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con Sumlir Reviews @B Crossword Forge 7 by L. Davenport Toryeas [wed a progam alled Groswword Expres to crate al sr of puss ach s Crosswords, Word Searches Sadoka, and Sithetinks for the SMMUG nevelete. Unfreunately ic was a PowerPC program that wast compatible with OS X. I could run ton my old Mac G4, but 1 new the G8 days ar coming to an end. So I ave ben searching for an OS X compauble placement. Thats when I came acess Cosword Forge. CCrosword Forge ks you cate Crosswords and Word Seach puzzles, Ic doss a good job at creating its pus so 2 Loe am please. The main difference berween it and my old ee Crossword Express tht it doesn't make the Sudoku, and = Shins puzales and more imporandy, you have 10 provide all of the words and chics youd At fe Twas hesitant abour ging Crasword Forge for this very rason. ‘Then [leamed that you can ako impor previously made ‘word lis and defritions. I did some looking and. was t pleased to find our that all of the dictionaries from =—_ CGeosword Expres could be imported inca Crossword . Forge. Hur! So I decided to get Crossword Forge and sce how easy itwasto use. Hereis what I Found out: “The User Interface When you fist open Crossword Forge, you ae presented with a window that has a black recangle on the left and the prefrenass on the right (divided berween seve tabs). The Ticks tb Jes you specify the tide and ther headings along with the Fon fonmating for the vis, clues and answers. [Figur 1: Crosword Forges opening windows you choose the ype of pe (between “The Puzle bles you choose whether it will he making, CGrasword or Word Search), the ype of background; thet the font an abo ks you 4 eosswor ora Word seach puzzle. BTW? the same clues enter the dusand answers. This puzzle only took Crosswoed Forge 18 seandsto cate. and answerscan be wed for both peso puzaes, “The Clues tab has two text entry feds. One for Cues andthe other for Answers. Simply. [ ype in a few cues and answers and tap the “Make pure” button. Seconds er cosword puzde appzars within the black rectangle. Ifyou dont lke the arangement of the puzde or you dont think iis dense enough, you can repeatedly tap the “Make Puzae” button unt you see ceasword pate that you like. When the Crossword Forge engine wes find the" bestsolution (in creating the pure) it wl sare buldng the purl from the center ofthe of the recangle outward. Bu if you want, you can pick any ofthe following starting points: Center, Top Lefi, Four Comers and Cents, Nine Symmenical Psions, Pick Random Teston in Nine, o Pick Any Random Poon, ev Backdrops CCrosond Forges you decide whether the background willbe blank, fil with a color, Figue 2: After creating the puzale in Figure 1,1 or filled with an image of your choosing, Images are a good way to sec the theme of your diced on the “Word Search” radial button and. puzae such as using an image ofa fag for American capil or showing a hore and cariage created eis Word Search puzzle (using the same ke with my Old Vehicle theme as shown in Fig 6. ‘words and cues). It only took 2 seconds to create. Te ae lees . yo bed Viele Caen owe KE! FE] “cm “cme ae) 8 ATWIKTRTOTI suggestions Swapestions PM Ms) «cae => S00 mt TCC Saeed Tt on [Figure(s) 3: The “Word Ideas” tool can be used to come up with a word chat will ‘ss one or more lines to make your puzzle more dense. The pics shown above shows the steps I took to find the words “Skirmish” and “Actinic” that I used to ‘complete one area of my crossword puzzle. In one lastest [told itto find aword for M, HL, F- tcame up with: Michelle ‘Word Ideas ‘Though Crosword Forge can make wry dense croswond puzes, there *°* 58 9 8 Sosrwnnmew smay be times when there ae open spaces between v0 horizontal or veri” ‘wor within the puzae and you would lke to squeez in another word that vill cos the two. Thats where “Word Ideas” comes in very help (eer the sren shors found in “Figure 3°). For ample: use the spec characters "> wo present the spaces that need 2 eter and. a“ co represent additonal space that can (but doesn‘ have to) be filed witha euer vo finish the word. ‘Word Ideas came up with two suggestions for my : space, K, space, R, (3) speees, H. I chose SKIRMISH for my pure. Afcrvard I had Word Kdezs find a word fr the crossing: space, C, spac, I space, space. It found Adin Inonelasttest told itt find aword for M, (2) spaces, H, space. L space. E. didi chink ic could do it, but sue enough, it came up with Michelle. Each time [insruced Crossword Forge to “Update Pua”. Insandy che new word ‘vas placed in the comet location. My las sep was to write the ches fr these ew works Figure 4 The puraes that you make can be uploaded tothe web. [BIW For thos of you out thee thi ike to solve newspaper puzlss- you Crossword Forge iad a “Preview” option chat will show you can use the Word Ideas feature of Crossword Forge to help you when you ate what it would look like in a web browser before uploading it stumped with a word or two. Importing word ists and cues You can import clues and answers from lit that you made or downloade from the Intemed) for your crossword puzzles in a couple of ways + Texrlle- Crossword Forge can open and read your tele that has: just the answer, jus the cus, oo both separated bya tabs. + Clipboard - You can enpy theta delimited cues and answers from text document and then paste them into Crossword Forge ‘Once you bring your cuss and answers into Crossword Forge, it wilask you which format dhey ae in, eg Delimited (Clue, Answer or (Answer (vx), Answers only; Cues only, oF Each line fils both cue and answer fds. Once you make your choice, Crasword Forge wil place all ofthe answers and ces in the appropeiate Clue and Answer fides. Ifyou wane, you can simply click the “Make Pua” buon and 10-20 seconds ater your puzzles eady tobe printed. ‘Mask Editor “The Mask Editor les you block out areas where you donit want Crasword Forge to place its answer squars. | made a crosword puzle called “Vehides (old and new)” and I wanted people to realize that I ‘meant REALLY ol So 1 imported a photo of a horse and carage. Unfortunately everytime Crossword Forge made a pure, it covered the horse and camiage. So the pct was pointes. I therfore opened the Mask Editor and placed red Xs down the fice of the horse and across the catage and down to its whee! (se Figure 6). The hore face and the cartag remained vile when dhe puzale was created, Figur 5: Croswond Forge cm arate “The Mask Editor can also be usd in reverse to mask out the background thus constricting the answers feign language purzks, such as this the remaining shape as seen by the Word Search lit create inside che shape ofan heart hown in Figure 6). snmp Punjab language puzzle. 8 o Of 5 5 5 5 5 oO oi 5 5 Figure(s) 6: The Mask Editor lets you block out areas where you dosit want Crossword Forge to place its answer squares. Though is hard to se, I placed red X's down the face ofthe hors, across the cariage, and down to its wheel. This meant the horses fice and the carriage ‘werent covered up with the crasword answer blanks. The Mask Editor can also be used in reverse to ‘mask out the background thus constricting the answers tothe remaining shape. As seen by the Word Search ist created inside the shape of an heart (shown tothe right along with the ouslined answers). = ‘Crossword Fowge fully supports Unicode and bi-directional cext. It also has build in language support so you can creat foreign language puzzs. It curently suppor twenty-three dient languages, incuding Hebrew and Arabic that red from right tole Ifthe ngage thar you ‘want siclited, Croswoct Forge as an option to add more languages. (Once you have created you pu ther ae various options for exporting the pure and answer key uz + image ~ This creas a 72 dpi image file dae is suitable for sen viewing and the web. The avilable fle formats are JPEG, MacPaint, Photoshop, PICT, PNG, Quicktime image, SGI image, TGA, TIFF, or as a Windows BMP image. + Text Export -This will expore the text ofthe crossword or word search puzzle as tab-delimied, answers only, clues only, or grid file. + PDE-- This will export the whole puzale or just the puzzle grid as a PED fie. + Web - Crossword Forge will export an interactive crossword puzzle to the web. You can specify whether the “Enable Hint Meru” and “Enable Check Menu will be available; the position of the clues, et. Ther is a “Preview” option that will place the puzzle in your web browser to show you what the puzzle would look like before uploading it. The Sol Robots web site has two live ‘puzzles examples (one crossword and one word search) that you can try online, ‘The Skinny Braluation: Tike Crossword Forge. Iris fi, i las me make Word Search puzles too, and gves me various ways w display the pales. Pus these puzzks can be uploaded wo the Invemet. [am phased tha I now have a replacement fr my old Powee)C pusae eetor. Teachers forall age groups ‘would find Crosword Forge very hepfl sine they can make intresting puzls tha aver the topic they are curently covering, ‘My onfy with is that hopefily in he farure twill come with is own dictionary so you dont have ro manually ene al ofthe words and ches, But ‘on the pls side, there are won! and clue lists that you can downlod from the Intemet So problem sod for nos [Requires Intel Mac Mac OSX 10.4- Yosemite BTW: the isa PowerPC vesion valle to. ‘Company. Sol Robots Price From Sol Robors $49.95, From the Mac App Store: $49.99, ‘Available Trial copy