What’s the Best Way to Crossword: Pen, Pencil, or Digital?

Matt Gaffney
Rebecca Tulis
Rebecca Tulis

Pen or pencil? In pre-Web days, that was the question crossword solvers asked one another.

Now, in the era of the Internet, it's a different question: paper or digital?

There are pros and cons for both. Paper gives you a better view of the grid and clues, which is admittedly less of an issue with smaller-sized puzzles like the Daily Beast's; you can make notes on the page as you solve, like ticking off clue numbers once you have their answers; and it feels old-school and relaxing, reducing your screen time today by a couple of percentage points.

But with digital, it’s a faster solve (top speed-solvers regularly solve much faster digitally than on paper), convenient (don't need a printer), and environmentally-friendly (one less sheet of paper out there).

Of course, it comes down to personal preference, so if you haven't printed a puzzle out in a while, give it a shot. The Daily Beast's puzzles are printable (just hit "Print" in the puzzle's upper-right), and you might find you dig going non-digital, at least occasionally. And you can always access the digital-only functions if you need them by jumping back online (Reveal Letter/Word/Grid, Check Letter/Word/Grid, etc.).

Paper or digital, and if paper, pen or pencil? Tell us how you solve by tweeting it to #beastxword.

Play today’s puzzle and sign up for our weekly crossword newsletter on the bottom of the puzzle page.


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