New York Times is pulling its crosswords from third-party apps for reasons

Black Ink Mac Screenshot
Black Ink Mac Screenshot (Image credit: Red Sweater)

What you need to know

  • The New York Times has announced that it will no longer be making its crosswords available in downloadable .puz format.
  • People will have to use the New York Times' own crossword app to solve puzzles from August 10.

The New York Times has announced that it will stop making its crosswords available as .puz files from August 10, forcing everyone to use its own app if they want to continue solving the puzzles.

Currently, the NYT makes its files available so that people can use them with any third-party app that supports the .puz format. When that changes, the official NYT crossword app will be the only option. The move was announced out of the blue yesterday. The reason? It'll make it easier for crossword editors, apparently.

Starting Aug. 10, we will no longer support crossword play on Across Lite. This means we won't provide downloadable .puz files for use on that platform. You can play the NYT crossword on our Crossword App and on desktop and mobile web.

As Six Colors' Jason Snell points out, this is more than an irritation for people. For some, it could be a huge accessibility problem, too. Third-party apps have more robust accessibility features than the NYT app, something that will impact people directly from August 10.

While there are Mac accessibility features to help out where possible — and the same goes for iPhones and iPads — the options made available by apps can be vital.

We can only hope that the NYT reconsiders the move before August 10 rolls around.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.