Black Ink Lets You Do Crossword Puzzles on Your Mac

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Black Ink from Red Sweater Software is an easy and intuitive way to play crossword puzzles from the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other sources.

Another fun series of crossword apps is from Stand Alone, Inc. They make Mac and iOS versions.

I use the Crosswords Classic on my phone. Cost is $10, but in my case it was free (via a promo code distributed by Starbucks at the time). They also have free versions, which I assume show ads.

They provide daily puzzles from a wide variety of US and international sources. You can also (via in-app purchase) subscribe to additional sources if you like.

I used Stand Alone’s crossword app starting with my Samsung flip phone and then bought it again when I got an iPhone. It was probably my most used application, until they dropped support for auto-downloading New York Times puzzles. Now I hardly ever use it, but it’s still a nice app for doing crosswords on iOS.

Black Ink looks like a great program and Red Sweater is definitely an indie developer worth supporting. But it’s hard to picture myself sitting in front of a Mac to do a crossword puzzle. I guess it would make more sense with a MacBook, but I don’t have one anymore. I have an iMac at home and use an iPad on the road. This would be great on an iPad, especially with the floating keyboard.

I love using Black Ink on my MacBook Pro and solve one or two crosswords each day. The key commands are intuitive and I love that I can use autocheck to let me know when I’ve got it wrong. Today I even accidentally discovered yet another way to jump to a particular clue which will suit my style of solving very well indeed. I used to do a jigsaw a day, but for the last few months I’ve replaced that with a crossword a day. I know the developer’s working on bringing BI to iOS, but for now, it’s a must-have on my Mac.

Yes, but… When it comes to NYTimes Xwords, puzzle solving at the Web site, works well, allowing rebus inputs. Most important for some solvers is that you can compete with yourself on streaks (solves with no reveals allowed). Until a week ago I had a streak of 360 going until after a long weekend night I forgot to solve the next day. What benefit do these apps have over the Times Xword site? And do their unassisted solves count towards streaks?

The title just got an image in my head of a person using a slim permeant black ink pen doing the crossword by writing on the screen. Sort like the secretary using white out on her screen years ago. Actually how about just a piece of clear plastic over the screen to do the crossword puzzle?

If your screen is glass, you could use a dry-erase marker. But don’t try that if your display is plastic!

Still using old( v 2.3.1, 2014, 64-bit) Across Lite on my wife’s MacBook Air, on Mojave, mostly to print the NYT Xwords, so as to solve them the old-fashioned way. Other than that Across Lite seems to have vanished, just wondering how/why is Black Ink different or better, especially at its price?

I’d buy this app if it was on the iPad, but I’ve never yet done crosswords on my desktop and I can’t imagine I ever will.

The Puzzle Society ( is the best option for many crossword puzzles and other games. While NY Times isn’t on this site, the LA Times is, plus others. For $19.95 a year.

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That was Connie’s thought too…although I don’t think she put it in the review. The program itself was pretty good but she uses her iPad for just about everything and her 2013(?) MBA gets used maybe once a week.