This is the first in what will likely be a huge sequence of posts providing a walkthrough of some things on Across Lite. I aim to provide some guidance regarding using the program and creating PUZ files, since this site is aimed at newer solvers that are discovering the online side of crosswords.

If you look at my page of crossword links, you’ll notice I have direct links to .PUZ files and links to many other sites that will offer .PUZ files. The rest of this post will relay my observations regarding why I’ve chosen to use Across Lite.

So What Are PUZ Files?
The PUZ file is a generally closed format file which contains the full information for a specific crossword puzzle. Given the general ease of publishing crosswords in PUZ format, you will find many places that will offer PUZ files. This includes newspaper sources and online subscription sources, as well as constructors who have graciously offered their puzzles for free on their websites.

So What Do I Do With Them?
There are a handful of options, but the usual option mentioned for solving or printing out the puzzles is a program called Across Lite that is offered by Literate Software for Windows, Mac, and the iPad.

Why would I want to consider Across Lite instead of web applets?
If you look around, there are a large number of web solving programs in use. Unfortunately, they all seem to have different rules for operation.

You can see this in terms of the controls required, red-letter items entered in error, whether previously entered things are skipped over, and other factors. You can configure each one of the web applets, but what if an option you want isn’t available (i.e. NO red letters!) and you don’t think to before you play each puzzle? Not to mention, all the ads that are on some sites choke out your ability to solve the puzzle.

Then so many of them have proven to be unreliable from day-to-day. For example, I’ve had many web applets that wouldn’t print a puzzle at all, or would print it wrong.

And what if you want to solve a puzzle in a place that doesn’t have Wi-Fi?

Across Lite resides on your computer, along with any PUZ files you download. The settings you make stay, it does an excellent job in printing puzzles, and it provides a consistent offline interface for any PUZ file you obtain from anywhere.

Plus it’s free for download, along with a lot of puzzles people have created. So why not go for it?

Okay, so how do I download it?
Go here.

(Link To Next Post To Appear Here)


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