5 Questions with Juliana Pache of Black Crossword

Lauren Lauren Lauren Fitzpatrick
5 Questions with Juliana Pache of Black Crossword
Juliana's 3 favorite board games
  1. Uno

  2. Monopoly Deal

  3. I just got into Spot it. I love a simple, challenging, chaotic game.

Meet Raptive creator Juliana Pache! Juliana launched Black Crossword in 2023, a free daily mini crossword that emphasizes terms and clues from the Black diaspora.

She quickly grew an engaged community around her puzzles and has exciting plans ahead. The first of her two forthcoming puzzle books, Black Crossword: 100 Mini Puzzles Celebrating the African Diaspora, will be published by Amistad/HarperCollins on August 20, 2024.

Photo credit: Jordan Saintil

1. What would your community be surprised to know about you?

I had the idea for Black Crossword before I’d ever created a crossword puzzle. I thought how hard could it be? It turns out, it can be pretty challenging!

2. What’s your process for creating each crossword?

We currently feature mini crossword puzzles, usually 5×5 but sometimes as large as 8×8. We’ll be launching standard-size puzzles later this year. Each mini can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to create, depending on which words I’m trying to fit together. Larger puzzles can take a significantly longer time to create.

3. What should brands and advertisers know about collaborating with creators?

Creators who value authenticity and quality have a greater chance of connecting with audiences for longer periods of time. I think encouraging creators to focus on what makes them unique and real is meaningful, and is evident to anyone watching.

4. How do you feel about the potential impact of AI on your business?

I’m not too worried about it, because I think the human element of crossword puzzle-making is very important for the quality. I have used AI to make lists of important Black figures from across the globe, so that I could add their names to my word bank.

5. What’s been one of your favorite phrases to include in a crossword?

I love music references. You’ll find a lot of lyrics in Black Crossword puzzles!

Play Juliana’s daily crossword at Black Crossword, and follow along on Instagram and X.