Search for USA TODAY crossword answers

5 Hardest Crossword Puzzles for You to Test Your Skill on

What feels better - opening up a new puzzle and completing it within 10 minutes, or finally getting the final word on a puzzle that’s taken you over a week to complete?

Most likely, you get more satisfaction from the harder crossword puzzles. They’re more challenging, and thus, they feel better to complete.

Here are the 5 hardest crossword puzzles available online - if you complete these, you can consider yourself a crossword and vocabulary master who can solve the hardest clues from the best professional puzzle makers.

The New York Times, Sunday Edition

The crossword in the New York Times is hailed as the most difficult crossword in circulation. It’s important to note that not all versions of the New York Times are particularly difficult - only the Sunday ones. Monday crosswords are made for beginners, and they get progressively harder as you go through the week.

Although the New York Times is a paid subscription, meaning you’ll have to pay for the privilege of solving the Sunday puzzle, you can get a free month to see if it’s worth the money by clicking here.

Daily American Crossword

The Daily American Crossword is said to be “not too hard, not too easy”. Here’s the thing, though - the person saying that is the creator, who has been solving and creating puzzles for over two decades.

To the rest of us, the Daily American Crossword will be hard - no ifs, ands, or buts. You can access it by clicking here - it’s a daily crossword, meaning you can get your fix every morning if you’d like. 

Luckily, unlike the NYT, the Daily American Crossword is completely free to view and print.

Puzzles USA Today

Puzzles is USA Today trying to compete with the New York Times in having a difficult crossword for its readers to solve. In general, these crosswords aren’t quite as difficult, but users report that the clues are sometimes more obscure than those in the NYT.

Another bonus is that USA Today (surprisingly) uses fewer pop culture references, so if pop culture isn’t your thing, you might prefer these over the NYT. Click here to start playing. (Hard Setting)

There are a lot of popular online crossword sites, but in terms of difficult crossword sites, none are as popular as When you click the link, make sure to select the Hard setting from the left column - the Easy setting is mind-numbingly simple.

These crosswords are generated by a machine, so they won’t be as complex as the previous three will be, but they’ll definitely be as difficult. Users report “tearing their hair out” and “literally screaming” when trying to solve these...

AARP Expert

Finally, we’ll finish with AARP, one of the oldest and most reliable publishers of professional crosswords.

The expert crosswords here are aimed at the elderly crowd, meaning the clues will be based more around that demographic than they will be in a popular offering like the NYT Sunday edition.


That’s about it - the five hardest places to find crosswords, both online and offline. If you’re looking for a real challenge, scroll up, select one of the offerings, and start playing - complete one and you’ll get the ultimate sense of satisfaction. Good luck!


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