Black Ink 2 4+

Solve crosswords in style

Red Sweater Software

    • 3.1 • 41 Ratings
    • Free
    • Offers In-App Purchases



Solve Crossword Puzzles in Style: free to download and use, with optional paid upgrade for premium features. Try all the premium features for 14 days with a free in-app-trial "purchase." NOTE: You will only be charged if you choose to unlock premium features permanently.

Everything you need to download, solve, and print puzzles on your Mac.

Compatible with macOS 10.12 and later, including macOS Catalina.

Black Ink is free to use indefinitely with some premium features disabled. Unlock Black Ink's premium features with a one-time purchase to enjoy these additional features:

- Check your answers with most puzzles
- Race the clock with our puzzle timer
- Print book-quality copies of puzzles for solving on paper

Black Ink opens and solves puzzles that use the Across Lite format, which are distributed by several free and paid sources in the United States, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, American Values Club, and others.

What’s New

Version 2.2.8

This update includes the following fixes for:

- Improvements to NYT authentication process
- Calendar picker favors the current/latest puzzle date if a new puzzle has arrived since last opening
- Calendar picker allows selection of valid puzzle days from the next/previous month

Version 2.2.7 mitigated issues that caused NYT to think Black Ink users are "robots."

Version 2.2.6 addresed an issue in 2.2.5 that broke the "Mark incorrect answers as you enter them" option.

Version 2.2.5 included these changes:

- Prevent a superflous error message when canceling Across Lite export
- Clicking the circle in the calendar interface now jumps to the current day
- Fix a bug that prevented Edit -> Copy from working in the Puzzle Notes popover
- Fix a bug that prevented the Puzzle Notes popover from staying open while detached from window
- Answers with diacritical marks (like Ñ) are now considered correct even if diacritical is not included

Version 2.2.4 featured these changes:

- Puzzle Notes popover is now keyboard navigable
- Refinements to focused square coloring
- Shift-arrow keystroke now changes focused word without changing the current direction
- Fix issues with text encoding of Across Lite puzzles with unicode characters
- Puzzle picker now supports left arrow key to navigate from calendar view back to puzzle list
- Check for Updates now includes a link to Version History when there are no new updates
- Fix some subtle issues with determining the valid dates for downloading puzzles

Version 2.2, the last major feature update, included these changes:

* New calendar-based puzzle browser for easier download of historical puzzles *
* Preferences now includes an option to run in Dark Mode, Light Mode, or System default *
* New York Times Enhancements *
- Support for shaded squares (previously they were shown as circles)
- Support for italics, bold, and special characters in clue text

* Other fixes and enhancements *
- The app now prompts to open another puzzle after finishing with one
- When solving, the delete key now moves to previous word if first letter is already blank
- Improved performance opening next puzzle for sources that have a large number of previously downloaded puzzles
- Improved drawing of checked/revealed/incorrect symbols especially on non-Retina displays
- Puzzle answers are now considered correct even if they don't match upper/lower case
- Fix a crashing bug that could occur if right-clicking on the preview puzzle in Preferences
- Improved the appearance of answer letters in cells, particular longer "Special Entry" answers
- Elapsed solving time is now saved with the puzzle when closing/re-opening
- The Copy Clue menu item no longer includes the clue number in the copied text
- Fix a crash that could occur when entering special answers in some puzzles
- Accessibility: puzzle chooser now hides puzzle source icons from VoiceOver

If you have a minute, please leave a rating or review in the App Store. It means a lot.
Questions or concerns about the app? Get in touch at Thank you!

Ratings and Reviews

3.1 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

Jsupv1437~~ ,

Could not load puzzles

Attempted to use during the trial but after less than a week I could not even load puzzles anymore.

Developer Response ,

Hi - sorry about this. Unfortunately as the developer of this app I don't have any control over the availability of the puzzles at the sources I include in the app. The primary purpose of the app is to provide a nice solving utility for puzzles, however you choose to obtain them. I know that is a bit confusing and can be disappointing when the pre-configured puzzle sources don't always work.

kgview ,

A fun crossword app

I've used this app nearly every day since the 2.0 update in support of my crossword hobby. It works with the puzzles that I get in my e-mail (use the .PUZ file instead of the .JPZ file), and I also use it to download recent free puzzles from WSJ and The Chronicle.

The app supports some special features like circled letters and squares that accept multiple answers. It's difficult to describe, but the grid appearance is very nice, and a really nice feature is that the window is resizable and you can make it basically an size you want.

Occasionally I cheat a bit and use the "Check Entire Puzzle" feature to see if I've missed any letters; when I enter the corrected letter, I'm gifted with a lovely green checkmark.

There's a feature here that I thought was heresy when I first saw it: if your Mac is in Dark Mode, instead of black and white squares the grid will be black and gray! Now that I've accepted it, this has actually become one of my favorite features. If you get the urge to solve crosswords on the computer in the dark, you can do it without that initial wincing and squinting.

Developer Response ,

Thank you so much for the thoughtful review. It's great to learn that so many of the "finishing touches" I decided to add to the app were appreciated!

sherm44 ,

Come on people...

I don't usually write reviews but this app is taking an unwarranted spanking on here. It is a very elegant and intuitive interface to open and solve .puz files which is everything it purports to be. Way more fun than working a pdf or browser based puzzle. Seriously, this is the internet, people, nothing is actually free. If you like solving crosswords, buy a subscription to a service and then use Black Ink to work them.

Developer Response ,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this! It's true a lot of people don't "get" the point of Black Ink, and assume it's a guaranteed source of unlimited free puzzles. Naturally they will be disappointed. Thank you for appreciating the app for what it is.

App Privacy

The developer, Red Sweater Software, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Diagnostics

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  • Family Sharing

    Some in‑app purchases, including subscriptions, may be shareable with your family group when Family Sharing is enabled.

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