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Some things are improved with technology, while others are better the old-fashioned way. I think interactive crossword puzzles beat their paper-and-pencil counterparts hands down. I like being able to change letters and I like being able to check my work as I go. Three letter word for “online crossword puzzle?” F-U-N.
Kids Crosswords and Other Puzzles
Each of these educational puzzles for the elementary-school crowd covers a different subject. The summer assortment of ten puzzles includes Ancient China, First Aid, Pollution and Mountains. Most of these puzzles are interactive crosswords, but some are word scrambles and word searches designed for pen and paper. Don’t miss their extensive archive of past puzzles.
New York Times Learning Network Crosswords
Among crossword puzzle fans, the daily New York Times crosswords are legendary. These Learning Network semi-monthly puzzles for students are edited by the very same puzzlemaster, Will Shortz. Each puzzle has a theme (such as Summer Safety) and both an interactive and printable version of the crossword, as well as Web site recommendations for further learning. Topics in the archive cover a wide range, with an emphasis on history and science. The quality of the puzzles and the depth of the archive, make this my pick of the day!
“Having trouble getting the last word in that puzzle? Having trouble getting the first? See if our search engine can help! Unlike pure pattern dictionary searches, we actually analyze the clue as well.” This is a pretty amazing tool. To use it, enter the exact clue and an answer pattern. For unknown letters, use a question mark. For example, for clue “Cut” and pattern “h???” you get the answer “hewn” along with other lower rated answers such as “snip” and “sawn.”
Puzzles by Puzzability
These original interactive puzzles were created to showcase the talents of a team of three puzzle experts, including the crossword editor of the “Wall Street Journal.” Among the daily and weekly puzzles you’ll find crosswords, word searches and brain teasers. “We like to point out three ingredients you’ll find in our puzzles: 1) A puzzle that is left unsolved is basically a failure. Puzzles are made to be solved. 2) Puzzles are not tests. They’re entertainment. 3) A good puzzle is a bit like a joke. The unsolved components are a set-up, and the solution is the punch line.”
Thinks.com: The World’s First Crossword
Although the origins of the crossword puzzle can be traced to nineteenth century children’s books, journalist Arthur Wynne is credited with creating the first modern crossword puzzle. His Fun Word-Cross appeared in “New York World” on December 21, 1913. Follow the link at the bottom of the article to see it. Notice how only the starting and ending squares have numbers, and the clues are numbered the same way. Continue on to Crosswords Index for the Thinks.com archive of puzzles, and a compendium of software you can use to create your own crossword puzzles.