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Samit Sarkar, Polygon, writing about the newest word game from the Times’ Games Expansion Team (which I didn’t know was a thing):

Letter Boxed takes place around, well, a box. There are three letters on each side, and players must connect them to make words at least three letters long. Letters on the same side cannot be used consecutively, and the final letter of each word becomes the first letter of the next word. The goal is to use all 12 letters in as few words as possible. “It’s a lot faster, it’s a much quicker hit, but you can kind of keep playing that too forever,” said [Times’s Games Expansion Team Lead] Von Ehren.

I really like this game. Whereas crosswords are built from a preset list of words, a round Letter Boxed is almost entirely freeform and relies on the vocabulary you know. My current strategy is to rotate between using long and short words, and it’s been working out OK this week.

The only caveat to Letter Boxed (right now, at least) is that you need a Times subscription to play. It’s not such a great game to justify a subscription if you don’t also read the paper, but it is a nice addition for current subscribers. And as The New York Times continues invest in and reap the benefits of its digital offerings, I’m excited to see what the Games Expansion Team works on next.