Crosswords aren’t everyone’s thing, but if you like them the chance to get the Guardian quick and cryptic puzzles Monday to Friday and the quick also on Saturday might be just the fix you need.
The Guardian crosswords have a great reputation and they’re rightly popular. But not everyone has access to the newspaper every day. Now thanks to a new Android app, the Guardian crosswords are, quite literally, at your fingertips.
Downloading new crosswords is a doddle – you just hit the refresh button at the top of the screen and today’s puzzles come flying over the air at you. Just tap one in the list to get going with it.
The crossword list tells you how much you’ve completed of each one on a sliding bar as well as letting you know how long you’ve spent on each puzzle. We aren’t sure we want to know we’ve spent three hours on today’s cryptic so far, to be honest. (Joke. We do the cryptic in ten minutes. Er. Not.)
The screen, even on our 4-inch Android smartphone, is a bit squeezed, showing the crossword grid well enough but only having room for a couple of lines of clues, so you have to do quite a bit of scrolling to get around, and that makes things tedious at times.
Still, when you know an answer, you tap at the clue and the space it goes in gets highlighted. Tap the clue again and the keyboard pops up for you to type the answer in, so that’s all easy enough.
There’s a share facility that lets you send a message to someone to ask for help. This is a bit hit and miss. Messages are preformatted with the clue and the one we chose as a test SMS was more than 160 characters long . It got truncated so that half the clue was missing, which isn’t really very helpful. Clearly a little work needs to be done on this bit of the app.
If asking a friend feels like it will take too long, you can cheat and look up an answer. Not that we would ever contemplate such a thing. Obviously.
One point to note. The Guardian says this app is free for a trial period and that there will be a charge after this. There’s no indication of how long the trial period will last or what the charge will be.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Guardian Crosswords pretty much does what it says on the tin. You’ll need a larger screened handset to get the best from it.