An aid in the design
( or compilation )
of Crossword Puzzles.
For use on the Atari 52O ST Computer.
Medium or Hi-resolution.
Single, or Double Sided, Disk drive.
½ 199O J.Heywood.
This program enables a design for a crossword puzzle to
be drawn up quickly and then it automatically finds words that
will fit into the pattern of the grid designed. The user is left
to provide clues so that the compilation of a crossword is then
Running this program may alter several data files. They
are of no great importance but may be useful illustrations when
using this program for the first time. Make a copy of the disk !
The program and files come on one disk in either the Root
directory or the XWPUZZLE folder.
Double-Click on XWPUZZLE.PRG to run the program.
It is essential that the file XWINFO.DAT and the XWLEX folder are
on the disk.
Most of the screen will display a grid of squares. The squares are
toggled by moving the mouse pointer over a square and pressing a
button. ( Alternatively, pressing an alphabetical key will place a
letter on the grid. In this way it is possible to fix a few words
of topical interest into the design - although not too many ! )
The left side of the screen diplays the main menu now described...
DESK - About the program. Version number. Opportunity to QUIT.
SOLVE - Checks whether a design satisfies certain constraints,
saves the design ( file: XWDES.DAT ), and proceeds with the main
objective of the program - fitting words into the pattern of the
design. ( See Further Notes below ).
The box in the bottom left hand corner is mainly to indicate that
the program is still running.
DEMO - A design will be filled with words and emptied ad
infinitum. You are given the option to file your own design on
disk ( file: XWDEM.DAT ). A few words fixed into the design could
make an interesting advertisement !
LOAD - Loads a design ( file: XWDES.DAT ).
There is an option to load a partly ( or completely ) solved grid
( file: XWSOL.DAT ). This is useful to complete, in stages, large
or complicated designs which are taking some time to complete.
SAVE - Save the current design ( file: XWDES.DAT ).
CLEAR - Clears grid entirely.
SIZE - Enables the alteration of the width and height of the
design. Hold down the mouse button with the pointer on the arrows
for a rapid response. The maximum sizes allowed are 37 X 18 in
Medium resolution, and 53 X 37 in Hi-resolution.
IMAGING - Used for producing symmetric designs and for speeding up
the design process.
PRINT - From the main menu, this sends a copy of the design to
OPTIONS - Any design has to satisfy certain constraints before the
program responds to SOLVE. These constraints exist to ensure that
most designs will be completed in a reasonable length of time.
(i) The FIRST CONSTRAINT does not allow a space to exist
if there are also spaces next to it in the north, north-west and
west directions. ( Most newspaper crosswords satisfy this
constraint ). Failing this constraint will always be reported. It
is possible via 'OPTIONS' to arrange for the automatic filling of
spaces violating this constraint so that the design will pass next
(ii) The SECOND CONSTRAINT was essentially to exclude very
long words not available in the dictionary. However, it is
possible to set your own limit on word length. If a design
requires words exceeding this limit then the fact will be
reported. Shorter words lead to quicker solutions !
There is an option to fill spaces automatically
thereby reducing the length of words needed. This is useful for
the finishing touches to a large design but is not meant to be a
replacement for doing it manually. Several selections of 'SOLVE'
may be required to satisfy this constraint because the automatic
filling is done reservedly in order not to ruin the manual design.
Single letter words in the design are ignored.
- + -
SOLVE - Once the constraints are satisfied, the only option
available will be EXIT. This returns to the main menu. However,
this is via an option to save the partly ( or completely ) solved
grid to disk ( file: XWSOL.DAT ). This is useful for solving large
designs in several stages ( see LOAD above ).
Once the grid is filled with words other options appear :-
PRINT - This is for printing your design, and the list of words
that fit the design, to screen or printer.
ANOTHER - Clears the words out of the grid and fill it again.
EXIT - Already mentioned above in 'SOLVE'.
- + -
There is a file on the disk XWPRNT.DOC. This is a
text file of printer control codes in the detailed printing of a
design and near letter quality listing of words. It may be
modified to suit your printer as follows...
An asterisk at the beginning of a line is for remarks. The
remarks will indicate what to do. Just place the sequence of ascii
codes for a function on one line separated by spaces. In the
detailed printing of a design the character for a vertical line
"|" is used and the code for this may be changed. The lines have
to kept in the original order. The maximum width of detailed
designs allowed to be printed depends on the number of characters
which can be printed on one line, this is can be changed.
"$" indicates the end of the file.
Finally, rename the file from XWPRNT.DOC to XWPRNT.DAT and the
program will use it.
- THE END -