Get a clue!
Posted by: Carolyn Mulac
Crossword puzzle dictionaries are a staple in most reference collections. Two of the most popular are the Random House Webster's Crossword Puzzle Dictionary (Random House Reference, 2006) and The American Heritage Crossword Puzzle Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin, 2003). As helpful as they are, they don't always have the answer to every cruciverbalist's query.
OneAcross.com is the go-to web site for crossword puzzle help. Based on a computer program created at Duke University in 1998, the OneAcross search engine analyzes both the clue and the word pattern. Just enter a clue and either a word or answer length pattern and there's a 98% chance that you'll find just the word you need.
There are also a number of blogs devoted to solving crossword puzzles. The doyenne of newspaper crossword puzzles is, of course, the Great GrayLady, and these blogs are dedicated to solving her puzzles: WEB's (William Ernest Butler's) New York Times Crossword Solution (http://www.nytcrossword.com), Rex Parker does the NY Times Crossword Puzzle (http://rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com) and The New York Times Crossword in Gothic (http://donaldsweblog.blogspot.com).
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, the L.A. Times Crossword Corner (http://crosswordcorner.blogspot.com), begun in 2008, supplies help for that puzzle as well as more than forty links to crossword sites and blogs.