Joystuck

The New York Times Crosswords

Joystuck

The New York Times Crosswords

Majesco, $29.99

A year's subscription to The New York Times' online crossword puzzle runs you $39.95. For $29.99 you can get three years' worth of puzzles in the new Nintendo DS game The New York Times Crosswords.

If you're any sort of crossword fan – and if you're not, you're almost certainly not going to pick up this game – you know that The New York Times provides the best source material available. The good news is that Crosswords makes an almost perfect transition from puzzling over a folded newspaper to scratching entries into the DS's touch screen.

The game lets you pick up and play a random puzzle, work through a week's progression until you're ready to break the hint button during Saturday's stumbling block, or select a puzzle from any day between 2004 and 2006. You can also use the Wi-Fi capability to race through a puzzle against up to four friends or collaborate to solve it.

The handwriting recognition is almost spot-on, reading most of my chicken scratchings, and you can always type answers into the onscreen keyboard. The biggest drawback is that you can't view all the clues at once. You can only browse through one at a time by selecting the corresponding puzzle square. That might be fine for puzzle champions, but I like to pick an easy clue and start from there.

Even so, I've been starting each morning with a historic crossword, and I don't see myself going back to the paper for another three years.

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