever. if the writer is on vacation, either set up some in advance, have backups, or extend memberships. this is not the first time spelling bee goes on break with no notice and no info as to when it will be back. reevaluating my renewal.
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!
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.
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.
In most ways, this app is wonderful. The NYT puzzle is the gold standard, so no complaints there. Text entry is usually quite smooth and consistent, especially compared to other crossword apps I’ve tried. Rebuses work well. There are a couple other varieties of puzzles besides your standard crosswords. However, there are a few components that I think are sorely missed. Why only have a mini leaderboard and not a daily puzzle leaderboard? I compete with my friends on a daily basis and we would greatly appreciate this. Additionally, it would be great to expand the functionality of the Stats screen to include minis. There are also a bunch of weirder stats that could be fun to include. Edit: since last August, my mini leaderboard has been broken. It now only shows a blank white page. Additionally, for the last few weeks my stats page has stopped showing my daily times. This app needs TLC.
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.
I love the NYT games app and enjoy all of the games. I love that they have added new brain teasers like Tiles and Connections over the years. I love that the app keeps my records for the crossword and Wordle puzzles. All of this said, though it sounds nitpicky and petty, I have had my Wordle streak interrupted by the update recently which seems like a glitch that should be easy to avoid. I played the game this morning (got it in three no less!) and when it went to show my score an error message popped up saying it couldn’t save or something, so sure enough when I quit and opened the app again Wordle was blank. I repeated the solve, but this time it said my streak was at 1 instead of 112, meaning it had somehow reset my streak. Strange. I’d hope it doesn’t happen again, but I have encountered other players for whom this issue, or one similar, has occurred. Please treat these silly streaks with care when updating.
The App used to work great but recent upgrades have degraded it to where the software team are clearly “Testing in the Field” with the latest software. This is not good for something as professional as the NYT App. I suspect (as a software manager of old) that they are getting the platform ready for, perhaps, Wordle integration but as of right now (mid 2022) their is no viable record of your results in either Spelling Bee or Crosswords. Can you imagine that the App cannot distinguish between this week or last week and that you got all 66 words out of 65 possible? The loss of crossword average times is saddest. Ads for more NYT services have now started appearing in the paid App. You know, the one you buy so you don’t get ads! In conclusion let me just say, I have to wonder if I want to continue paying for something that is this amateurish!
I went in with high hopes for a relaxing and challenging game but was quickly and immediately disappointed. the hints to the puzzles were so bad and the answers were even worse. The hints were barely hints at all and trying to find meaning in them was a riddle in and of itself. the answers were sometimes not even one word and it was impossible to tell if it was supposed to be one or two words because THERE WERE NO SPACES. to give you an example of an immensely disappointing one: A five letter word, hint: “Later!” not only does the clue give you no hint what so ever but the answer was “Imoff”. no space. I cant believe this is associated with an actual news paper. this was so disappointing. also just a heads up to whoever makes these but for people that actually text since the editors were obviously born in the 18th century, nbd stands for “no big deal” not “Don't worry about it”, that is abbreviated as dw. Maybe this was just targeted at a different demographic but this miss the mark big time and was amazingly frustrating, I would recommend it to nobody
Great app, but wish it included all games and more statistics
This app is great for doing the regular/mini daily crosswords and for the spelling bee! I do wish it also included the entire New York Times games collection, including the bonus/acrostic/variety crossword puzzles, Wordle, Tiles, Vertex, Sudoku, and Letter Boxed (which are currently only available through a web browser). Also, it would be great to be able to keep track of completions/streaks and statistics for daily puzzles other than the crosswords and Wordle! The ability to see which days’ crossword puzzles have been completed in the calendar archive, in addition to viewing streaks and other statistics, is super motivating — a similar feature for Spelling Bee (and the other daily puzzles) would be amazing! Thank you to everyone who works hard on this app and the puzzles that appear on it!
We love using this with our apple tv. We run the app on my iphone and then airplay it to the apple tv. This gives us a lovely interface where everybody in the family can see all the clues for the crossword (a fantastic improvement over crowding around the same small phone screen). It’s a really a great feature which is literally the reason we got our apple tv. But lately we’ve been having trouble airplaying the app to our apple tv from my iphone 6s+. When we’ve been doing this, it doesn’t display in the nice fullscreen format, and instead it merely shows the narrow copy of what the phone screen looks like. Sometimes restarting stuff helps, but now we’re having consistent trouble with it (and what better day for family help than a Saturday?). Any insight would be great. [Love the app]
I play the Crossword a few times a week but mostly use the app for Spelling Bee, which I try to play every day. Overall it’s great, but I’ve noticed an issue where I’ll check answers the following day to find a word (or words) included among them that I know I tried the previous day and wasn’t given points for because it was “Not in word list.” For example, I tried to enter “woody” several times on the April 12, 2021 game but it told me it wasn’t on the list. This was odd because woody means covered in trees, but I just figured the game thought it was a proper pronoun and wouldn’t accept it. Fine. The next day it showed up among the game’s answer list. I’m guessing either answers are added throughout the day as the editor gets emails from players, or that the editor accidentally adds a space after a word when inputting the answers, or something, but either way, it’s frustrating to encounter at least once a week.
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 don’t know who is working as the UX designer or product designer at NYT but you should be fired. Not only is it impossible to navigate any of the apps they design but this specific app “NYT Games” doesn’t even have all the games they offer that I play regularly through the normal NYT site/app. And that app (the NYT App) has all EXCEPT Sudoku, which is in this app… Tiles, Letter Boxed, Vertex… all not in the NYT Games app but are games they have and ONLY offer through a subscription. What gives? I only want to switch to letter boxes from Spelling bee… and so in one app it says to use the games app to play the games! But only half of them! To access all of the games, you can go back to the normal app which is doing a perfectly good job giving access to the games. Like someone needs to be let go. That disorganization as well as the terrribly interaction and navigation patterns of the apps and NYT site itself is truly shocking for such a big company.
I have been using the app and doing the puzzles nearly every day since May 2017. It works great most of the time, but i have some complaints: 1. TWICE now I’ve encountered a glitch where I finish the puzzle and get the completion notification, but the timer continues running. This marks the puzzle as “incomplete” and ends my 500-day streak, putting me back at square one. Why even bother keeping up a streak if it can be yanked away from you at any moment?!? Is my perfect puzzle streak kind of a silly thing to be upset over? Maybe. Is this setback still absolutely, violently rage-inducing? YES. I KNOW it’s just a game though. I am a grown adult woman with a sane mind. I am ok. I am ok. I am ok. No, no, I am fine... 2. The friend/leaderboard feature is sooo lame. It only applies to the minis and doesn’t allow you to share your stats for the full size puzzles!!! Lame lame lame. 3. The app doesn’t allow you to access the other types of games and puzzles that you can find on the nyt website. I would love to be able to play spelling bee or do the acrostic from the app! All that said, this app has changed my life. Doing the puzzle every day brings me a peace and satisfaction that I can’t get anywhere else, and I plan to continue paying for it until my dying breath.
As soon as I opened it I was asked to make an account. Why would I make an account?? I came here to play wordle, nothing else. Then it tells me I have 7 days left to play it… terrible. Personally I planned to play this every so often when I have downtime and it expiring so quickly is terrible. I don’t care what remains free, it’s a bad user experience to have the impression that what I came here to do is now going to cost me money, especially for something so simple. It’s honestly ridiculous to charge money for anything in this game, from what I’ve even seen. Also I opened the app and the home page didn’t load at all. It made no sense at first but once I reloaded it worked. With that, it makes me not want to pay, even more. If I have to constantly restart the app that I’m paying for that’s not a good look. I’m going to delete this and play on a website instead. This is just my impression in 1 minute and it may be harsh but I have played wordle before on a different app or something and it wasn’t like this.
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. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
If you like crossword puzzles, you will not be disappointed in your purchase of the NYT app. The world’s best puzzles every day are there for your solving! Seriously, I’ve had this app for 5+ years, and in that time I've been told by many girlfriends that crosswords take priority over my relationships. And they were never wrong. These crosswords are there for me, ya know!? In a way that no human ever can be. Instead of trying to “fix” me, the NYT crossword puzzle app takes me as I am. All it wants is it’s boxes filled. It doesn’t want to talk about our days. It doesn’t mind that I’m messy and keep strange hours. It doesn’t mind when I come home from the bar with the smell of tequila and other women on my breath. It’s there for me, always, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, for richer or poorer.
Most importantly: Nothing's my I'm about to say should impact your purchasing decision. If you like doing crosswords and you're okay with buying add-ons (either puzzle collections or the NYT puzzle subscription) you should pick this up. The navigation is more than good enough. I, however, will quibble. It's nice to move quickly from one clue to the next with the arrows provided, but there are a few more common navigations that I wish the app provided directly: - Better navigation within the local grid. The words directly adjacent to each other in a cluster aren't always the next/previous ones numerically. - Better "non-manipulating" navigation within the word. Sometimes I misclick the square I want, and would like to adjust one or two squares left/right/up/down, but one can only go backward destructively (by deleting letters) and forward by entering letters into the box. One affordance that would address both problems is a set of four-arrow "cursor keys" that would move the cursor up/down/left/right without modifying the contents of the box under the cursor. I doubt that's the only solution, however. Anyway, great content for crossword fans, my navigation quibbles notwithstanding. - going back and forth within the
You want to test your knowledge and skills against the games, to make sure you’re sharp. These games do that, I used to just do one and now I do them all…and all of the fam does it! From 16-60 y/o we’re competing (mostly friendly) and challenging each other. Sometimes you can solve a wordle quickly or get if stuck we ask each other for a hint, happens with connections too. The crossword is world famous, as nothing feels as great as solving one of those Sunday gems! Tiles & Sudoku are fun/annoying depending on the day. Letterboxed is interesting as you can see a big start word and the rest is easy. I really like Spelling Bee - 0 timers, the challenge of coming up with the words to reach genius, and keeping at it throughout my day. Thank you kindly NYT Games we are all fans!!
Doing the NY Times Monday crossword has been one of the highlights of my week since college. Now I routinely make it to Wednesday, with the help of this awesome, but addictive app. I once put the rest of my life on hold during a seventeen day ‘streak’, but got a grip and now just do the ones I can finish and still get work done. Having the stats is neat, too. But perhaps the best part is having access to archive puzzles so I can go get a Monday puzzle from days of yore whenever the urge strikes (well, and I whenever I actually have time). Finally, when not streaking, the feature where you can struggle for a reasonable stretch and then give up and check the puzzle and find out which square is the problem is worth its weight in gold. Probably saves marriages, that feature...
During COVID I was in lockdown away from my home. I couldn’t get daily delivery of The NY Times and so grudgingly switched, I hoped (as we all did in the spring of 2020) for only a few weeks. Weeks stretched to months. Eventually, I returned home but by then had liked the convenience of the iPad for the puzzle. I was only using the paper edition for two things - the crossword and as an accelerant to start fires in the fireplace and bbq. I continue to miss it for the latter use. My one beef with the digital puzzle is that with the paper version, I deemed a puzzle solved when I had filled in all the boxes (yes, with one letter each, not like Calvin in the immortal “yellow-bellied sapsucker” cartoon.) The digital version only delivers the happy music if all the squares are filled in CORRECTLY.
Used to be a good app. Now the keyboard disappears when leaving a puzzle. Complete puzzles do not sync across other platforms (e.g. iPad to iPhone). I’ve completed daily puzzles this week, but if you go into the recent screen only one from this week appears when in actuality I complete at least one per day. I’ve contacted customer service several times by email and phone. I usually do not get an answer by email but when I do they say they’re working on it. Some of this has been going on since May. I expected this app to work better since it came from the Times. Maybe I’m expecting too much? 9/7/18 update - key board issue fixed and that app seems to work better. It still doesn’t sync across platforms, but I can live with that issue since it’s rare that I do crosswords on my phone. Thanks NYTimes for the response.
Extremely buggy and unreliable version—please respond and fix.
This is getting unacceptable. This is not a free app—I pay annually for this app and have done so for quite a few years now. Is there anyone making efforts to undo these bugs? I have attached a screen video of what happens to my phone when it crashes. I can now confidently say that it has to do with internet connection (specifically when I regain connection like when I’m on the subway). You will see that happens at around 16 seconds into the video. To add insult to injury, you will also notice that when I return to the app, I lose my most recent progress as well. At this point after making effects to reach out in the past, I ultimately feel that if I do not at the very least receive a prompt reply, I sadly cannot continue to support your app. Please take the necessary steps to fix this problem and treat your loyal customers with the respect they deserve. I will also be posting this as a review in the hopes that might inspire more action. Thank you.
Because of this app I finish the nyt crossword every day, and I save enough money on newspapers to pay my phone bill. I can also do the puzzle at 4 am or while I’m “in the office” so yeah it’s basically why I have a smartphone. I quit social media. I consider this app to be quality screen time. I did the puzzle in ink before I got this app, and now it’s just frustrating talking to people who are still hung up on that. The nyt crossword is a miracle of our culture. If more people enjoyed it the world would be a better place. The fact that I have access to years of archived puzzles AND the daily fresh one is both awesome & somehow liberating, because I can do as much as I want, but I will probably never solve them all in my lifetime & that’s ok!
This has been a daily part of my life for many years and in almost every way is an excellent adaptation of the print version. My wife and I have completed over 2500 puzzles using the app. Its ability to track streaks and keep timing stats is sure to disappoint people who care about those features but aren’t willing to work around the poor implementation of the app’s ability to work across multiple devices and platforms. It can also be awkward when print versions of the puzzle have a gimmick that can’t be easily executed using the app’s available features. Both the handling of puzzles when shared on multiple devices and poorly executed adaptation of gimmicky print puzzles have caused the app to improperly end long streaks. A real buzzkill but not a show-stopper for an otherwise addictive and well done app.
The app has recently added a advertisement bar at the bottom of the screen in the spelling bee game. It’s annoying, unnecessary, and it’s a betrayal from an application to which I pay a fee every month to use without the scourge of advertisements. The spelling bee game has now been ruined for me. I pay for apps so that I don’t have to deal with advertisements. Everytime I launch it now I have to tolerate its presence. To me, one of the appeals of this app has been the clean, serene, some would say stark, interface. This has now been tainted by this rude, greedy addition. There is a button to make the ad “go away”, but it doesn’t work properly. When I finally get so next-level annoyed by it that I deign to press the little “x” to disappear the ad, it registers as a positive selection and brings me to a full-screen ad asking me to buy the app for someone else. Boom, there goes my concentration. No. My patience is wearing thin. It’s just a matter of time before ads are expanded to the crossword page as well, so don’t think that if you don’t play the spelling bee game you wont be affected by this. Get rid of it before I just cancel my subscription and be done with it. There are a thousand other word games just waiting to be downloaded to my phone. This one is now in my suspect queue on the road to cancellation.
Revised... Great puzzles and easy to use app. In-app puzzle packs are about $2-$4 for 15-30 puzzles. I had just purchased two packs and then apparently my Free Trial ended two days later without any warning and I lost access to the packs I had just paid for unless I want to pay another $7/ month or $40/year. Some obvious countdown, e.g., “You have two days left in your free trial”, would have been polite. I might have subscribed or at least not made the next purchase. Instead, I’m just annoyed and out a few bucks. I expect better of NYT. UPDATE: Thanks to developer response, I recovered my purchase. (Fix was not obvious, though.) Individual packs are great for me now; I may subscribe someday when I’m confident that I can play frequently for a long period. Thanks NYT!
I love these games for a daily ritual that keeps my mind engaged and challenged. I’m only good enough at the crosswords to fully solve Mondays and Tuesdays so far, but I hope to keep getting better. My only complaint, and I don’t know if devs ever see these, but it’s a simple bug—whenever I solve a sudoku puzzle, even though my phone is on silent and the app doesn’t make any sound effects otherwise—the congratulatory “you solved it” music plays out loud. I know it sounds like not a big deal, but it’s embarrassing in an otherwise silent waiting room. It makes me avoid ever playing sudoku in public because I don’t want to annoy anyone around me. I hope this can be fixed someday, but thanks otherwise for a wonderful app!
Before we subscribed to the NYT Crossword, my husband and I only had the paper version delivered every day. Back then, our deal was that he took the Arts section with him on his commute to work— seemed fair— and I had to wait for the weekend when we did Saturday and Sunday together in ink. Once covid hit, I added the puzzle to our NYT subscription so that he could do the puzzle online and I would do it on paper. It has been a dramatic improvement in our morning routines! I must report, however, that we still do Saturdays together, on paper, but we part ways on Sunday so we each get a bite at the big apple. Thank you for providing this and the other great games you keep adding: we love Wordle, Letterboxed, Spelling Bee, and Tiles, too!
My best guess is that anyone who regularly does crosswords has a love-hate relationship with them. There are words that get reused because they are convenient fillers. Puzzlers are expected to know some words in any European language (but not other languages). Puzzles often try gimmicks that only sort of work. No doubt crossword puzzles can be extremely frustrating. That’s why you need them to be written by professionals, who can give time to developing and editing a superior product. The New York Times has built a reputation for doing this for decades. The best thing to say about the app is that it does not get in the way o the experience. It isn’t particularly frustrating, and considering I find fault with most user interfaces, that’s saying a lot.
I wake up sometimes too earlier to seek some peace and quiet before my kids wake up and totally ruin everything. I sneak downstairs, turn on my coffee maker and I impatiently wait for it to finish. Sometimes I am too impatient to wait (ok most times) because I need to grab my blanket, hunker down with crossword app and just start already. On those days I stick my mug directly under the stream, making a wholly mess in the process but who cares! IT’S CROSSWORD TIME! MY TIME. And I know they release the next day at 10 PM but dude, who wants to do that? I like to savor my morning routine. But sometimes I can’t finish them and I go mad trying and so it’s ruining my life in the best possible way. If we ever need to cut back on our expenses, I’d give up shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant and haircuts before the NYT Crossword app.
Generally works OK but I noticed a bug. Twice now when I've completed a puzzle correctly the app refuses to accept it as so. Then the next day when I open it to try to find the error it suddenly accepts it. Then tells me that since I didn't do it 24 hours that my streak is over. Some people do the whole week's puzzles on the weekend. Not fair to them. The whole streak thing is between solver and the puzzle. It's not like someone wins a prize for streaks. Lighten up! When I was in Europe I solved a puzzle offline because no network access. Three days later I noticed that my streak had ended. Looked back to discover that the puzzle I had solved was half empty and not counted as completed. So to be fair the complete time has to be sensitive to time zones.
App is fine, variety and acrostics will be gone soon, though
I’ve been a subscriber for years, and loved the crosswords, but over time I started getting bored of them and liking the weekly acrostic and occasional cryptic and diagramless crosswords that I could play on the NYT website with my Crossword subscription even better. They and the Spelling Bee became a bigger draw for me than the daily crossword. But I just saw that they are going to disappear on March 1. Those puzzles are going to be exclusively on print now. To say that I am disappointed is an understatement. The wobbly support (if you look at the reviews here, they have replied to one review and it’s for the wrong one!?) took one star away from the rating, and for taking away my favorite games just like that, that’s another star off. Maybe I’ll do some shopping around.
The only reason I’m not giving the app 5 stars is because of rebus puzzles like today’s (3/7/19 - STICK EM UP theme). One example answer was the movie Hang ‘Em High. When I entered “EM” as a rebus in this answer, and in the answers to all the other theme clues, I got the pop-up at the end telling me I needed to make corrections. When I changed them all to just “E,” I won the puzzle. This seems to happen every time I work a rebus puzzle. I guess I don’t understand what the rebus button is for if I can’t use it when I think I need to. I’ve searched the app’s help feature and the internet for instructions, but haven’t gotten anywhere. I think that should be explained more thoroughly in the help section. Otherwise, I can’t get enough of this app!
Don’t bother if you care about tracking your progress
This app is fine, until you want it to reliably track your progress. A couple of years ago, the clock froze while I was solving a puzzle, meaning that my record for a Tuesday is under two minutes. Thus, I never really know if I’ve managed to break a PR on Tuesdays. Multiple emails to NYT XWords went unanswered as I tried to figure out if there was a way to erase the bad data point. Then today, I open the app as usual. I am informed that my “trial subscription” is over (I have a fully paid subscription that renewed months ago). Meanwhile, it has erased the last several days of puzzles that I solved, meaning that my solving streak of almost 250 days is now broken thanks to the glitch brought about by the incompetence of the app developers. So if you just want to solve puzzles on occasion, go for it. If you actually want an app that doesn’t routinely wipe out your data, keep on looking.
First off, I use this every day, and for it’s main use of filling out the daily crossword it’s great! Some of the extras need some polish, though. It occasionally forgets about puzzles I’ve already completed, and if I buy a pack of puzzles, complete some, and come back to them later, it forgets that I downloaded and finished them. I do like that it saves my progress across devices, though. Also, I have an iPad Pro 11”, and the app doesn’t extend all the way to the edge in landscape mode, which, as an iOS developer myself, is an odd bug; I didn’t realize that was possible. But overall, it’s a good app. If you love good crosswords, you should get this and subscribe. I definitely get my money’s worth out of it.
Preface: I’ve been using the NYT crossword app (and have been a loyal subscriber) for years. I’ve given the iPad version a pass for too long now. We’ve had iPads of different sizes and resolutions for years now, why have the developers of this app neglected making any kind of updates that would keep graphics crisp and appropriately sized regardless of whether you’re using a 9.7”, 11” or 12.9” device? Properly implementing Apple’s frameworks wouldn’t just make for a better visual experience, it would allow for split-screen and slide-over multitasking. Why not show external keyboards some love? Maybe the release of the Magic Keyboard will spark a rethink at the NYT - but for years we’ve endured the app’s onscreen keyboard taking up half the available screen even when a physical one is connected. And about those keyboards: why do I have to wait a second or two between key-presses of the same letter in order for them to be properly represented? Try typing the word “between” or “presses” in the Crossword app without pulling your hair out. I dare you. I’m begging you: please give us proper external keyboard support!!! This kind of stuff is easy to overlook for a free application, but for one that I pay a not-insignificant sum for each and every year, I expect better.
I cannot survive without a daily New York Times Crossword! In fact, if I miss even one day, I, myself become very cross! I’ve been doing a crossword puzzle every day of my life since I commuted, by subway, to high school in New York in 1959. If I miss a day I feel as if something is very wrong. The larger Sunday puzzle is a romp. Having a theme helps. Monday is a breeze. Thursday’s is often the week’s most challenging for me. Lately, I have found Saturday’s to be difficult as well. I am very far behind in knowledge of popular culture since retiring from the daily grind of regular employment and residing in New York City. The clues in that area (popular culture) are sometimes way beyond me! But, I know all the archaic words and culture very well!
NYT Games has a terrific range of word games that includes their stellar crossword, a matching game with lots of tile sets to keep things interesting, and sudoku. Some of the challenges have a visual component. It’s fun to try the daily puzzles and you can dig in to the archives or open-ended games if you want more. For players who like to compete, some of the games have different difficulty levels and/or keep stats on your performance; you can try to break your own record or share your scores to see how you stack up against other players. If you like a variety of word games, this app is well worth the add-on charge or as part of a package like all access digital.