Get some help on the New York Times crossword with easy mode

The New York Times crossword is notoriously tricky, although contrary to popular belief, the Sunday puzzle is not the most difficult.

From the Times:

The Saturday crossword is actually the hardest puzzle of the week. Mondays have the most straightforward clues and Saturday clues are the hardest, or involve the most wordplay. Contrary to popular belief, the Sunday puzzles are midweek difficulty, not the hardest. They're just bigger.

If you get stuck, there are several ways to get help. You can reveal a letter or word in the online version of the puzzle, get help from the daily Wordplay column, or just use Google. Which, if any,  of these methods is considered cheating is a subject of debate.

Recently, the Times introduced Easy Mode, a second version of the Friday puzzle with less punishing clues. For example, in today's puzzle, the clue for 32 down is Capital southeast of Mecca. In the Easy Mode version, the clue is "Capital of Yemen."

Purely anecdotally, the difficulty of the Friday puzzles seems to have increased since the introduction of Easy Mode. Perhaps giving solvers a safety net freed the constructors to use even more devious clues. Easy Mode is available by subscribing to an e-mail newsletter, which usually includes other crossword tips and tricks. You can see an example here.

Previously: The New York Times` crossword puzzle looks like a swastika. Here`s what it said the last time this happened.