If you’ve run out of puzzles to solve in Black Ink, or just want to try another style of puzzle, there are tons of options. Most puzzles are not distributed with a predictable URL pattern that Black Ink can automate the downloading of within the app, but you can still download and open files from a variety of sources.
Black Ink works with any puzzle in the “Across Lite” format, whose file names typically end with “.puz”. After downloading a “.puz” file to your Mac, just double-click the icon to open it in Black Ink. Puzzle files received via email can be opened in the same way.
Here are links to a variety of puzzles and other resources for finding puzzles on the web:
New York Times Premium. Considered by many to be the gold standard of American crossword puzzles. If you already subscribe to the Times, you may have free access to these files. If you don’t, you can sign up for an annual subscription. You’ll get instant access to the daily puzzles, which range in difficulty from easiest on Monday to hardest on Saturday. Subscribers also get access to a huge archive of over 2,000 puzzles from the weeks and years gone by!
- American Values Club. Ben Tausig’s premium reincarnation of the Onion AV Club crossword. Puzzles arrive once a week and can be easily opened for solving with Black Ink.
Brendan Emmett Quigley. Brendan publishes puzzles of his own creation several times a week.
Just click the links that he has labeled “Across Lite” next to the puzzle name.
- Fireball Crosswords. Premium puzzles from Peter Gordon, formerly of the New York Sun. Delivered by email for an annual fee.
- Grids These Days. Original puzzles by Paolo Pasco.
- The Inkubator. Crossword puzzles by women — cis women, trans women, and woman-aligned constructors. Delivered by email for an annual fee.
- MacNamara’s Band. Weekly puzzle from Fred Piscop, and access to dozens of archived puzzles from previous weeks.
- Rossword Puzzles. Weekly puzzle by Ross Trudea, delivered by email every Sunday.
UK-Style Cryptic Puzzles
- Ashley L V Smith. Click the “Download File” link next to files with a “.puz” in the filename.
Private Eye Cryptic. Look for cryptic crossword puzzles released here
in Across Lite format.
Crossword Fiend. Amy Reynaldo’s list of puzzles organized by
day of the week. Just click on the “Lite” icon for a version that can be solved with Black Ink.
Will Johnston’s Puzzle Links. An expansive list of puzzles,
many of which are solvable in Black Ink. Some of these puzzles have ceased publishing, though.
- Wordplay: the NYT Crossword Blog. Check out the “Blogroll” section of the site to see a list of links to puzzles and other resources.
- If you know of other puzzles available in the Aross Lite (.puz) format, drop us a line to suggest that we list it here. If you have a favorite newspaper or indie constructor whose puzzles are not available in “Across Lite” format, ask them to consider supporting the format!