Frequently Asked Questions

You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers. If not, just call Phil for all the info.

How does the Puzzle Portal work?

Visitors to your paper’s website simply click a link or a button (which we can help you place on your site) that takes them to the online puzzles in the portal, and ads, presented to them within your portal.

Your portal site consists of a home page and three other pages (a daily Quick Puzzles page, the weekend crossword page, and the sudoku page), each with your masthead at the top.  And, as a security measure, we will create your Puzzle Portal Site in our secure Cloud environment. Your site is secured via an SSL certificate so your viewers are safe and secure while playing the puzzles. The playable puzzle content on your site is the same that’s displayed on our site and would be presented to visitors for online play in the same fashion as on our website today, including Google ads displayed on the sidebar and top of the puzzle page.

And, a big plus for your visitors is that each puzzle page will provide access not only the current daily or weekly puzzle but to the ever growing library of previously posted puzzles. A puzzle fan could spend hours working puzzles if they want!

How will the link between our paper and our Puzzle Portal Site be established?

Your Puzzle Source provides a simple link to your new portal site. This link can be connected to a button or menu item on your newspaper’s website. You can position the link or menu item wherever you wish on your website. When your readers click on the button or menu item, the puzzles will be displayed in their web browser, cell phone, or tablet.

Not sure how to do it? We’ll help you!


How will our readers get BACK TO our site FROM our portal?

There are two ways for readers to return to your site: 1) they can click a “Back to [newspaper] Home Page” link that will be included in the menu of the puzzle site, or 2) they can click on your logo which is placed in the upper left corner of each page on your portal site.

How do I know that the link that gets inserted in our website is compatible with our website?

The link we provide to you is not “code”. The link only provides the method for a visitor on your site to reach your Puzzle Portal Site.

Is the technology you use proven and reliable?

We use the same web application technology used to power the crossword sections of The Washington Post, The New Yorker and The Atlantic magazines. Your portal site is hosted in our cloud environment in at Linode in the Dallas, TX datacenter. 

How is your website performing?

Quite well. We have developed a new online puzzle paradigm –the Quick Puzzle– that is proving to be very popular with puzzle fans. We have many, many return visitors every day and every week. Our analytics show that roughly 40 percent of the website visitors access the puzzles on their mobile devices.

The Quick Puzzle is a compact version (mostly 10×10, but some 9x9s and 11x11s) of the standard-sized 15×15 crossword one finds in daily newspapers. Quick Puzzles are of the same quality as the standard printed dailies, themed, and with interesting clues; but they are of a size that better fits the screens of mobile devices than 15x15s. As a result, puzzle fans don’t have to do as much scrolling back and forth to see the clues, and the grid squares don’t have to be shrunk as much as is required when one tries to fit a 15×15 grid onto a mobile screen (thus avoiding the occasional “fat-finger” mistake)  And, since people carry their mobile devices with them wherever they go, they can go to your website, click on your portal site, and thus quickly pull up a Quick Puzzle when they have a few spare moments (knowing that it takes only about half the time as with a 15×15 to work through and solve the puzzle).”

What do you consider your “secret sauce” in the success of puzzle site?

Our “secret sauce” includes the following ingredients: 

  • The compact Quick Puzzles are right-sized for the digital age we all live in now.
  • We carefully calibrate the challenge of the crosswords so that most solvers have a good chance of finishing the puzzle.
  • Our crossword themes and clues are lively, thought-provoking, and sometimes humorous, but never boring.
  • Our sudokus use the most advanced digital design so that the solving experience is smooth and very user-friendly whether played on a hand-held device or on a PC or laptop.
  • Since our platform is Cloud-based, our puzzles are playable by anyone with access to a web browser at any time.
  • They are free to play without requiring a user id or providing an email address

How would we get paid under the ad revenue-sharing arrangement?

Your upfront bonus payment will be paid as soon we reach agreement on crating your portal site. At the end of each month, you and Your Puzzle Source would both get the Google AdSense data on activity on your portal site for the previous month. This report shows the number of clicks onto the site, page views, and ad revenue generated by those clicks and page views. Based on that information, we would cut and send you a check by the 10th of the following month for your 50% share of the monthly revenue.

Would you provide technical assistance to us on installing and managing our portal site and its link on our website?

Yes, we have an experienced website technology specialist on staff who would be available to provide assistance at any time.

Would we be able to monitor/audit how much traffic our portal site receives?

Yes. Google analytics code runs on each portal site. Monthly reports (ad revenue, clicks, plays) can be accessed via your provided login and password to your reports.

We also use a cloud based reporting system that will monitor all traffic to your Branded Puzzle Site. These reposts can be downloaded and provided to you upon request.

Q: Would we have direct access to that data, or would it just be a report from Your Puzzle Source?

It will be original data from our Google Analytics. We take that data, as it comes to us, and separate out the data applicable to each active puzzle page (including your three puzzle pages). That separated flow of data is what you will see when you monitor/audit traffic on your puzzle portal site.

If we take your up-front bonus for setting up the portal site and link, how long would you ask us to display the link and allow visitors to our site to play puzzles online via that link?

We hope this turns out to be a long-term proposition but, to give it a realistic chance to work, we would ask you to host our “Puzzle Portal Site” technology—and earn ad revenues—for three  months. For our part, we commit to provide your website visitors six high-quality new crossword puzzles and six new sudokus every week during that period.

Are you able to provide puzzles to use in our print editions as well as online puzzles?

Yes. For a small processing fee, we can convert each online puzzle we publish to a format suitable for use with print editions. If you publish once weekly, our weekend 15×15 crossword would be ideal for your print editions.

Still need a bit more information?

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(703) 508-2156.