Crosswords for Mac

Available on the Mac App Store

System Requirements

Crosswords requires Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, and is only available via the Mac App Store.

Syncing to an iPhone, iPad or iPod requires the purchase of Crosswords for iPhone/iPad, available in the iTunes App Store.

View the Crosswords for Mac FAQ! Have questions about Crosswords for Mac? Find answers at the Crosswords for Mac Frequently Asked Questions page!

Follow us on Twitter to be notified of the latest Crosswords updates!

Need to contact us directly? Fill out our Crosswords support form, or email us directly at info@standalone.com!

Frequently Asked Questions:

General Questions

  1. What is the difference between Crossword Light and Crosswords for iPhone/iPad?

    Crossword Light is free and has the same puzzle solving features as Crosswords for Mac, but you can only use it to solve the pre-installed puzzles that come with it.

    If you want to download new puzzles from crossword providers, you have to upgrade to Crosswords for Mac.

  2. What newspaper puzzles and providers does Crosswords for Mac support?

    Crosswords for Mac can retrieve puzzles from the following providers:

    US-style Providers
    Name Schedule Difficulty
    American Values Club Crossword (Premium subscription required) Weekly (Wednesday) Moderate
    Andy Kravis, Cruciverbalist at Law
    Weekly (Saturday) Medium/Hard
    BuzzFeed (Archives only - ceased publishing on July 19th, 2016) Monday-Friday Easy
    Chronicle of Higher Education Weekly (Sunday) Moderate
    Cox & Rathvon/Hook Sunday Puzzles (Boston Globe) (Archives only - moved to the Premium Provider CRooked Crosswords on February 3rd, 2013) Weekly (Sunday) Very Hard/Amazingly Hard
    CRooked Crosswords: Cox & Rathvon/Hook Sunday Puzzles (Premium subscription required) Weekly (Sunday) Very Hard/Amazingly Hard
    Neville Fogarty
    (Archives only - ceased publishing on October 3rd, 2014.)
    Weekly (Friday) Medium
    Glutton for Pun
    Weekly (Wednesday) Very Hard
    Liz Gorski's Crossword Nation
    Weekly (Tuesday) Easy
    Ink Well
    (Archives only - ceased publishing on June 24th, 2014.)
    Weekly (Friday) Moderate
    Jonesin' Weekly (Tuesday) Quick/Moderate
    Joseph
    (King Features)
    Monday-Saturday Easy/Simple
    Matt Gaffney's Crossword Contest (Premium-only as of January 1st, 2015) Weekly (Friday) Moderate
    Murchie's Monday Fills Weekly (Monday) Quick/Moderate
    Newsday Daily Moderate
    New York Times Classic Twice Weekly (Sunday/Monday) Easy to Nearly Impossible
    New York Times
    (New York Times Premium Crossword subscription required)
    Daily Easy to Nearly Impossible
    New York Times Mini
    (New York Times Premium Crossword subscription required)
    Daily Easy
    The Onion A.V. Club (Archives only - ceased publishing on December 5th, 2012) Weekly (Thursday) Moderate
    People Magazine (Archives only - ceased publishing on November 22nd, 2013) Monthly (Friday) Simple/Easy
    Premier
    (King Features)
    Weekly (Sunday) Quick/Moderate
    Puzzle Express Weekly (Monday) Simple
    Brendan Emmett Quigley Monday & Thursday Moderate/Difficult
    Sheffer
    (King Features)
    Monday-Saturday Simple/Easy
    Thinks.com
    (Archives only - ceased publishing on May 31st, 2011)
    Daily Easy/Quick
    Tulsa World
    (Archives only - changed syndicates on June 11th, 2011)
    Daily Easy/Quick
    Washington Post Puzzler
    (Archives only, temporarily, due to a puzzle format change)
    Weekly (Sunday) Difficult
    Washington Post TV
    (Archives only - ceased publishing on November 6th, 2011)
    Weekly (Sunday) Simple/Easy
    World of Crosswords Monthly (Sunday) Moderate
    UK-style Providers
    Name Schedule Difficulty
    Independent Concise Daily Easy/Simple
    Manchester Evening News (Archives only - ceased publishing online on September 7th, 2013) Daily Easy/Simple
    Stickler Weekly Weekly (Wednesday) Difficult
    Sydney Morning Herald
    (Archives only - ceased publishing online on August 29th, 2009)
    Daily Easy
    Telegraph UK Quick
    (Telegraph Puzzles subscription required)
    Daily Hard/Amazingly Hard
    Cryptic Providers
    Name Schedule Difficulty
    The Herald Cryptic
    (Archives only - went premium-only on October 4th, 2010)
    Daily Hard
    Independent Cryptic Daily Hard
    Sydney Morning Herald Cryptic
    (Archives only - ceased publishing online on August 29th, 2009)
    Daily Very Hard
    Telegraph UK cryptic
    (Telegraph Puzzles subscription required)
    Daily Hard/Nearly Impossible
    French Providers
    Name Schedule Difficulty
    Le Monde
    (Archives only - ceased publishing online on January 4th, 2011)
    Daily Moderate

    Please note: this provider list is subject to change, and new providers are routinely added.

  3. Does Crosswords for Mac support cryptic crosswords?

    Yes, Crosswords for Mac supports cryptic crosswords!

  4. Does Crosswords for Mac support diagramless crosswords?

    Unfortunately, at this time, Crosswords for Mac does not support diagramless crosswords, however, support for diagramless puzzles may be added in a future version.

  5. I have a paid account with a newspaper – can I use my account to download puzzles from their website?

    Yup! Simply click on the Apple icon > Preferences, then click on the 'Providers' icon. From there, you can enter in your credentials for any of our supported premium puzzle providers.

  6. Can I import my own puzzles?

    Crosswords for Mac supports Across Lite-formatted puzzles. To import them either drag them to the Crosswords icon in the System tray, or select File > Open while using the Crosswords app.

  7. Can I use Crosswords if my computer isn't connected to the internet?

    Yes, you can fill in crosswords if you aren't connected to the internet. However, you can only download puzzles and view leaderboard scores via your computer's internet connection or via WiFi.

  8. How many puzzles can Crosswords for Mac hold?

    There is no limit to the number of puzzles Crosswords for Mac can contain.

  9. I registered Crosswords for Palm OS/Pocket PC/webOS/Android. What is your upgrade policy?

    Unfortunately, due to limitations with the Mac App Store, we cannot issue free upgrades for previously registered Crossword Puzzles users. For current Crosswords for Mac users, all updates and upgrades will be free.

  10. How do I directly contact you?

    You can send feedback and ask questions by going to our Crosswords for Mac Email Support Form, or you can email us at info@standalone.com and we'll get right back to you!

Downloading and Playing Puzzles

  1. How do I get new puzzles?

    To download new puzzles, go to Puzzles > Get New Puzzles or Get Older Puzzles.

  2. But I want more puzzles! How do I play older puzzles?

    You can download older puzzles from our archives by going to Puzzles > Get Older Puzzles, then click on a day on the calendar.

  3. I'm sick of my puzzles. How do I remove them?

    To delete puzzles from your puzzle list, just select a puzzle and press 'Delete'. You can also bulk-delete puzzles by going to Puzzles > Delete Puzzles.

  4. Can I download a puzzle that I've already deleted?

    No problem. Just go to Puzzles > Get Older Puzzles, then click on the date that the puzzle was published.

  5. How do I navigate the puzzle grid?

    To move around in the grid, either click on a square, or you can use your arrow keys. You can advance to the next clue by simply pressing the Tab or Period key, and you can jump back to the prior clue via Shift + Tab.

  6. How do I switch between across and down?

    Just double-click on the active, yellow, square to toggle from across to down (and vice versa). You can also toggle orientation via the Enter/Return key.

  7. Can I fill in my answers in 'pencil' instead of in 'pen'?

    Yes, you can! Please note: you can only enter letters in pencil if you have 'Highlight Mistakes' turned OFF in your Preferences. In the title bar of the puzzle window, you should see a pen or pencil icon. Tap that button to change whether you want to answer in pencil or pen. When entering in pencil, you'll automatically skip over letters in pen.

    You can also toggle pen/pencil mode via the Edit menu.

  8. Can I enter multiple letters in a square?

    Yes! Just press the Comma key to enter multi-character mode. You can also access this feature via Edit > Enter Multiple Letters.

  9. How do I view the puzzle info and my puzzle stats?

    You can view each puzzle's information and leaderboard scores by tapping on the 'Info' icon in the puzzle list.

  10. Can I cheat and have the program tell me when I've made a mistake?

    Of course! You can access Hint options under the Hints menu item, or by right-clicking on the puzzle grid.

  11. What are the black and red triangles that sometimes appear in a square?

    Those triangles only appear in a square that you've previously revealed. These marks will not be displayed if you have 'Highlight Mistakes' turned on.

  12. Is there a running counter available while solving a puzzle?

    Yes. By default this option is turned off, but you can enable it by going to Preferences and checking 'Show Puzzle Timer'.

  13. Can I print a puzzle?

    Yes, as of Crosswords v.1.02 you can print puzzles via File > Print.

Syncing Puzzle Progress

  1. What do I need to sync with my iPhone/iPad/iPod?

    Syncing puzzles from Crosswords for Mac to your iOS device requires purchasing Crosswords for iPhone/iPad, or freely downloading Crossword Light, from the iTunes App Store.

  2. How do I set up puzzle syncing?

    To set up puzzle syncing, go to Preferences > Puzzle Sync. If you don't use Game Center, and you have a pre-existing Crosswords account or if you want to create a new account, just enter your email address, nickname and password. Please note: syncing is not available in Crosswords for iPhone/iPad v.2.11, nor is it available on devices running iOS 3.x. It is available in Crosswords for iPhone/iPad v.2.23, which is currently available in the App Store.

  3. Can I use my Game Center account to sync puzzle progress?

    Yes! To sync progress via your Game Center account in Crosswords for Mac, in Crosswords for iPhone/iPad v.2.2, tap on the Settings gear on the Puzzle List screen, then tap on 'Puzzle Sync' and assign your sync password. Just enter that sync password into Crosswords for Mac via Preferences > Puzzle Sync > iOS Game Center.

    For more information, please view the sync screencast available here (Quicktime required).

  4. My puzzles aren't syncing!

    Currently only puzzle progress is synced; puzzle lists are not. Puzzle progress is only synced when you open up a puzzle. Just download a previously played puzzle from another device in Crosswords for Mac, then open it. You should be prompted that a saved solution is available. Click 'Update' and your prior puzzle progress will be inserted into the puzzle.

    If you're not seeing a 'Saved Solution Available' dialog, try exiting out of the puzzle on the original device and open a new puzzle. Then re-open the same puzzle in Crosswords for Mac.

Leaderboards and Accounts

  1. What are the leaderboards?

    Leaderboards allow users to compete to see who can finish a puzzle first. All you have to do is sign up for an account (see the following question) and every time you complete a puzzle, your elapsed time will be uploaded to the leaderboard for all players to see!

  2. How do I sign up for an account?

    All you have to click on Preferences then click 'Puzzle Sync' on the 'Puzzle List' screen. Simply enter in your email address, a password and a nickname under the Crosswords account. If you're using Game Center on your iPhone, you can use your Game Center info by assigning a sync password in Crosswords (see How Do I Set Up Puzzle Syncing?). The nickname is the name we'll use for the leaderboard, so please keep it considerate. If you do not enter in a nickname then your leaderboard scores will not be displayed to the public.

  3. What if I don't want my times to be posted on the leaderboard?

    If you've created an account but don't want your scores to be posted to the leaderboard, just delete your nickname from the 'Edit Account' screen under 'Settings'.

  4. What happens to my score if I use hints?

    We have two separate leaderboards: one for users that don't use hints, and one for those who do. If you've used a hint, then your time will be displayed on the 'Hints' leaderboard.

  5. My puzzle times aren't showing up in the leaderboard! Why not?

    Right now, scores aren't displayed for solution-less puzzles until a solution is available. This includes People Magazine and Telegraph puzzles.

    Otherwise, make sure you've created an account by going to Preferences > Puzzle Sync. Make sure you have a nickname assigned to your account. Also, to keep the 'Hints' leaderboard fair, we will not submit a score if less than 75% of the puzzle is complete and the user selects 'Solve Entire Puzzle'. If you're still having problems uploading scores, please contact us.

  6. Can I view the leaderboard scores without completing the puzzle?

    Of course! Just click on the 'Info' icon (i) on the Puzzle List screen.

Additional Options

  1. I don't like the game skipping squares for me. Can I change that?

    Not a problem. Just open up the Preferences, click 'Solving' and uncheck 'Skip Filled Squares'.

  2. Can I keep it from automatically jumping to the next clue?

    Yes - go to Preferences > Solving, then uncheck the 'Auto-Jump to Next Clue' option.

  3. I think I screwed up my puzzle big time. Can I wipe the puzzle clean?

    Yup - while viewing the puzzle you want to reset, go to Edit > Clear Entire Puzzle.

  4. Can I delete just the errors, instead of the entire puzzle?

    Not a problem. Just go to Edit > Clear All Errors.

  5. Can I set which papers and providers I download puzzles from?

    Yes! Open up the Preferences, then click 'Providers'. You can filter your providers there. To check or uncheck all providers in a genre, click on the gear under the provider list.

  6. Can I turn off automatic puzzle downloads?

    Crosswords for Mac will automatically look for the latest puzzles when you open the program. If you'd like to turn this off, simply go to Preferences > Providers, then uncheck 'Automatically Download New Puzzles Every Day'.

Common Provider Problems

  1. Crosswords won't accept my Telegraph credentials!

    Please make sure you're entering in your new Telegraph puzzle, as the Telegraph recently requested that all users reset their password.

  2. Where did the Cox/Rathvon & Hook (Boston Globe) puzzles go?

    This provider has decided to move to a subscription model. You can subscribe to their puzzles at crookedcrosswords.com. To download their puzzles via Crosswords, tap on the Settings gear, then select 'Select Puzzle Providers' and tap 'Enter Premium Subscription Info' under 'Crooked Crosswords'. Enter your email address and the password you were provided, and their crosswords will be available the next time you download puzzles.

    If you encounter problems with your credentials, or issues with the puzzles, please contact support@crookedcrosswords.com.

  3. Where did the AV Club puzzles go?

    The Onion AV Club ceased publishing crossword puzzles in December, 2012, but the authors have set up a new subscription service for their puzzles. To subscribe, please visit The American Values Club Xword.

    To download their puzzles via Crosswords, tap on the Settings gear, then select 'Select Puzzle Providers' and tap 'Enter Premium Subscription Info' under 'American Values Crossword'. Enter your email address and the password you were provided, and their crosswords will be available the next time you download puzzles.

    If you encounter problems with your credentials, or issues with the puzzles, please contact support@avxwords.com.

  4. I can't download puzzles via Puzzle Pointers or Cruciverb through your 'Browse the Web' feature!

    The most common problem that occurs when trying to import puzzles is simply that the puzzle does not exist at the link that you've tapped on. Several of the sites featured in the 'Browse the Web' list have a number of bad/future links (including the Puzzle Pointer website). In these cases, please note that we do not own or operate any of the the sites linked in the 'Browse the Web' browser, and we cannot provide support for missing puzzles. Sorry!

  5. New York Times Classic puzzles no longer download!

    Unfortunately, the New York Times have not updated the free New York Times Classic puzzle since September 16th, 2012. Until they update their puzzle, we cannot download new New York Times Classic puzzles. Sorry!

  6. I'm a New York Times Home Delivery subscriber and I can no longer download NYT puzzles!

    In July 2012, New York Times removed Premium Crosswords access for those with Home Delivery subscriptions. However, if you add a New York Times Premium Crosswords Subscription to your Home Delivery account, you'll still be able to download puzzles via Crosswords.

  7. I subscribed to the New York Times crosswords via iTunes and/or the 'NYTimes Crosswords' iOS/Android app, but my credentials do not work in Crosswords!

    Unfortunately, subscribing to crosswords via iTunes and/or the 'NYTimes Crosswords' only allows you to access those puzzles from within the 'NYTimes Crosswords' app. You must have a New York Times Premium Crosswords Subscription in order to access New York Times puzzles within Crosswords.

  8. I'm a New York Times Digital Subscriber and I can't download NYT puzzles via Crosswords!

    Unfortunately your New York Times Digital Subscription does not allow you access Premium Crosswords via the New York Times website, so your credentials will not work in Crosswords. Sorry!

  9. I'm a New York Times Reader user and can no longer download NYT puzzles!

    The New York Times no longer allows Reader users to access the Premium Crosswords area, so your credentials will no longer work in Crosswords.

  10. What happened to the Washington Post TV?

    The Washington Post TV is no longer being published, however, older Washington Post TV Puzzler puzzles are still available via the puzzle archive.

  11. Tulsa World puzzles have offset clues/I no longer receive Tulsa World puzzles!

    Tulsa World was experiencing a number of problems with their prior crossword provider, including a clue offset issue that caused grid alignment problems with the second half of their puzzles. They've since switched puzzle providers, and we're currently unable to download their puzzles. Our apologies for the inconvenience!

  12. Where did the Philadelphia Inquirer puzzles go?

    At the request of the puzzle author we have removed their puzzles from Crosswords. Our apologies for the inconvenience!

  13. Where did the Wall Street Journal puzzles go?

    Unfortunately the Wall Street Journal has requested that we remove their puzzles from Crosswords. However, they are still available weekly at http://www.fleetingimage.com/wij/xyzzy/11-wsj.html and can be imported via the Puzzle Calendar (the '+' button on the Puzzle List screen) > 'Browse the Web'. Our apologies for the inconvenience!

  14. I no longer receive the Globe & Mail!

    Unfortunately the Globe & Mail has requested that we remove their puzzles from Crosswords, so we can no longer support them within Crosswords. Sorry!

  15. Where did the Houston Chronicle puzzles go?

    The Houston Chronicle has changed providers and now features Sheffer and Premier puzzles. If you're looking for CrosSynergy puzzles and are running Crosswords on an Android or iOS device, you can download them by tapping on the '+' button while viewing the puzzle list,

  16. I no longer receive Le Monde puzzles!

    Unfortunately it appears that Le Monde has discontinued publishing puzzles on their website as of January 4th, 2011. Consequently, Crosswords can no longer download puzzles for them. Sorry!

  17. Where did the Village Voice puzzles go?

    Village Voice puzzles are now known as 'Ink Well', as these puzzles no longer appear in the Village Voice.

  18. Where did the Guardian/Observer puzzles go?

    Unfortunately Guardian News & Media Ltd has requested that their puzzles no longer be made available from within Crosswords, and after July 18th, 2010 you will not be able to download any Guardian or Observer puzzles. Our apologies for the inconvenience!

  19. I no longer receive New York Sun puzzles!

    Unfortunately the New York Sun ceased publishing on September 30th, 2008. The last available puzzle was October 3rd, 2008.

  20. Why do I no longer receive Sydney Morning Herald puzzles?

    Unfortunately the Sydney Morning Herald has decided to only print their crosswords in the print edition of the paper – they’ll no longer be available online. Consequently, Crosswords for iPhone/iPad can no longer download new Sydney Morning Herald puzzles. However, old puzzles are currently still available via the archives.

  21. Why do I no longer receive The Herald Cryptic?

    Unfortunately The Herald has decided to move their puzzles behind a pay wall and, at this time, Crosswords does not support their authentication system. Consequently, Crosswords for iPhone/iPad can no longer download new Herald Cryptic puzzles.

  22. I can't view hints for today's Telegraph/People Magazine puzzle!

    Unfortunately the Telegraph doesn't publish hints for a puzzle until the next day's puzzle is available (and, in some Telegraph and People Magazine cases, even longer).

    However, Crosswords will automatically look for available hints every time you tap 'Get Today's Puzzles' and update the puzzle when they're available, so if your current puzzle is hint-less, try viewing it again the next time you download new puzzles.

Common Application Problems

  1. I can't download puzzles anymore!

    There is a known bug in Crosswords for Mac where, if your Mac has no internet connectivity when the app checks for new puzzles, you will not be able to download new puzzles after restoring connectivity. If this occurs, we suggest that you close and re-open the app, and you should be able to download new puzzles again. This bug will be fixed in the next version of Crosswords for Mac.

    If you're still unable to download new puzzles, you can reset Crosswords. Please note: This will delete all current puzzles from your app. To reset Crosswords for Mac, first close the app and then go to your Home folder and delete the following files:

    • ~/Library/Application Support/Crosswords/Crosswords.db
    • ~/Library/Preferences/com.standalone.crosswordsmac.plist

    Then re-open Crosswords, and you should be able to download puzzles again. If you're having problems resetting Crosswords, or are still unable to download puzzles, please contact us at info@standalone.com.

  2. I can't find how to enable syncing on my other devices!

    Right now, syncing is only available in Crosswords for iPhone/iPad and Mac. If you're using Crosswords for iPhone/iPad, please make sure you've upgraded to v.2.2, currently available in the App Store, and that you've upgraded to iOS 4.x as syncing will not work on iOS 3.x devices.

  3. I see multiple providers named 'Crossword Provider' in the puzzle list! Whose puzzles are these?

    If you see a puzzle labeled as from 'Crossword Provider', it means that your provider list is out of date. You can update it by tapping the Settings gear on the Puzzle List screen, then tapping 'Select Puzzle Providers'. Finally, pull-down on the screen to update the provider and puzzle list.

  4. Where's the pencil button?

    The pencil button is only available if you have 'Highlight Mistakes' turned 'OFF'. You can turn off 'Highlight Mistakes' via Preferences > Solving.

  5. My scores appear under 'With Hints', but I never use hints!

    We count a number of puzzle solving options as 'Hints'. Not only are solution reveals counted as a hint, but if you use 'Highlight Mistakes' and make an error, that too is counted as a hint. We also count using lookup tools like OneAcross.com or Google as a hint.