Crosswords In Review: Here’s a clue – Completely Satisfying in 2 words, 6 letters total

Here’s an interesting piece of trivia about crossword puzzles – Liverpool journalist Arthur Wynne is said to have invented it, originally called “Word-Cross” when it first appeared in the Sunday edition of New York World on December 21, 1913. Nearly a century old, crossword puzzles are so quietly integrated into our daily lives that we may take them for granted. Anywhere in the world, someone is tapping his pen, thinking of answers to brain teasers that draw upon a limitless resource of words, facts, personalities, events and history.

While we associate crosswords with the Sunday paper, the advent of the iDevice has opened up more possibilities for crossword enjoyment on a mobile platform. With Crosswords, now it’s possible to enjoy the world’s beloved word puzzle anytime, anywhere.

Crosswords is heavensent to any crossword addict and casual players. Once connected to the internet, the app downloads all available online puzzles from all over the world – imagine that everyday, you have dozens of puzzles at your disposal. Simply scroll and choose the puzzle you want to work on – you can sort the list of puzzles by date, provider or the most recent one you worked on. You can also tap to download older puzzles or use the edit function to delete puzzles from your list. The help function provides tips to assist you in navigating your way around the puzzles, and the info function provides relevant information about the puzzle itself.

Does Crosswords make the solving experience as seamless as possible and what does it bring to the table, really? Critical to enjoying any crossword game is the kind of functions and features it offers. The app allows landscape or portrait orientation for puzzle solving – all you have to do is to rotate the iDevice. A few swipes pulls up the zoom in function on the crossword, making it easier to input answers by using the keyboard function below.

There are various ways to answer the clues, all designed for the player’s convenience. Tapping on any empty square pulls up the clue. In landscape mode, tapping on the clue automatically pulls up the corresponding blanks to be filled. The pencil and pen function is the equivalent of crossing out and erasing answers and filling them in. There are also additional options in the Settings section to further tweak the game to your needs.

In the Clues section, the clues are arranged and sorted consecutively and you can answer them directly. This method makes it slightly difficult to answer the clues in the context of the bigger puzzle, however, but convenient for answers you are absolutely sure of without relying on the letters generated by nearby squares. Another neat trick is tapping, then holding the screen and dragging to select a square. Dragging longer makes it possible to enter multiple letters in a number of squares simultaneously.  Clicking on the hints button pulls up various options for solving the clue.

Puzzle solving on Crosswords is practically intuitive – you can find your way around the game by a few taps and swipes. There is a noticeable lag when switching from portrait to landscape mode, however. Between the two view modes, while portrait mode gives a good birds eye view of the puzzle, its features are limited compared to landscape mode. Perhaps the devs should try to find ways to equalize the two in terms of features and options.

All in all, the ease of use, numerous customizable options and handy features make Crosswords the best you can get on the iPhone platform, easily worth its asking price. The easy to use game approximates the actual experience of sitting down with your newspaper and coffee while poring over the crossword of the day.

Rating: Kiss It (Answer to the title’s clue! hehehe)


App Summary
Title: Crosswords Developer: Stand Alone, Inc.
Reviewed Ver: Min OS Req: 2.2.1
Price: $9.99 App Size: 0.9 MB
  • Excellent features and customizable options
  • Facebook and twitter integration, and the option to post solve times online and compete with other players
  • The best crossword solving experience the iPhone has to offer
  • Minor lag when switching from portrait to landscape, and vice versa
  • Unequal distribution of features and functions between portrait and landscape mode


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