I like easy crosswords, personally. Part of that is because they’re simply the ones I can do, but I just don’t get the rush from banging my head against a really hard crossword for too long. Still, even I think some crosswords are too easy, and could use from some toughening up. Plus, some easy crosswords are kind of boring, in that they use the same entries and clues over and over. It would be nice to spice them up somehow.
Enter the Crossword Obfuscator. This little tool will take a .puz file of your choosing and make it significantly harder in one of several ways:
- Clue Sort. This takes the across and down clues and sorts them by their associated entry. This can make a hard puzzle next-to-impossible, and isn’t recommended for anything but the easiest puzzles and the most experienced solvers. Still, if you’re up for a challenge that’s out of the ordinary, you may want to give this one a shot.
- Downs-Only. Pretty self-explanatory; this one will just take the across clues and replace them with “–“. This makes the puzzle significantly harder, but generally not impossible. Why downs and not acrosses? Well, if the puzzle has a theme, it’s generally in the across clues, and those tend to be harder to get without helpful crossings from the downs. It also means that there are more down entries to choose from.
- Letter Shuffle. Yuo’ve pabblroy seen the tnhig wehre the wrods in a secetnne hvae teihr iierntor lterets sfuelhfd but it edns up bnieg rlebdaae awynay? So … that, but for the clues.
- Rhyme Time. In this mode, we take every common word in the clues of at least four letters, and we replace it with a rhyming word, where such a word is available.
- Turtle Power! This just straight-up replaces a bunch of words in clues (about a third) with the word “turtle.” Will you get things like [Turtle turtle] crossing [Turtle]? Yep. But hey, you rolls the dice, you takes your chances.
If these sound familiar, perhaps you’re familiar with the series of videos Tyler and I did where I had to solve a normal crossword and he had to do it under a ridiculous constraint. Among the videos we released were a Rhyme Time episode and a Turtle Power one. That latter one is probably my favorite of the whole series.