Crosswords are challenging, but they're also a fun activity that keeps your mind sharp. There's a crossword puzzle for everyone. From simple freeform crosswords for children to the most challenging newspaper puzzles, you have many options for quality puzzles at every level.
There are a number of websites available to get your daily dose of crossword clues. They're all free and include the popular American-style grids, daunting cryptic crosswords, and a few that are perfect if you're studying a second language. All of these puzzles can be played online and some can be printed out as well.
01 of 08
Themed Crosswords for Kids
Themed crossword puzzles are perfect for kids because all the clues focus on a central subject. These easy puzzles can help build their vocabulary and problem-solving skills. The level of difficulty is perfect for young children.
Crosswords with holiday themes are very popular. Kids love the holidays and all the fun stuff that comes with them, so it's only natural that they enjoy puzzles associated with them. Whether you're looking for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Valentine's Day, there are fun crosswords you'll want to print out for the kids in your life.
02 of 08
Easy Crossword Puzzles
For adults and younger people who don't have much experience with crosswords, it's best to start out with easy ones. Crosswords challenge your memory and quick thinking skills. It's a unique way of thinking that takes a bit of training.
Boatload Puzzles offers thousands of novice-level crossword puzzles that can test your skills before moving onto the bigger challenges. They're free and easy-to-solve in an American-style 13 x 13 grid.
The puzzles also use common words that exist in the basic vocabulary of most people, so you don't need to be a human dictionary to figure them out. They're clued in such a way that anyone who's new to crossword solving should have no trouble arriving at the solution. Yet, if you get stuck, the computer can help you out.
03 of 08
L.A. Times Daily Crossword
If you're like most cruciverbalists, you enjoy solving a new crossword puzzle every day. Luckily, there are many places to find them and the websites for daily newspapers are among the best.
With the L.A. Times' Daily Crossword, you can explore almost two weeks of archived daily crosswords. The website also offers a variety of crosswords, including jumble, Sheffer, Penny Dell, and Thomas Joseph for different skill levels and abilities. They have some fun word games and puzzles for kids as well.
04 of 08
USA Today Daily Crossword
Check back each day to be challenged by the crossword offered in USA Today. Choose regular mode if you'd like to get hints and be notified of mistakes. Expert mode is for puzzlers who want to go it alone and have complete confidence in their clue-solving skills. The website also offers a number of other free games that will keep your mind sharp.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
The Washington Post Daily Crossword
Known for having some of the best crossword puzzles, there's no need to wait for your copy of The Washington Post to play. The archive has almost two weeks of puzzles available and it's an easy to use online interface that includes a timer. If you prefer the old pencil and paper method, it's really simple to print out these puzzles.
06 of 08
AARP Crossword Expert
Hours of fun await you with this online crossword puzzle resource. The AARP website offers both a daily crossword and Crossword Expert games for avid puzzlers, with over 1,000 puzzles to solve.
The puzzles are challenging, but not too hard that you'll be stumped right away. It's very easy to navigate and the interface is clutter-free. Better yet, if you create an account, you can track your scores and compete against others in the community.
07 of 08
Cryptic Crossword Puzzles
Popular in Britain and Australia, cryptic crossword puzzles include diabolical clues that can present a challenge to any crossword puzzle solver. In these crosswords, each clue is a word puzzle in and of itself. The clues consist of two parts and use wordplay such as anagrams, charades, container words, reversals, deletions, double definitions, hidden words, homophones, or palindromes.
Ready to try your hand at these challenging word puzzles? The Guardian offers a daily cryptic crossword on their website. You can explore previous puzzles or one of their other crosswords as well.
08 of 08
Foreign Language Crossword Puzzles
Finally, for those whose mother tongue is something other than English or those learning a second language, there's a challenging crossword puzzle for you. These free crossword games are also good vocabulary builders for language students.
What is nice about these online puzzles is that you can use a tool such as Google Translate to transform the page into English. Use that to read directions and get a feel for the puzzle if you're not very fluent yet. The translating tool won't affect the puzzle itself. Plus, you have to remember to type the words in the language given or the answer's wrong.
- Mots-Croisés: French crosswords are not only in a different language, but they also change the grid. If you want to test your French, try a daily mots-croisés puzzle from LCI, a TV station in France.
- Crucigramas: El Pais is Spain's most-read newspaper and their website offers a daily crucigrama. This Spanish version of the crossword is fun and definitely a challenge, no matter how fluent you are.
- Kreuzworträtsel: How's your German? Put it to the test by playing the daily Kreuzworträtsel from Hamburg's evening newspaper, Hamburger Abendblatts. It's a very interesting grid that's a puzzle in itself.