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Top Answers

Rank Answer
1. ERA
3. ORE
4. ALE
5. ERE
6. ELI
8. ONE
9. ALI
10. ATE


Many puzzle constructors and editors have used the Cruciverb Crossword Database for years. With a Gold Membership, so can you!





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 about the database


- Join Now!

Crossword Scraper

Some crossword puzzle sites no longer offer puzzles in Across Lite (.puz) format. Many solvers do not like the Javascript option. What to do? Look no further than the Crossword Scraper browser extension, available for both Chrome and Firefox.

The extension allows you to pull up a Javascript page, then click on the extension's icon (it's a small, black "down arrow" icon). You are then given a choice of saving the puzzle in .puz, .jpz or .pdf formats. Brilliant!

Find out more about the Crossword Scraper extension here:

Crossword Scraper for Chrome

Crossword Scraper for Firefox


- Kevin

NYT update

(from Will Shortz)


We haven't updated our NYT crossword inventory in a while, because it's largely unchanged from before. Each weekday (Monday to Saturday) has 9 to 12 months of puzzles. That's a little more than we like to have on hand, but not by a ridiculous amount.
  • We're still light on Sundays -- just 15 on file at the moment.
  • Our response rate on submissions is now under three months. Our goal is to reduce this to 4-6 weeks
  • Almost all contributors are now using the submissions portal we introduced last year, and we encourage that. 
  • As before, we welcome submissions from everyone -- especially from contributors in underrepresented groups.

Nancy Salomon

Hello cru,

I have very sad news. Nancy Salomon passed away yesterday. Her sister informed me today.

Nancy was a very special person and important member of our crossword community. She has mentored countless up-and-coming crossword constructors. She contributed "sage advice" articles for She was a giver and had much respect from all of us. She will be missed.

We never met in person but I can tell you that I feel a deep loss.  I will remember her generous spirit and words of wisdom for the rest of my life.



Hub Crosswords now available

(from Brendan Emmett Quigley)

Brendan here from Crooked Crosswords, Emily and Henry are around here somewhere. I just wanted to write to you to say that after a couple years of inactivity, we are back, baby. We are rising from the grave Lazarus-style. Under a brand new name, too: The Hub Crossword. The only thing that's unchanged is the same style of puzzlin' you expect from us. Fun, Sunday-sized, weekly bursts of joy. In case you forgot what they were like, I've included two puzzles to remind you of what you've been missing.

Now, I know you were with us before, and if you are interested in rejoining, we've set up a Patreon page here. Three levels of subscriber bases, each with it's own perks and what not. It's pretty easy to reinstate. And, I am happy to announce that if you sign up today, the remainder of April's Hub Crosswords will be on the house. That's right, you will not be charged until May 1.

First puzzle drops in exactly one week. April 12. Hope to see you soon.

-B (on behalf of E & H) of The Hub Crossword.

Crossword Subscriptions


It's nice to have the Today's Puzzles links on the right-hand column, but let's not forget about the subscription-based puzzles out there! If you want quality puzzles by some of the best in the business, look no further. The subscription fees are next-to-nothing, so please give your support and subscribe!


Name Editor/Constructor Delivery Day Size Cost Action
Hub Crosswords Cox, Rathvon & Quigley  Sunday 21x21 From $3 per month Subscribe
Crossword Nation Liz Gorski Tuesday 15x15 $19.99 per year  Subscribe
Matt's Crossword Contest Matt Gaffney Friday 15x15 From $3 per month Subscribe
American Values Club Ben Tausig Thursday 15x15

One year - $20.00

Two years - $36.00

Fireball Crosswords Peter Gordon Thursday 15x15 $26.00 per year (45 puzzles) Subscribe
Classic Canadian Crosswords Barb Olson Wednesday 15x15 $19.99 per year Subscribe

NYT Inventory Update

(from Will Shortz)

Once a year for the past few years, Joel and I have updated the Times' crossword inventory for Cruciverb subscribers. In case you're curious:

Monday: 44 accepted puzzles (from 31 different contributors)
Tuesday: 44 (34)
Wednesday: 41 (26)
Thursday: 34 (28)
Friday: 40 (31)
Saturday: 34 (22)
Sunday: 15 (14)

The total amount of our inventory is about the same as last year's, but now it's more evenly distributed by day of the week. That's good. Except for Sunday, though, it's still a little larger than we'd like. We'll continue to try to reduce the wait for publication.


Huge Increases for NYT Puzzles!

From Will Shortz (Dec. 18, 2018)

It's always a pleasure to bear good news, and here's some very good news:

Starting January 1 the New York Times will be increasing its crossword contributor rates again -- and significantly so.

For a constructor's first to tenth crosswords published in the paper, the new rates will be:
  • Daily -- $500 (from $300)
  • Sunday -- $1,500 (from $1,000)

Beginning with the constructor's 11th crossword, the new rates will be:

  • Daily -- $750 (from $450)
  • Sunday -- $2,250 (from $1,200)

As I've written before, the purpose of the two-tiered scale is to reward the most reliable contributors and to encourage them to contribute more often. It's also a recognition that, generally speaking, puzzles from regular contributors require less time and effort editorially.

The new rates for Sunday variety puzzles are as follows:
  • Cryptics, Puns & Anagrams, novelties -- $600
  • Diagramlesses -- $500

Along with Joel, Sam, and everyone on the Times' games team, I'd like to thank all the Times' crossword contributors, who have helped make our puzzles so successful.

--Will Shortz

What Makes a Good Themeless Puzzle

A CRUCIVERB-L subscriber asked: What makes a good themeless puzzle? Put another way, what will increase the acceptance chances of a themeless puzzle these days?

Brad Wilber, a prolific and skilled constructor of themeless puzzles, responds below:

It depends somewhat on your desired market for your themeless, but keep in mind just how competitive the themeless market is and how selective editors can be. In the last few years, I have often said to myself, "Give them NO reason to say "no' to this."

--Listen to your gut if you have any misgivings at all about a clunky partial or a semi-obscure abbreviation - I feel safe in saying that most themeless specialists have had something declined on the basis of one or two SHORT entries an editor had no interest in using/justifying, even if the longer entries/stacks they facilitated seemed to throw off triumphant sparks. Remember the creative-writing adage of "kill your darlings." Many times people post queries on here looking for reassurance -- or a veto -- about a given entry; just my opinion, but in most cases, you should already be working on alternate fill if you have any qualms at all.

--Check to make sure the percentage of proper names in ... Read More


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