What Is the Best Crossword Solver?

Key Takeaways:

  • There are many excellent crossword solving apps and websites to choose from, each with different features and capabilities.
  • Top options like Crossword Solver by Havos, Redstone Crossword Solver, and Crossword Solver by LithiumApps provide huge databases of words and phrases along with advanced tools.
  • Consider factors like database size, specialty dictionaries, flexible interfaces, offline access, and frequency of updates when choosing a crossword solver.
  • Solvers that parse natural language clues, find multi-word answers, and offer multiple solving modes tend to provide the most powerful solving experiences.
  • Testing different crossword solvers yourself across various puzzles is the best way to determine which one fits your personal preferences and solving style.

With the popularity of crossword puzzles holding steady for over a century, passionate solvers are always seeking ways to improve their skills and solve puzzles more efficiently. While nothing can replace skill gained through experience, crossword solving aids provide useful assistance when stuck on a tricky clue.

As technology has advanced, electronic crossword solvers have likewise increased in sophistication. Today’s solvers leverage massive databases and clever interfaces to help unravel even obtuse clues and unfamiliar terms. Choosing the right solver comes down to finding the best match for your puzzle-solving needs and style.

This comprehensive guide will evaluate the top crossword solving aids available today. It will analyze their features and capabilities in depth to determine the optimal solvers for different situations. Read on to boost your puzzle prowess!

What Are the Key Criteria for the Best Crossword Solvers?

When examining crossword solvers, certain essential criteria determine how effective they will be:

Database Size and Quality

The foundation of any crossword solver is its database of words, phrases, names, and definitions. Larger databases allow for more possible solutions, especially for obscure terms. But size isn’t everything – a targeted dictionary with strong coverage of proper nouns can sometimes outperform a generic one. Updated databases with new vocabulary are also crucial.

Flexible Interfaces

Puzzles come in many shapes and sizes, so crossword solvers should accommodate different layouts and configurations. The ability to handle multi-word answers is also vital. Solvers with flexible interfaces that allow you to easily indicate unknown letters or lengths give you more options.

Clue Parsing Capabilities

Many solvers now go beyond just searching for words, but actually try to interpret clues written in natural language. This higher level of parsing allows the app to better match semantic meaning and solve incomplete clues.

Specialty Dictionaries and Features

Some solvers supplement their main dictionary with specialized ones like sports terms, brand names, or slang expressions. This allows them to better tackle themed puzzles. Unique features like anagram finders also enhance solving power.

Platform and Access

Solvers are available on the web, iOS, Android, and as standalone apps. Web access provides flexibility, while apps allow offline solving. Consider which platforms you use regularly when selecting a solver.

Ease of Use

Even the most robust solver is ineffective if it’s painful to use. Look for features like autotext fill-in, flexible interfaces, and clear results formatting to maximize usability.

With an eye on these key criteria, let’s survey some of the top crossword solving aids available in 2023 to identify the best of the best for every puzzler.

Crossword Solver by Havos: The Category Leader

One of the longest running and most full-featured crossword solvers is Crossword Solver by Havos. Available as a mobile app on iOS and Android, it leverages a massive dictionary of nearly 200,000 proper nouns alongside a comprehensive general vocabulary.

Some key advantages of Crossword Solver by Havos:

  • Huge database: Contains practically every word in the dictionary plus a plethora of names and places. Allows for solving extremely difficult puzzles.
  • Phrase matching: Recognizes multi-word answers and phrases for greater accuracy.
  • Filtering options: Lets you filter results by length, prefix, suffix, and more to narrow down possibilities.
  • Multiple solving modes: Choose between Rapid Fire, Cascade, type-to-filter, and more depending on your solving style.
  • List and grid views: View filtered results either as a list or gridded into a crossword layout for easy analysis.
  • Foreign language dictionaries: Includes definitions for French, Italian, Spanish, and German terms.

The dated interface looks a bit clumsy, but overall Crossword Solver by Havos still provides the deepest word database and some of the most flexible solving options around. For those tackling puzzles like the Sunday New York Times crossword, it offers an indispensable resource.

Redstone Crossword Solver: Best Crossword Experience

For a more polished mobile solving experience, Redstone Crossword Solver is a top choice. Though its dictionary doesn’t quite match the massive Havos one, it still contains over 250,000 entries and excels in many other areas.

Highlights of Redstone Crossword Solver:

  • Natural language parsing: Understands clues phrased in everyday sentences for more accurate solving.
  • Multiple word answers: Finds two word answers seamlessly as well as offering a two-word anagram finder.
  • Minimalist mobile design: The clean portrait and landscape modes make entering clues and viewing results a breeze.
  • Cloud sync: Syncs your progress across multiple devices automatically.
  • Handwriting recognition: Allows you to write directly on puzzles with your finger rather than typing.
  • Daily puzzles: Gives you access to a steady supply of new puzzles sourced from various publishers.

For its combination of an extensive database, intuitive interface, and robust features like clue parsing and handwriting recognition, Redstone Crossword Solver delivers an excellent solving experience. The natural language processing in particular makes it simple to use on the go.

Crossword Solver by LithiumApps: Top Newcomer

One of the best newcomers in mobile crossword solving apps is Crossword Solver by LithiumApps. Despite being relatively new, it has vaulted to prominence thanks to its solid feature set.

What Crossword Solver brings to the table:

  • 400,000 word database: Significantly larger than most competitors ensures you can solve challenging puzzles.
  • Anagram finder: Finds not just direct solutions, but jumbled anagrams as well.
  • Basic pattern matching: Allows you to specify known and unknown letters for greater accuracy.
  • Definition search: Looks up word definitions and parts of speech if you need extra context for tricky clues.
  • Audio pronunciation: Assists with unfamiliar words by providing audio recordings of their proper pronunciation.
  • Offline access: Contains the full database locally so no internet connection is required.

For a new app, Crossword Solver has an impressive vocabulary database along with handy extras like the audio pronunciation feature. Its intuitive interface and offline access make it a great portable option.

Crossword-Solver: Top Website for Enthusiasts

Many excellent crossword solving sites exist, but Crossword-Solver stands out as the most full-featured and tool-rich option. It offers a deep set of tools aimed directly at crossword enthusiasts looking to bring their skills to the next level.

Some of the advanced capabilities Crossword-Solver provides:

  • Crossword dictionary: Contains over 2 million terms with constant new additions, far surpassing apps.
  • Word finder: Finds words matching complex pattern criteria for filling in puzzles.
  • Word unscrambler: Helps solve anagrams and find all valid words within a set of letters.
  • Letter counter: Counts occurrences and points values of letters to aid strategic word selection.
  • Word lists: Extensive lists of prefixess, suffixes, compound words, and more to spur lateral thinking.
  • Strategy guides: Articles explain advanced solving strategies and tips to build skills.

For motivated solvers, the multitude of word lists and guides on Crossword-Solver provide an amazing set of resources to master the craft. And the expansive dictionary ensures no word is left undefined.

Dictionary.com: Quick and Convenient Online Solver

For a straightforward web-based crossword solver without the bells and whistles, Dictionary.com fits the bill nicely. It leverages the full Dictionary.com database along with some nice shortcuts.

Benefits of the Dictionary.com crossword solver:

  • Huge online dictionary: Over 2 million definitions across all fields ensures wide vocabulary coverage.
  • Convenient browser access: Easy to use the solver directly from any desktop without downloading an app.
  • Clean simple interface: Quickly enter your clue and search the dictionary for matches.
  • Matches partial words: Searches definitions even for incomplete words missing a letter or two.
  • Definition links: View the full definition easily by clicking matched words.

Sometimes you just need a quick solve without extra features cluttering things up. For those times, Dictionary.com offers an uncomplicated way to tap into a massive dictionary directly online.

Crossword Monkey: Unique Grid Fill Feature

Most online crossword solvers follow a straightforward search-based model. Crossword Monkey distinguishes itself by offering a true grid fill option, mimicking how the pros solve.

After entering your across and down clues, Crossword Monkey tries to fill the entire grid by:

  • Prioritizing frequently used letters: Considers common letters like E, R, S first when filling words.
  • Fitting word shapes: Favors words that fit the letter combinations available in the grid.
  • Matching clue lengths: Filters words by the exact number of letters needed for the clue.
  • Making multi-word phrases: Combines words into phrases where logically possible.

This unique approach delivers clues not based just on definitions, but also pattern matching and grid logic like a human solver. The grid fill feature really sets Crossword Monkey apart from other online solvers.

Which Crossword Solver is Right for You?

With so many excellent crossword solvers to choose from, how do you determine the right one for your needs? Here are some recommendations based on common solver profiles:

  • Casual solvers who enjoy puzzles just for fun may appreciate the quick convenience of Dictionary.com or Crossword Monkey.
  • Mobile users who like solving on the go often gravitate toward apps like Redstone Crossword Solver or Crossword Solver by LithiumApps for their offline access and optimization for smaller screens.
  • Experts tackling tricky high-level puzzles will want the unparalleled vocabulary breadth of Crossword Solver by Havos or the strategic tools on Crossword-Solver.
  • Competitive tournament players training for speed will prefer options like Redstone that allow rapid entry and have quick response times.
  • Confused beginners can benefit from the audio pronunciations and definitions in Crossword Solver by LithiumApps.

The best way to choose the right match is to experiment with different solvers across a range of puzzles, from easy to hard. Testing out features like clue parsing, filtering, and pattern matching will give you a feel for what works best for your personal solving style.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Crossword Solver

Once you’ve selected the best crossword solver for your needs, make sure you use it strategically to really boost your puzzle prowess:

  • Take time to fully learn your solver’s features – things like advanced filtering can help narrow options. Don’t just do basic word searches.
  • Solve by hand first before defaulting to your solver – use it as a last resort so your brain gets exercise!
  • For tough clues, input into multiple solvers to see different results and possibilities.
  • Pay attention to clues that involve wordplay or trivia and try to learn from them. Solvers may guess correctly anyway through brute force.
  • Check any answers in a regular dictionary to ensure questionable or obscure words are valid. Solvers aren’t foolproof!
  • Use your solver’s word lists and strategy guides if available to pick up knowledge that will help you in future puzzles.

With some disciplined practice aided by smart solver usage, your crossword skills are sure to grow by leaps and bounds!

The Future of Crossword Solving

Crossword solving technology continues advancing rapidly, opening exciting possibilities for the future:

  • Smarter natural language processing will allow typing in the full clue sentence for interpretation.
  • Image recognition will enable scanning puzzles with your camera to load them instantly.
  • Speech input will let you dictate clues out loud for hands-free solving.
  • Personalization using machine learning will tailor results based on your past solving history and strengths/weaknesses.
  • Social integration will facilitate sharing, collaborating on, and competing at puzzles with friends.
  • Interactive help via chatbots will provide on-demand support right within the solver app.

While the top crossword solvers today already feel almost magical, there are likely more transformative advances on the horizon!


For both casual solvers looking for occasional aid and competitive puzzlers hoping to level up their skills, today’s top crossword solving apps and websites are powerful tools. With extensive dictionaries, advanced interfaces, and useful specialty features, they can unravel even the most confounding clues.

Choosing the right solver means finding the best fit for your puzzle preferences, platform needs, and solving style. Apps like Redstone Crossword Solver deliver slick mobile experiences, while Crossword-Solver provides unparalleled resources for enthusiasts. Testing different options across various puzzles will help identify your ideal match.

Whichever solver you ultimately select, using it strategically along with sound solving fundamentals will send your skills soaring to new heights. The satisfying “aha!” moments will keep coming more frequently as you leverage the digitized power of crossword solving technology. Get solving today!


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