New York Times Widgetizes Its Crossword Puzzle

The New York Times has created a free variation of its popular online crossword puzzle called Classic Crossword Widget, available as a Google home page personalization feature.

The widget will update each Monday with a rotating selection from the Times' Classic Crossword Archive of more than 1,000 puzzles and will introduce some enhanced functionality, including new ways to manipulate the individual puzzle cells to reveal letters.

There is no separate sponsor for the launch product, but a link under the word "advertisement" takes the user back to the banner advertisement/sponsorship that is currently running on the Games page section front of NYtimes.com, according to spokesperson Stacy Green.

"Our puzzles have a huge following," said Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and general manager of NYTimes.com. "Now our crossword fans can engage with our puzzles right on their Google home page."

The widget was designed and powered by LabPixies.

The widget could also serve as a sampling device encouraging players to trade up to the Web-based New York Times puzzle at www.nytimes.com/crosswords. That is a subscription product priced at $39.95/year and $6.95/month and provides access to the same crossword that appears in the day's print newspaper.

The Times declined to reveal how many people are paid crossword subscribers.

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