Best Crosswords for Beginners in 2023

If you are new to crossword puzzles but you have decided to dip in a toe, you’re in luck. There are a lot of easy puzzles available online for beginners. This will give you plenty of opportunities to practice until you feel confident enough to move on to more challenging crosswords. Here are a few pointers to get you started.

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle

Don’t be intimidated by the name. Since its launch for the crossword in 1942, the NY Times has captivated puzzlers of all ages and abilities. NY Times offers easy puzzles for beginners that can be solved on any device. The easy puzzles range from minis and midis to the easy Monday larger crossword. As you gain confidence, you can complete the other daily puzzles which gradually become more difficult as the week progresses. As a subscriber to the NY Times crossword, you can keep track of your solving stats and access a wide range of other word puzzles including Spelling Bee, Letter Boxed, and Wordle. Here are some of the best NY Times crosswords for beginners.

Mini Puzzles

The NY Times introduced the mini crossword in 2014. It’s great for beginners or anyone in the mood for a quick break. Minis all have the same format with a 5×5 square grid. They have around eight clues with solutions of three, four, and five letters. These puzzles are quick and easy to solve. The Mini also has a feature called leaderboards, where you and your friends can keep track of how quickly you solve each daily Mini puzzle.

Midi Puzzles

The NY Times Midi crossword is slightly bigger than the Mini. The grid is 9×9 squares with around 20 clues. This puzzle is generally quicker to solve than the daily puzzles and the clues range from easy to easy-medium. 

Monday Crossword

The NY Times crossword compilers like to break you into the week gently with an easy puzzle. The Monday Easy is a full-sized crossword with a 15×15 square grid. The puzzles are often themed to make them a little more fun and the clues are pretty straightforward. 

Solve as many of the Monday puzzles as you can to improve your word power and crossword sleuthing skills. When you’re ready for something a little more challenging, switch to the Tuesday crosswords. You’ll find the clues a little harder without being too taxing. When you’re ready for a real challenge, check out the Saturday puzzle, this is the hardest of the week. The Sunday crossword is a mid-week level puzzle only bigger.

Crossword Puzzles for Young People

Crossword puzzles are a great way for kids to increase their vocabulary and improve their spelling. Here are some online resources for kids’ crosswords:

Free Kids Crosswords Online

This puzzle tutorial offers free puzzles for elementary and middle school kids. All the puzzles are interactive and can be done online. Answers can be provided at the click of a button. This is a fun way for kids to practice language comprehension. 

Printable Crossword Puzzles for Kids

This is a great resource for teachers who want to provide their students with an entertaining way to learn new words. The website has a colorful collection of printable puzzles for students of all ages. Puzzles have themes including sports, toys, holidays, and baby animals.

Crossword For Kids Lite

Crossword for Kids Lite is an easy puzzle app designed for iPad. These puzzles are suitable for children ages 3-10 and students who are learning English as a foreign language. Each puzzle has picture clues and a color-coded system for help with letter placement. The lite version has 8 crosswords to try. You can also purchase the full version which has a total of 48 crosswords. Themes include clothes, food, animals, and colors.

Kid’s Crossword Puzzles 

Designed by NutGenix, this app is for the Android platform. It’s ideal for kids because there is a range of different levels available. The collection offers different levels of difficulty that are easy enough for kids of all ages. Themes include the body, transportation, kitchen, and pet animals. 

If you’re ready to jump in and try your first crossword puzzle, you might find the NY Times Beginner’s Luck Easy Crosswords a good place to start. The book contains 75 Extra Easy Monday puzzles designed especially for beginners. 

This pocket puzzler is easy to carry around with you and will provide hours of entertainment while helping you boost your brain power.

Tips For Beginning Puzzlers 

  • Solve the easy clues first: Try to figure out the three and four-letter solutions, this will give you hints to the longer answers.
  • Use a pencil (or auto-check): If you’re solving a crossword puzzle on paper, use a pencil so you can erase any incorrect answers as you go. If you are puzzling online or in an app, turn on the auto check. This will alert you if you fill in an incorrect answer.
  • Remember your grammar: Whatever part of speech the clue is in, the solution will follow. For example, if the clue is a verb, your answer will also be a verb. The same rule applies to singular words and plurals and also to tenses.
  • Look out for abbreviations: Remember, if the clue is an abbreviation, the answer will be too.
  • Use a dictionary: Don’t be shy about looking up what you don’t know. This will help increase your vocabulary and become better at solving crosswords.
  • Check your spelling: It’s easy to get frustrated if you can’t fit the answers in even when you’re sure they are correct. Check your spelling as you go. A slight error can throw the whole puzzle out of kilter.
  • Confirm your answers: If you’re not sure about a solution that you’ve penciled in, try to solve the interconnecting clues to see if you have the right letters in place.
  • Take your time: You shouldn’t rush a good crossword puzzle. The main part of the enjoyment isn’t finishing it but the actual process of figuring out the clues.

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