I never knew I wanted online co-op in a crossword app, but The New Yorker has added the feature to its online puzzles. Turns out, it’s a really great way to solve a puzzle with a partner.
To start co-solving, you’ll first need to open up one of the New Yorker’s crosswords (here is today’s), click the “Partner Mode” text on the toolbar at the top of the crossword, and then login or make a free account with The New Yorker. Once you’re logged in and you click that “Partner Mode” text, you’ll see a prompt with a button to copy a link to the crossword that you can send to a friend. When your friend clicks or taps the link, you’ll both be able to work on the crossword puzzle together. (That “Partner Mode” text will swap to “Co-Solving” once your friend is in the crossword.)
From there, you’ll each be able to click or tap around to solve the puzzle. The row or column that matches the clue you’re looking at will be highlighted in blue, while the row or column your friend is looking at will be highlighted in green. As each of you fills in answers, those will show up on the other person’s screen almost immediately.
I had a lot of fun working on today’s puzzle on my computer with my wife, who was on her phone. The co-solving allowed us to each focus on different clues, and there were a few times where one of us would fill in a clue and the other would jump in to fill out another one because we saw something we had missed before.
I could definitely see us doing another puzzle together again — though it’s worth noting that The New Yorker will count a crossword as one of your limited number of free articles for a month, so there will be a limit to the number of puzzles you can do unless you’re a subscriber.
If you’re looking for other ideas for games to play while you’re stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, check out The Verge’s list here.