XWord Info started as a website mostly for curious solvers. Over the years, the site has evolved and is now equally aimed at helping constructors create their best work. We have Jeff Chen’s word list, some sample Python scripts, and a Finder page that has been used more than 13 million times. (An upcoming post… Continue reading Analyze your own crosswords
Jim Horne answers questions about XWord Info we get in email.
Today’s crossword is a great topic for bloggers.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 marks a major milestone for Will Shortz. It’s his 10,000th day as Crossword Editor at the New York Times. This means 10,000 daily crosswords and thousands more Variety puzzles for the magazine stamped with his name. Much has changed since Mr. Shortz answered an ad in 1993. An unnamed entity was… Continue reading The 10,000 Days of Shortz
Crosswords used to be constructed entirely by hand. Watch Garson Hampfield reminisce about the old days. I love this guy. Some constructors still use graph paper, but almost all published crosswords now benefit from some computer assistance. The Auto-Amazing-Theme-Generator™ has yet to be invented, but software such as Crossword Compiler for PCs or Crossfire for… Continue reading Crosswords and Computers
What is the most common clue in NYT crosswords? We were curious, so we wrote some code to figure that out. Before running the code, I tried to guess the results. We’d probably be looking for clues pointing to common, useful answers, i.e., short answers with lots of vowels. OREO seems like a good target… Continue reading Why is 17-Across special?
TL;DR – Yes, you should attend. They’re fun. Crossword tournaments have long been a way for puzzle-heads to commiserate with other addicts. You get to hang out with like-minded thinkers around the proverbial pencil sharpeners, and nobody judges you for bringing OREOS over to the bar. Or ALOE. Or your EMU. The ACPT The grandfather… Continue reading Virtual Crossword Tournaments
A couple of warnings before we begin: This post contains spoilers for some older Acrostic puzzles. If you’re planning on working your way through them, avert your eyes now. This post contains a story that might imply surprising sexual conduct. Viewer discretion advised. Acrostics seem to involve a different part of the solving brain than… Continue reading Acrostic Quotes and Full Quotes (NSFW?)
Astute readers will have noticed we’ve been dropping a few new charts into XWord Info. Some are hidden in obscure corners, like this one showing the relative proportion of NYT crosswords constructed by women collaborating with other women, but we also have new charts on two of our most popular pages. Every NYT answer word… Continue reading New Charts at XWord Info
We’re often asked, “I have a cool idea for a project, but I need tons of NYT crossword data. Can I have yours?” Thanks to this blog, instead of writing long explanations, I can just point people to this post. Score! The short answer is “no.” The long answer is, “No. Well, maybe. But probably… Continue reading Can I have your data?