Cross words over New York Times puzzle change

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A person filling out a crossword puzzleImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The New York Times crossword puzzle is currently syndicated to more than 300 other newspapers

The digital version of The New York Times (NYT) daily crossword puzzle will no longer be available in third-party apps from next week.

Instead the crosswords will only be accessible digitally through the publication's own website or app.

They have been available in the Across Lite format, which allows anyone with a NYT subscription to download and open them in an app of their choice.

Crossword fans have questioned the move, describing it as "maddening".

Across Lite is a free program that uses the .puz format, and enables users to create and open the puzzles on a PC or Mac.

The NYT's Games subscription - which includes the popular crossword - is separate from the newspaper and costs $1.25 a week, or $5 a month.

One of the advantages of subscribing is that users can download any of the crosswords that have featured in the paper since 1993, and the change also applies to this service.

The decision to end support for Across Lite has infuriated some of the publication's followers.

Crossword champion Dan Freyer claimed on Twitter that he believed the move was nothing more than a "cash grab".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Critics have labelled the move a 'cash grab'

"This is maddening. This change benefits none of the millions of online #NYTXW solvers who pay an annual subscription for access to the crosswords."

He continued: "It is a pure cash grab, removing the convenience that has been part of digital crosswords since the mid-'90s."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

In response, the NYT's games editor, Everdeen Mason, said the decision was made for "editorial reasons".

She said in a tweet she wanted to build something which her staff could control, adding: "It takes a lot of time, and I'm confident this is the best move for my team."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter