WIG: The NYT Crossword Puzzle

by general

The New York Times crossword puzzle is an iconic design in and of itself. The idiosyncratic clues, themed puzzles, and clever puns means that each puzzle solver’s scope of knowledge can be tested in a different way. It’s true that crosswords are traditionally associated with a printed newspaper, with amateurs pencilling in answers and the more confident ones opting for pen. But I’m here to write about how the NYT took a midcentury phenomenon and modernized its outlook. The typing interface, checking system, and timer make it arguably more functional than the printed version, allowing users to race through puzzles simply by hitting “enter” after every clue. From the cheerful jingle that plays after you’ve successfully completed a puzzle to the coveted streak of gold stars you acquire after solving for a few consecutive days, it’s easy to see how the NYT have taken an already-fun game and made it even more desirable.

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