NYT Offers Fun Online Student Crosswords

Education aficionados and news junkies alike can benefit from 'The New York Times' education blog The Learning Network, which offers daily lesson plans and other classroom material based on Times stories. Among the features found on The Learning Network are engaging bi-weekly crossword puzzles meant to test the knowledge of students in middle school and up.

online crossword educational crossword new york times

Put Your Education to the Test

Though in existence since 1998, the website The Learning Network (TLN) was relaunched as a New York Times (NYT) blog in October 2009. Targeted towards students aged 13 and up, as well as their teachers and parents, TLN provides lesson plans directly related to NYT stories, as well as interactive student forums, vocabulary and history trivia and more. In total, over 3,000 educational resources can be found on the site. Among the most fun are 180 student-targeted crossword puzzles.

Published bi-weekly, these puzzles are edited by noted NYT puzzlemaster Will Shortz. Each fits into one of 14 categories, divided into subjects of common study in middle and high school classes, such as civics, language arts and technology. Of all the categories, 'science' has the most puzzles, at a whopping 32.

Fun for Everyone

TLN puzzles are meant to be completed by students and their families, so their difficulty level is considerably less than that of the typical NYT fare. Students who are stuck on a particular question can click a button on each Flash-run puzzle to reveal a specific letter, a whole word or even to solve the entire thing (although, don't jump the gun too quickly on that - where's the fun?). If users don't want to complete the puzzles online, they can also print out text versions straight from the NYT site.

In keeping with their educational bent, each puzzle page also offers links to further web reading about the knowledge being tested. For instance, if you were to click on the American History puzzle labeled 'Independence Day,' TLN would helpfully link you to an annotated version of the Declaration of Independence. Meanwhile, the Fine Arts puzzle 'On Broadway' sends you to a site with live theater showtimes, tickets and news.

Itching to try some of these puzzles for yourself? Here are links to a few sure to test your knowledge:

Looking for more puzzles to test your wits? Check out these free online games.

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