I inherited the crossword puzzle gene from my parents. In the evening after the day had worn down, they would sit together and methodically wade through a crossword puzzle.
Naturally, they got me involved and one of my passions is figuring out tough crossword puzzles—on my Mac. I have no doubt that such puzzles help to keep your mind sharp and alert. And frustrated. My Mac to the rescue.
Crossword Puzzles: The Dying Art
Whether from a newspaper, magazine, or a book of puzzles, crossword puzzle solving seems to be a dying art. It’s easy to say that mostly old people are into crossword puzzles, but not younger generations.
Why? Time. Solving puzzles requires time and effort.
And, vocabulary. I’m not too old yet, but I’m convinced that those older than me often have a better vocabulary than those younger than me.
In the digital age of Macs, PCs, and iPhones, does anybody really need a puzzle so archaic as a crossword puzzle?
Brain Exercise, Frustrations, Your Mac
Without question a digital version of a crossword puzzle is not quite as handy as the one in newspapers, magazines, or books. There are advantages to using your Mac to solve crossword puzzles.
I use Black Ink on my Mac to stroke my puzzle habit and ease my frustrations. Think of it as a digital crossword puzzle. No ink smudges. No holes in the paper from poor erase jobs.
Clues are fast and easy when you’re online. Download free puzzles from online sites, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. The digital interface is elegant, simple, and faithfully reproduces the print versions.
My parents belong to a more patient generation. They could sit and work their way through crossword puzzles for hours, seldom reaching for a dictionary. I wish I had that patience and diligence. Instead, I use my Mac to help me get through tougher word combinations.
Blank Ink offers clues, which helps to ease my frustrations. The interface can be resized to match your Mac’s screen (mostly), handy for smaller Mac notebooks. You can even place multiple letters in a square (I hate that; seriously, it’s like a trick word).
Of course, puzzles can be printed out on paper, which, in some cases may be handy.
Unlike my parents, my preference is a digital version (on my Mac and a few crossword puzzle apps on my iPhone). I love clues and hints and research material—all of which are handy on my Mac.
It seems as if there are more crossword puzzle apps for the iPhone than for the Mac (many Mac apps haven’t been updated in years), which may indicate that there’s not much of a market for brain stimulating games that date from the 19th century.
If you don’t mind the typical black and white crossword puzzle, and think you’re ready for the New York Times versions, Black Ink can be fun, mentally stimulating, and easier than print versions, comes with a price tag that indicates the publishers are proud of what they’ve created.