‘The New York Times’ Is Accepting Crossword Puzzle Submissions

Try not to overdo it on the crosswordese, though.
Any guesses?
Any guesses? / Glow Images/Getty Images

Avid doers of The New York Times crossword now have the chance to be on the other side of the puzzle: Its editors are currently accepting public submissions.

Unsurprisingly, you don’t get a crossword puzzle into The New York Times without adhering to quite a few rules, some of which might not be self-evident even to people who do complete the Times crossword on a daily basis. You must, for instance, “Avoid uncommon abbreviations and partial phrases longer than five letters.” The example clue they give is “So ___,” wherein an acceptable answer would be “BE IT,” but not “IT GOES.”

Esoteric answers in general aren’t frowned upon, especially if you’re writing, say, a Sunday puzzle, but you should “never let two obscure words or names cross.” And if you think this will be the perfect chance for you to show off all the crosswordese (“answers that appear far more in crosswords than in real life”) you’ve learned from your long history of puzzling, think again. The Times advises you to keep those words “to a minimum.” Also, all answers should be at least three letters long.

You can’t have more than three puzzle submissions under consideration at a time, unless any of them are co-written with someone who’s never been published by the Times. And yes, this is a paid gig: Your first two published puzzles meant for Monday through Saturday will earn you $500 each, and the rate jumps to $750 after that. For Sunday puzzles, which are larger, it’s $1500 for the first two and $2250 for the third and on.

If you want to optimize your odds of getting published, the Times is currently on the hunt for more “Thursday and Sunday puzzles that don’t involve a rebus.” (A rebus is a square in which more than one letter is written.)

This is far from a comprehensive rundown of all the rules; you can find that (and submit your puzzles) on the Times website. Never created a crossword puzzle before? The Times has a handy guide to help you get started.

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