Dead tree solving - eco edition! 
Best of both worlds - paper and pencil/pen solving, but rather than curled up with the newspaper, you're curled up with your tablet/iPad/Android! Write, even draw, in the grid, directly on the screen. 

Perfect for rebus puzzles, like this one from a recent Thursday NYTimes puzzle. Use a stylus, for the feel of really writing, or just use your fingertip - it is remarkably easy and is your real writing... I filled this one out using my finger - the stylus is just there for show. (The rebus was MAN - as in TAXMAN at 54D...) If you would like to try it out, click on "About Me" on this page and send me an email.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Handwriting- finally, a reason to own an iPad

In spite of many friends and colleagues sporting sleek & shiny iPads, I really could think of no good reason to own a tablet myself.
Until now...with my spanking new Google Nexus 7 tablet, I am happy as a clam, doing puzzles the old-fashioned way - writing and doodling directly into the grid.  Only I use my tablet.

It feels totally natural, and so much nicer than hunting and pecking on a faux keyboard.  You can use a stylus or not - believe it or not, using your finger works really well.  Even lumberjack puzzle-spouse can use his finger.
I use both - if I have the stylus handy, I write with it.  I found a nice one with a smaller, tapered nib than most - it is so much like using a pen!
But often, I don't even remember to look for the stylus - I just pick up the Nexus and get started.
(Works on any iPad, Kindle Fire, tablets like Google Nexus 7, Samsung, even Windows Surface tablet!)
See above for pics.  I will try and post a video of me solving at some point.

P.S. - Erasing is fun - makes you feel better about your mistakes, cause it's so easy to erase!)


  1. You may finally have pushed me over the brink I've been teetering on for years - to buy (for me) an iPad. I've been wanting one for photographic reasons - great touch screen editing software....but now I can rationalize it by saying I will become a Crossworder, too! ;-)

  2. I have been using the Crucimetrics App for IPad for a week now, and really enjoy the ease of entry without resorting to my wretched typing skills.
    I have done crosswords in pencil, pen, using Across Lite on my computer, on my Palm Pilot, Smart phone, and finally the iPad. As I said, my typing skills leave a lot to be desired, so the beauty of this program is the simplicity of the entry of the answers.
    My first attempt at entering the answers was reminiscent of a Kindergartner’s penmanship, but by the 2nd puzzle I had figured out that I could improve the neatness a lot by using the actual crossword grid as a guide. I have evolved to the point, in a weeks’ time, to where I don’t need to use the grid except for the pesky “X”.
    It is very easy to change directions of the answers with a simple tap, and erasing is even easier by just long pressing a square and sliding your finger along the letters you want to erase.
    I feel fortunate to be able to try this program, and look forward to using this system as my system for solving puzzles for a long time because it makes it so much more fun!

  3. Jon - thanks for the feedback. It's great to get that kind of validation. We definitely agree that it is more satisfying to write than to type. And just think of all the trees we're saving!

  4. How do I get the app? An app store search under Crucimetrics brings up nothing.

  5. Happy New Year, Michael, and thanks for your interest. I sent you an email - hopefully it didn't wind up in your spam box.

    Prior to launching this in the App or iTunes stores, we are making this available to early adopters in exchange for a donation at your discretion.

    We encourage everyone who loves crosswords to try it out and give us our feedback, to make it even better when it's fully prime-time-ready!

  6. I've just purchased a new iPad, stylus, and NY Times crossword puzzle app subscription but cannot enter my handwritten answers on the grid. How are you doing it? I can't puzzle it out!