Places to Solve Crossword Puzzles

Today, in an age where technology rules many aspects of our day to day lives, many people turn to their computers, tablets, and smartphones to pass the time – to kill the boredom that rears its ugly head. This is partly due to the fact that these nifty gadgets offer a plethora of entertainment options, from downloading and listening to music, to playing games and even watching tv shows and movies. However, it can also be chalked up to the fact that with the many options that people now have, it leaves people with a lack of imagination on how to entertain themselves without the use of technological advancements. Crossword puzzles, while can be found all over the internet and downloaded on many tablets and smartphones today, can also be the non-technology way to spend your time – simply by picking up a crossword puzzle book at your local store. And, the best part about solving crossword puzzle books is that it allows for convenience and portability, allowing solvers to take these beloved puzzles virtually anywhere they go! Let’s take a look at a few of the many places that you can enjoy solving crossword puzzles.

Doctor’s Offices

If you’ve ever waited in a doctor’s office or emergency room waiting area, you know how boring these waiting periods can be – not to mention, how long you are often waiting for your turn. By placing a crossword puzzle book inside your purse or the glove box of your car, you have quick and easy access to entertain yourself while you’re waiting to see the doctor.


Flying on an airplane, not to mention the waiting period between layovers, can be quite a boring experience. Sure, when you first board the plane you may be a little excited – especially if you have a window seat and are able to see the scenic views of the earth as you’re flying 30,000 feet in the air  – but after a while, especially on long flights, even that view can become quite boring to look at. This is the time that you will either need to find something entertaining, or come to terms with taking a nice, long nap. If you choose the former, then be sure to pick up a crossword puzzle book to pack in your carry-on bag! These books are a great way to pass the time, as well as offer many other benefits.

At the Beach

Let’s imagine for a moment that you and your family are at the beach. Your spouse has decided to take the kids into the ocean for a swim, which allows you some much needed quiet time to relax. As your family is off splashing and playing in the water, you are resting on the beach, enjoying the nice, warm feeling of the sun and the cool breeze. You want to sunbathe a little – try to achieve that beautiful tan – but you’re afraid that you may enjoy the moment so much that you might accidentally fall asleep, which could result in a nasty sunburn. What can you do that will enhance this amazing feeling of relaxation, but help you stay awake so you don’t burn? Grab a puzzle book, of course! A puzzle book can be a great way to not only keep you relaxed and calm, but they also keep your mind busy enough so that you don’t fall asleep and wake up as red as a lobster.

At the Park

Your children have begged you all day to take them to the park so they can play, and you finally agreed. But, let’s face it, as a parent, sometimes we get bored sitting on the park benches watching the little ones running around the park, making new friends, and playing on all of the fun playground equipment. Especially if there aren’t any other parents around to socialize with. So what is a parent to do during these hours at the park? Solving a crossword puzzle is a great way to pass the time while your children are playing. You can still keep an eye on the kids, while at the same time entertain yourself.
These are just a few great examples of places you can solve a crossword puzzle book. The options, however, are endless. What other places have you solved a crossword puzzle? Did you solve it in a puzzle book? Online? On a mobile app? Tell us about your unique experiences and where you have solved crossword puzzles.

7 Reasons to Introduce Children to Crossword Puzzles

Since the early 1900’s, crossword puzzles are often enjoyed by the older population – people in their early 20’s or older. However, there are many reasons why you should introduce your child to this entertaining past time – some even beyond the educational value. Here are a few reasons why you should encourage your child to solve crossword puzzles on a daily basis.


Many teachers in schools incorporate crossword puzzles into their curriculum. Why? Simply because not only are crossword puzzles fun and engaging, but they also have a high educational value. Crossword puzzles can help children with committing spelling words and definitions to memory.

Improve Problem Solving Skills

Children aren’t born problem-solvers. They need to be taught how to self-resolve problems and issues throughout their daily life. Crossword puzzles can help build upon these problem solving skills in a way many other practices cannot.

Improve Memory Skills

Keeping the brain active is one of the simplest, yet often overlooked, ways to improve your memory. Research has shown that by completing brain exercises, such as completing crossword puzzles, it helps to improve memory and concentration skills. This is because these exercises cause the brain to fire signals that “wake up” the area of the brain responsible for memory, focus, and concentration. Many leading organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, are now recommending people to perform brain exercises, such as completing crossword puzzles, early in life to possibly protect your brain from certain disabling diseases. So why not introduce children to the love of crosswords while they are young, so they can appreciate them all their lives?

Enhances Vocabulary

Beyond helping children find success with spelling words, crossword puzzles can help a child develop and enhance his vocabulary. In order to complete crossword puzzles, a child needs to be able to read and understand certain phrases, as well as understand the meaning of those phrases. This encourages children to ask questions on words they may not know, or for older children – grab a dictionary and look up new words. Building and enhancing one’s vocabulary is a crucial developmental stage that will follow them throughout their life. By using crossword puzzles to help a child build his vocabulary, unknown words aren’t so intimidating because children know that it’s a game – and what child doesn’t love a fun game?

May Boost Self-Esteem

Some kids are good at science, others social studies, and still others may be good at math. But if you have a struggling achiever, it’s inevitable that these struggle areas could be affecting his self-esteem. It’s important for children to feel good about themselves, their abilities, and their accomplishments. If you have a struggling achiever, introduce them to the world of crossword puzzles. Children learn at different rates, as well as in many different ways. Tactile learners may excel at science – due to the very hands-on approach with science experiments, however visual learners often excel at crossword puzzles – due to the visual approach of learning a particular lesson. Crossword puzzles can provide a child with a sense of self-accomplishment and pride when they realize that they have correctly completed the puzzle on their own!

Crossword Puzzles are Customizable

In today’s day and age, with the help of the internet, crossword puzzles are very customizable and can be used for virtually any lesson you want to teach a child. We mentioned previously the use of crossword puzzles to help a child learn spelling words, but the purposes of crossword puzzles aren’t just limited to that fundamental development area! In fact, many teachers are using these fun puzzles in every class, including science, social studies, reading, and more. Even math teachers have been known to use crossword puzzles in their lessons to help teach children various mathematical terms and definitions. You can customize the clue words in a crossword puzzle to suit virtually any educational need. Furthermore, children as young as 6 or 7 years old can complete crossword puzzles, if the clue words are created simple enough.

Quiet Time

Let’s face it, raising children can be quite a loud job. Children can often get overly excited over just about anything! Sometimes a parent needs a little quiet time, and crossword puzzles are a great way for parents to receive that quiet time, all while providing an educational source of stimulation to the child.

In addition, crossword puzzles can keep children entertained for hours – which becomes incredibly helpful during long car rides to the beach and in doctor’s waiting rooms. Plus, with today’s technology, children can choose to complete paperback crossword puzzles, or play on their parent’s cell phones or tablets!
All in all, crossword puzzles bring more to the table than simply entertainment for children. They open a world of fun and excitement, boost self-esteem, as well as teach our children valuable skills that will follow them throughout the course of their lifetime.

10 NY Times Crossword Puzzle Hacks You Should Know

The New York Times newspaper features one of the world’s most popular, and possibly the most difficult, crossword puzzles of today. What was once only available to the newspaper’s subscribers can now be found in the hands of millions of crossword puzzle enthusiasts around the world, with the help of the internet and modern technology such as mobile apps. This love of the NY Times crossword puzzle hasn’t fizzled out, even though many people find them quite difficult to solve. If you are one of the many people finding it too struggling to complete a puzzle in the NY Times newspaper, or on their website or mobile apps, try keeping some of these tips in mind the next time you sit down to complete them.

Spoken Phrases

When the NY Times crossword puzzle uses spoken phrases as a clue/answer combination, they can almost always be found within quotations.
  • Example clue: “Get out of here!” answer: “Leave now”

Short Exclamation Answers

If the answer is supposed to be a short exclamation, you can easily determine this by the way the clue answer or phrase is written. When the clue word or phrase is written between square brackets, that is often an indication that the answer should be a short exclamation. For example, if the clue phrase looks like this: “[It’s cold!]”, then it is safe to assume that the answer will be a short exclamation. In this case, the answer is likely to be “BRR”.

Single Word Clues

You can often find a single word as a clue in the NY Times crossword puzzle. While many people may see the single word as an indication that the answer is also a single word, this is not always the case.

Clues Ending with Question Marks

Many people do not realize this, but oftentimes, the NY Times will place a question mark at the end of a clue word in order to indicate that the clue is a play on words.

Tag Abbreviations

Tag abbreviations are often found in the NY Times crossword puzzle clues, however did you know that depending upon the type of abbreviation used in the clue can indicate how you should solve that clue? When a clue includes a tag abbreviation such as “abbr.” or any other abbreviation more specific than a simple “e. g.”  then the answer will often be an abbreviation as well. For example if the clue is “M. D. org.” then the answer will more than likely be something similar to AMA.

Foreign Language Answers

Sometimes you can find clues that indicate that the answer is in a different language. The clues indicate this by a clue tag. For instance, if the clue is “Summer, Fr.” the “Fr.” part of the clue indicates that the answer is in French, which would mean the answer is Ete.

Clue/Answer Combination Tenses

Many people overlook this simple clue within the clue words or phrases of a crossword puzzle in the NY Times newspaper. If the clue words are in past tense, then it is important to remember that the answer will also likely be in past tense. Clue/answer combinations are always in the same tense, parts of speech, number, and degree.

Parenthetical Clues

The NY Times often uses parentheses in clue words or clue phrases when the clue word needs an additional word to indicate the correct answer.
  • Example: “Think (over)” = MULL

In addition to parenthetical clues, you can also often find these types of clues with the word “with”. For example, the clue may look similar to “Become understood, with in”. This clue would indicate that the answer is “sink” since the word “sink” only means to become understood when it is accompanied with the word “with” ( e.g. “sink in” means to become understood).

Capitalization of clue words

Many people do not realize this, and the NY Times often uses this tactic to trick their subscribers that complete their famous crossword puzzles, however it is important to keep in mind that the NY Times crossword puzzle clues always begin with a capital letter, regardless of whether the clue is a complete sentence or proper noun. That said, if you see a single word clue, such as the word “John” as a clue word to a puzzle, do not automatically assume that the capitalization of this word indicates that it is a proper noun. It could be that, however, it could also be the slang meaning for the word “bathroom”.

Substitution Test
Finally, if you are still stuck on a particular clue/answer combination, it is important to remember that in many cases, a substitution test can be performed to help you verify, or rule out, certain answers. To perform a substitution test, first create a sentence using the clue word or phrase. Then, substitute the clue word(s) for the answer you believe is correct. If when you substitute your answer into the sentence, and the sentence remains the same in tense and meaning, then the answer is likely correct. However, if your answer does not allow you to keep the sentence the same, then you may need to reconsider your answer. While this substitution test may not work for certain clue/answer combinations, you will find that it works quite often for the NY Times crossword puzzle clues.