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The Ultimate Guide to Free Crossword Puzzle Apps

Yes, there are many excellent free crossword puzzle apps to choose from! As an avid puzzle fan myself, I‘ve tried out dozens of free crossword apps for both iPhone and Android. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share my top picks for the best free crossword puzzle apps, so you can enjoy challenging your brain on the go without spending a dime.

My Favorite Free Crossword Apps

Let‘s dive right in and look at some of my personal favorites when it comes to free crossword puzzle apps:

Crossword Light (iPhone) – With its simple design, over 1,000 free puzzles, and lack of disruptive ads, Crossword Light is a top choice. I really appreciate the daily updated puzzles and the ability to track my stats over time.

Wordscapes (Android) – If you‘re looking for a unique twist on crosswords, Wordscapes combines crossword-style clues with fun word search-style gameplay. I‘ve been hooked on it for months!

Mini Crossword (iPhone/Android) – For a quick daily crossword fix, the free Mini Crossword puzzles from The New York Times Crossword app are perfect. At just 5×5 squares, they‘re fast and easy to complete.

Word Crossy (Android) – With over 1,000 free crossword, anagram, and word search puzzles, Word Crossy always keeps things interesting. I love the variety and one-minute time limit on each puzzle!

Crossword With Friends (iPhone/Android) – Playing multiplayer crossword duels against friends or random opponents in this app adds an extra level of challenge and motivation.

Features to Look for in the Best Free Crossword Apps

Beyond just having fun, free crossword apps can actually help improve your mental skills. Here are some key features I look for:

No Ads or Other Interruptions

Ads during gameplay can be super disruptive to concentration and problem solving. I prefer crossword apps like Crossword Light that offer completely ad-free solving.

Daily Updated Puzzles

New puzzles to solve each day give your brain an engaging workout. Mini Crossword and Crossword Light both provide fresh content daily.

Extensive Library of Puzzles

A large pool of puzzle options gives you more variety to choose from. Wordscapes has thousands of puzzles in their bank, so you never repeat or run out.

Multiple Difficulty Options

Easy to expert level puzzles allow you to challenge yourself appropriately. Penny Dell Crosswords ingeniously color codes puzzle levels, so you can pick your desired difficulty.

Performance Tracking

Monitoring your stats over time – number completed, accuracy, streaks – helps motivate improvement. Apps like Crossword Light make it easy to track your solving performance.

Cloud Syncing Across Devices

The ability to pick up where you left off on one device to seamlessly continue the puzzle on another device is useful. Redstone Crosswords enables simple cloud syncing.

The Cognitive Benefits of Crossword Puzzles

Now that you know what features to look for, let‘s explore some of the great cognitive benefits you can gain from regularly playing crossword puzzles:

Enhanced Vocabulary

Exposing yourself to new words through context clues helps expand your vocabulary over time. One study found crossword players outperformed control groups in vocabulary tests.

Improved Memory

Retrieving words from your memory while solving crosswords helps strengthen your recall ability. Older adults who played puzzles showed memory improvement versus non-puzzle players.

Increased Mental Flexibility

Adapting your thinking to solve challenging clues enhances mental flexibility. Crosswords require quickly shifting between searching for answers and assessing new clues.

Delayed Cognitive Decline

Keeping your brain active appears to help stave off cognitive decline. A 6-year study found people who regularly played crosswords displayed slower cognitive decline.

Longer Attention Span

The focused concentration required during lengthy solving sessions helps increase attention span. One study showed crossword players had longer attention spans than the control group.

So by picking a great free crossword app, you can easily give your brain a workout and boost cognitive skills anytime, anywhere!

Choosing the Right App for Your Skill Level

With hundreds of free crossword apps to choose from, it can help to consider your skill level when selecting one:


If you‘re new to crosswords, look for apps with features like:

  • Hints – Get help figuring out tricky clues
  • Revealing letters – Displays some answer letters automatically
  • Multiple guess attempts – Allows guessing again if initial guess is wrong

Good apps for beginners include Wordplay and Crossword Puzzle Free. Start with easy puzzles and work up from there.


For intermediate players, useful app features include:

  • Medium difficulty puzzles – Steady progression in challenge level
  • Time tracking – Can monitor if speed is improving
  • Milestone tracking – Seeing streaks/number completed helps motivation

Great intermediate apps are Redstone Crosswords and Crosswords With Friends.


Expert solvers will appreciate apps with:

  • Hard puzzles – Allows you to really flex your mental muscles
  • Complex themes – Creatively designed puzzles require deeper thinking
  • No hints – You‘ll rely purely on your solving skills
  • Statistics tracking – Monitoring performance growth through stats

Top apps for advanced players include Penny Dell Crosswords and the NYT Crossword (Monday-Saturday).

The Top 10 Free Crossword Apps

Here is my personal ranking of the top 10 best free crossword apps available right now:

#1 – Crossword Light

With a simple design, 1,000+ puzzles, and constant new content, Crossword Light earns the #1 spot for iPhone. Stats tracking provides added replay motivation.

#2 – Wordscapes

Uniquely fusing crossword and word search games, Wordscapes offers seemingly endless puzzles for free. Its engaging spin makes it a top Android option.

#3 – Mini Crossword

The bite-sized free daily puzzles from the NYT Crossword app are perfect when you just want a quick solving fix.

#4 – Crosswords With Friends

If you crave head-to-head competition, Crosswords With Friends delivers with free crossword battles versus friends or random opponents.

#5 – Word Crossy

With over 1,000 free crossword, anagram, and word search puzzles, Word Crossy provides stellar variety and challenge.

#6 – Crossword Puzzle Free

Boasting over 100,000 puzzles sorted by difficulty, this app is crossword heaven for Android users. Daily challenges add replay incentive.

#7 – Wordplay

Beyond just crosswords, Wordplay has free word searches, cryptograms, and acrostics. Hints and animated themes add flair.

#8 – Penny Dell Crosswords

Crafted by pros, Penny Dell Crosswords offers a plethora of free crossword options spanning easy to hard with handy visual difficulty coding.

#9 – Redstone Crosswords

Redstone Crosswords impresses with elegant interface design, hundreds of free puzzles, and easy cloud syncing across devices.

#10 – Crossword Jam

No cell data required makes Crossword Jam a great offline option. Word hints and unlimited time allow you to solve at your own pace.

Tips for Solving Crosswords on Mobile

Here are some handy tips for smoothly solving crosswords on your smartphone:

  • Tap clues instead of across/down – Makes navigation easier
  • Use text size options – Enlarge clues/grid to prevent eyestrain
  • Favor apps with horizontal solving – Easier to solve on a small screen
  • Get a stylus – Precise tapping for filling in answers
  • Adjust brightness – Reduce screen glare that can impede focus
  • Take breaks – Short breaks help mental fatigue from intense concentration

With a bit of practice, you‘ll be solving seamlessly on mobile in no time!

The Final Verdict

So there you have it – the inside scoop on the impressive range of free crossword apps available today. No matter your skill level or platform, there are fantastic options to suit your preferences.

Personally, I think Crossword Light, Wordscapes, and Mini Crossword are the best starting points. They provide smooth, ad-free solving experiences packed with free, diversified content.

I hope this guide gave you some great new apps to check out. Now grab your smartphone and get solving! Your brain will thank you.