Online Puzzles

Written by Devin Flanigan
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The New York Times crossword has long been a rite of passage for inquisitive and determined minds across the country. Since the early days of the Times, countless other papers have followed suit with puzzles and brain teasers designed to get the creative juices flowing as you sit down to your morning paper. It should not come as a surprise that the same trends have carried over to the Web.

The best online puzzles tend to provide an eclectic mix of old forms and new approaches to a number of traditional brain twisters. Whether you like crosswords, jumbles, "wacky wordies" or chess stumpers, chances are you will find some great daily entries if you check the right site. The best ones even carry such challenging material alongside the news of the day, meaning you can entertain and educate your brain at once.

Puzzles and Portals

Most of us by now have heard of the major online portals such as Yahoo and MSN. Although these major sources tend to do a fairly good job of aggregating news, their countless corporate ties ensure that you may not be getting all the stories you care to see. That's why a number of independent portals have increasingly begun carving out niches designed to support and present more distinct and independent voices.

The good news is that many of these portals now make use of some of the same content traditional newspapers have relied upon for decades. Whether that means sports, informed opinion columns, or hilarious comic strips, readers should be able to satisfy their daily curiosities every morning without surfing the entire Internet. The best online puzzles may rightfully be thought of as a mental warm-up for the challenges of the day ahead.

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