Irreverent Crosswords
March 4, 2016 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find (online, web playable) crossword puzzles like the ones that Buzzfeed was publishing up until recently?

This FPP introduced me to the Buzzfeed's crossword feature which debuted in the fall.

Most of the puzzles were moderately difficult (but still totally doable), and the clues were fun (sometimes even sweary) and had lots of fun modern pop culture references that I could still get even though I'm pretty clueless about current pop music and TV shows. The themes were clever and usually not too frustrating (we'll forgive them this one that had technical difficulties).

Apparently, buzzfeed has switched from soliciting contributions to just having a staffer do an embarrassingly simple 9x9 puzzle everyday. (I'm going to hazard a guess that this has to do with the feedback that most of the puzzles got complaining about them being "too hard"... they really weren't.) I mean, the puzzles are still fun, but I'd like a little bit more a challenge... so I'm looking elsewhere.

Now, I respect Will Shortz like any other self-respecting NPR nerd, but the new generation has to have a presence somewhere... right? Where are my fun (preferably daily) puzzles at?
posted by sparklemotion to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Brendan Emmett Quigley!

(I share your sadness at the new tiny, easy Buzzfeed puzzles!)
posted by in a dark glassly at 12:38 PM on March 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seconding BEQ.

American Values Club is where all the cool kids are. Not free, but a subscription gets you access to the archive.

Matt Jones's weekly puzzle is also pretty good. PDF and .puz (AcrossLite) files are regularly posted here.
posted by theodolite at 1:55 PM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

The Onion used to have awesome crosswords that were not quite so pop culture filled but similar in tone. When they cancelled the feature, the Crosswords Editor and a bunch of contributors (including the aforementioned Brendan Emmett Quigley) ran a Kickstarter and started the American Values Club crossword subscription.
posted by yeahlikethat at 1:56 PM on March 4, 2016

Oh, and Peter Gordon's Fireball Crossword (also subscription) is very good and tends to be less sedate than the NYT. It's marketed as diabolically hard but IMO they're usually around Friday level, except for the odd stunt puzzle (like the annual vwllss crsswrd).

Also check out Matt Gaffney.
posted by theodolite at 2:00 PM on March 4, 2016

Seconding American Values Club. Ben Tausig, the editor, used to do crosswords for the Onion. (He is also the nicest guy ever, but that's somewhat beside the point).
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 2:02 PM on March 4, 2016

Oh just saw you wanted web playable, which American Values (and most of these subscription ones, it appears) is not. There are free Android and iOS apps that support .puz files though, if that helps.
posted by yeahlikethat at 2:05 PM on March 4, 2016

Thanks for the suggestions all, keep 'em coming.

As far as web-playability goes, a lazy google search brought up at least this HTML5 player that will render a puzzle for you in browser from a .puz file, so any of the .puz publishers are fine too.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:50 PM on March 4, 2016 [1 favorite]

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