The New York Times has redesigned its online Crosswords section ( NYTimes.com/crosswords) to feature streamlined navigation and a cleaner user interface. The Times is marking the occasion with a new video series featuring acclaimed Times Crossword’s editor Will Shortz on NYTimes.com. In the videos, Shortz shares an inside look on his personal puzzle collection, outlines how puzzles are made and offers best practices on how to solve. It is the first time Shortz has done a video interview with The Times. Built in HTML5, this is The Times’s first crosswords redesign in over a decade. The goal of the redesign is to make the puzzle itself the centerpiece of the section. Gameplay will occur within the browser, allowing players to access puzzles without having to leave NYTimes.com. Other new features include:
Clean and simplified layout
One entry point with various options on how to solve
Redesigned personalized scorecard
New bonus puzzles
Redesigned leaderboard statistics with top 10 puzzlers
Cleaner color scheme of blue, gray and white
Over time, The Times will introduce additional features, including competitive play, social media integration, user profiles and mobile app enhancements. As part of the relaunch, The Times is offering new users one month free access to Premium Crosswords. Times digital and home delivery subscribers can access Premium Crosswords for $3.97/month or $19.97/year. The price for non-subscribers is $6.95/month or $39.95/year. Paid Crossword subscribers will receive access to the daily crossword as it appears in the paper, Sunday Magazine puzzles, bonus puzzles and the archive of more than 5,000 puzzles with solutions. They can also engage in timed competitive play or play with a friend, with access to leaderboard statistics.