The Economics Of Crossword Puzzles

December 11, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Ben Tausig opened up the economics of the ubiquitous but poorly understood crossword puzzle:

  • Contrary to popular perception crosswords aren’t made by computer algorithms, or an individual puzzle master. Instead, freelancers make them and submit them to various newspapers for consideration.
  • It can take a long time to hear back from the newspaper – in once case it took The New York Times over a decade to approve a writer’s submission.
  • Once the submission is accepted, the writer can expect to make just $100 for a standard puzzle and $300 for a Sunday-sized one.
  • The puzzle-creator is rarely identified in the paper itself.
  • Despite the low pay, the newspapers themselves make millions from the crosswords – in fact – some people buy their newspapers for the crossword alone.
  • Things are getting better for puzzle makers though. Competition from apps and other newspapers is pushing up the pay rate, making it easier for individuals to make a living from making crossword puzzles.

Read more about the premium you get for making a New York Times crossword puzzle, the person who helped edge up pay rates, and the rivalry between newspapers over here.

Source: The AWL

Via: Marginal Revolution