The New York Times brings its crossword to AR

"Shattered Crosswords" plays out differently from your typical word puzzle.

The New York Times

As easily one of the most popular daily puzzles in the world, you can play The New York Times crossword in the paper, online and on mobile devices. And now you can add augmented reality to that list as well. You’ll find the NYT’s new Shattered Crosswords game through the Effects tab of its Instagram account — the icon for the tab is located underneath an account’s Story highlights and before the grid of photos.

Shattered Crosswords plays out a bit differently from your standard crossword. You’ll need to shift your perspective to put it back together broken clues and work your way through the puzzle. If you’ve played a game like Polysphere, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re getting yourself into. You can play the game on both Android and iOS devices.

As TechCrunch points out, this isn’t the first time the Gray Lady has dabbled with augmented reality. In the fall, the company announced a partnership with Facebook to publish reporting to Instagram that takes advantage of the technology to tell stories in new ways. A recent one uses 3D graphics to show how masks trap coronavirus particles. Another highlights how bad air quality became during the California forest fires over the summer. As with the AR crossword puzzle, you can find these through the Effects tab on the publication’s Instagram page.

It’s safe to say Shattered Crosswords won’t become a cultural institution like the Sunday edition crossword puzzle. Most crossword mavens will find the game too simple and the interface on the finicky side. However, it’s an interesting technological experiment, and one worth checking out.

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