Crossword puzzles are ideal for people who love words, general knowledge, and testing their problem-solving skills.
We have the best selection of high-quality, free online crossword puzzles. We’ve got games for people who are looking for something quick and gentle, all the way up to options for players looking for more complex puzzles to solve.
And our games let you keep a monthly points score, so you can see how your performance is developing and challenge yourself to keep on improving.
So, what are you waiting for? Join tens of thousands of people now and play our collection of online crossword puzzles right away! No registration required, though you can gain notoriety on leaderboards if you decide to create an unlimited access account.
How to Play Crossword Puzzles In 3 Steps
Crossword puzzles are the perfect way to put your vocabulary skills and logical thinking to the test. They ask you to reach into your word bank, decipher clues, and build connections between letters.
If you’re new to crossword puzzles or looking to try your first crossword puzzle then it’s important to spend a bit of time learning how to play them.
By following the three steps below you can start, enjoy, and complete online crossword puzzles in no time:
- Understand how crossword puzzles work
- Develop mastery over the clues of daily crossword puzzles, such as those found here on Arkadium.com or those in the New York Times pages
- Learn the different types of new crossword puzzles
Tips For Playing Online Crossword Puzzles
Playing our free online crossword puzzles is very easy. Start by choosing your favorite puzzle (or puzzles, for some crossword-heads). Then, choose which crossword you would like to play.
Some of our crossword puzzles are updated daily, while others are altered weekly. After you make a selection, you can begin filling in the puzzle! Simply read the clues and then type the answers into the crossword puzzle.
If you want, you can go to the menu and customize your preferences. For example, you can choose to skip boxes that are already full when typing in new answers.
Additionally, you can reveal the answers for the whole crossword puzzle, individual words, or even certain letters.
How Crossword Puzzles Work
Whether you’re trying a newspaper poster in print, solving a printable crossword puzzle, or testing yourself against a free online crossword puzzle, each of these word games works in the same basic way - you answer questions to make words.
The puzzle board is a rectangular grid, made up of multiple row and column sets made of clean white squares and black shaded squares. Your goal is to fill in the white boxes by solving the questions and filling in phrases that the game creators have laid out. Questions typically cover a wide range of subjects, including science and technology, arts, travel, politics, food and culture. Solving crossword puzzles, regardless of difficulty, is best practiced in either a newspaper, such as the New York Times, or an app on a digital device with a large screen, such as your desktop computer or an iPad or Android tablet.
An important thing to note is that the squares and the queries are numbered. This is so you can match them up on your crossword puzzles.
What Clues Are Used In Crossword Puzzles?
The fun of online crossword puzzles is solving clues. But it’s not very enjoyable if you’re unsure of how the clues work. Crossword puzzles can also be a great way to develop your language skills.
The simplest way to master them is by understanding that they fall into two categories - direct crossword clues and indirect crossword clues.
This is how you achieve mastery of both types of daily puzzle clues:
Direct Crossword Puzzle Clues
These are simple, straightforward teasers that ask you to solve direct questions. There are a few common types of these clues:
- Abbreviations: you need to fill in the blank with an abbreviated word
- Colloquial answers: convert a phrase into a colloquial term
- Synonyms: provide an alternative word
Indirect Crossword Puzzle Clues
These are clues that are less obvious and use wordplay. This means that one of the words may have multiple meanings, for example, “crane” can mean:
- The name of animals, or a bird that's common in eastern history
- A mechanical object
- Moving your neck
What Are the Different Types of Crossword Puzzles?
Some crossword puzzles mix things up by using themes that expand on the standard Q&A format. These are the main types our members expect to see when playing web-based crossword puzzles:
- Cryptic: clues aren’t literal and instead offer hints for to how to complete them
- Blocked grids: the classic crossword puzzles with grids and squares for words
- Barred grids: word endings and divisions are marked by bars rather than grids
- Codeword: you get no clues and each letter of the alphabet is replaced by a number
- Rebus: you can use a letter (or symbol) more than once
- Compound: answers need to follow or precede other answers to make sense
- Quote: famous quotes separated into different parts
- Addition: puzzles that need you to add a letter, letters, or words to words/phrases
- Subtraction: you remove a letter, letters, or words to makes words/phrases
- Tribute: puzzles that celebrate a person or event
- Synonym: all the answers are synonyms of a single/phrase
Each of these puzzle types gives support by offering feedback as you approach the end of the puzzle. If you're unable to fit a solution into the puzzle because the letters don't align with your choice words, then you may need to access and reevaluate your answers.
3 Top Tips For How to Improve Your Crossword Skills
Dan Feyer holds the record for the most wins at the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Feyer has a great claim to the "Finest crossword puzzle player in the world" title and he has three top tips that you can use when you’re playing crossword puzzles on our website:
Tip Number 1: Pick the Right Crossword Puzzles
There are a huge number of crossword puzzles you can choose from, ranging from introductory challenges all the way up to expert-level tests. That includes crisscross puzzles and specialized puzzle types and custom formats that are only available via a subscription.
Dan Feyer says that you need to select the ones that are right for you. So, check through our list of free online crossword puzzles and find the options you’re comfortable with.
Tip Number 2: Ask For Help When You’re Stuck On a Crossword Puzzle
One of Dan Feyer’s best pieces of advice is that you shouldn’t feel ashamed if you don’t know the answer to a crossword puzzle.
He recommends that each time you’re stuck you should use an unlimited access resource such as Google or Wikipedia to help you find answers.
Tip Number 3: Test Yourself by Trying Harder Crossword Puzzles
You don’t get to be the best you can be at crossword puzzles by sticking to the same standard every time you play one. Follow Dan Feyer’s recommendation and test yourself.
Testing your crossword puzzle skills doesn’t necessarily mean more complex options.
One way you can make your puzzles harder and develop your skills is by setting yourself a time limit for completing them. You could also set yourself a points total target.
This is something you can do with our free online crossword puzzles because they give you a monthly points score. So, if you want to improve your skills then start one now and decide how many points you want to achieve this month!
Are Crosswords Good For The Brain?
Crossword puzzles are good for your brain’s health because they help improve your memory and reasoning skills. The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times puzzles are staples when people envision the icon of daily crossword puzzling.
A joint 2017 study by King's College London and the University of Exeter Medical School suggests people who play crossword puzzles are more likely to have a sharper brain in later life.
The researchers stated that their findings reveal a link between word puzzles, like crosswords, and memory and thinking skills, but we can’t say definitively that regular puzzling improves these skills.
Who Invented Crossword Puzzles?
The world’s first known crossword puzzle was created by British-born journalist Arthur Wynne and published in the New York World newspaper in 1913. His puzzle featured in the “Fun” section of the paper.
Wynne called his creation a Word-Cross Puzzle and it was inspired by a range of word puzzles. What made his contribution unique was the introduction of vertical and horizontal lines that gave people boxes to input letters.
Wynne expanded on his Word-Cross Puzzle by adding black squares to separate words into columns and rows.
Try Our Free Online Crossword Puzzles
With fourteen different types of free online crossword puzzles to choose from, our archives have a word game for everyone. Some of our crossword puzzles update every day, while some update every Sunday.
If you are looking for a crossword puzzle that is quick and fun, check out our new puzzles, such as the Daily Mini Crossword or our Daily Crossword. Both puzzles are perfect for challenging your mind and deliver a new crossword challenge each and every day.
We also offer larger, more challenging crosswords of varying difficulties - from easy to hard so you can find your perfect crossword match based on your personal preferences.
All of our free crossword puzzles online are continuously updated, so check back every day for fresh, new clues and exciting puzzles! You can play our games anywhere, anytime — no download required!
Good luck to you and happy solving!