Crossword Links

This page contains links to places on the internet where crosswords can be downloaded for use in Crossword Maestro. Remember that your software also includes around fifty free crosswords in the Examples directory.

Downloadable crosswords

These are crosswords that can be loaded directly into your software - either with the File->Open command or the File->Import command. i.e. They are either in native .CMO file format or in Across Lite format.

  • thinks.com contains many more Webber cryptic crosswords. At the time of writing, there are 76 of them. All free. The first 20 are already included in the Examples directory of your software. Download the Across Lite format (there's a link under the Java version) and then use the Import command off the File menu in Crossword Maestro to load them.
  • Squizz's Cryptic Crosswords A swiss constructor whose puzzles are downloadable in Across Lite format. Load using the using the Import command).
  • Cruciverb-L The web-site of the discussion group has a large archive of American style and cryptic puzzles which can be downloaded in Across Lite format.
  • Phil Clayton's Crosswords are available in Crossword Maestro format. The early ones are supplied with your Crossword Maestro software (with an out-of-date URL).
  • The New York Times provides a daily American style non-cryptic crossword in Across Lite format. It also provides many cryptic crosswords. There is a monthly subscription fee but paying it gives you access to a huge number of crosswords.

HTML and other crosswords

These sites contain crosswords shown on screen in HTML and the HTML->CM application can convert most of them into .CMO format (select the "printable version" if they have a Java crossword).Once converted into a .CMO file it can imported straight into Crossword Maestro using File->Open.

A common reason why it fails is if the crossword contains linked clues (i.e. clues where the answer is spread across more than one space in the grid). If you see that the crossword has such clues you can sometimes get around this by editing the HTML file you saved out so that every clue has a length description that matches its space (and only its space) in the grid. If the HTML->CM application then successfully converts it you can edit the clues back again from within Crossword Maestro.

If the HTML->CM application cannot convert the web page, you can save a lot of time typing by cutting and pasting individual clues from the screen of your browser. (Drag the mouse to highlight the clue text, type Control-C to copy the text to the clipboard, Select the "unclued" text in Crossword Maestro's clue editor and then type Control-V to replace it with the clue from the crossword.) With a bit of practice at this and good use of the symmetry and standard-pattern options when entering the grid, these crosswords can be entered in less than two minutes.

Alternatively, you can just use Crossword Maestro in "orphan clue" mode and simply type in the clues you want its opinion on, one by one.

  • The Daily Telegraph A very high quality site with an excellent daily cryptic crossword. They now make a small charge for access to the crossword. At the time of writing this crossword usually converts with the HTML->CM application.
  • The London Times The cryptic crossword in the Times and several other quality crosswords are available for every day for a small annual charge. The Times ryptic crossword is widely regarded as the most challenging of the british broadsheet puzzles (especially later in the week). t the time of writing this crossword converts with the HTML->CM application.
  • The Guardian This UK national newspaper has its crossword online. omething at the top of the page for this crossword confuses the the HTML->CM application. This is easily overcome by loading the page into Notepad and erasing the top few pages of stuff unrelated to the clues. This truncated file will usually convert. The Guardian has also followed the path of the other major broadsheets in charging for access to its crosswords.
  • The Independent Another UK national newspaper. Select the printable crossword to convert with the HTML->CM application.
  • The Herald This website of the Scottish paper has its crossword online. (Free).
  • Private Eye The crossword in the British satirical magazine Private Eye is available free on the web. Furthermore it has a 100 (one hundred pounds sterling) first prize and you can email the answer in without buying the magazine!

    A few warnings though: First, the setter of the Private Eye crossword used to make subtle last-minute changes to the grid which means it sometimes isn't quite symmetric. By all means use a symmetry option to enter the grid but double check every block before starting to enter the clues. If you enter clues and then discover the grid is wrong, you will have to re-enter the clues after changing it.

    A second point is that extremely vulgar answers and clues are very common in this puzzle (unlike in broadsheets where they are disallowed). The magazine is satirical and the setter delights in finding such clues.

    Thirdly, the setter uses "/" as a separator of clue numbers for linked clues which isn't supported by version 1.1 of Crossword Maestro: replace them with ampersands ("&") and everything will be fine. Finally, many of the answers and substitutions are idiosyncratic to the magazine and Britain e.g. "Brenda" (their joke name for the Queen) = "ER" (Elizabeth Regina). Non-British solvers may have special difficulty with some of the clues.

    Having said all that, it can be a really fun crossword.

  • The Globe and Mail A Canadian newspaper with a daily cryptic crossword.
  • The Melbourne Age.

Suggestions for further links to sources of puzzles should be made to william@genius2000.com

  • Crossword Maestro home page
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  • Genius 2000 Software home page