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This is one of the rave reviews of our program Crossword Weaver, the leading crossword puzzle construction software.

Puzzle Maker

by Stan Tishler

Crossword Weaver is a crossword puzzle construction program. I've used similar programs in the past, but this is by far the best. Everything is adjustable--the size of the squares, the size of the numbers, the shape of the puzzle (it will make symmetrical designs or not), the clues (these can be imported into a word processor as regular text), the title, etc.

You can add words of your own by placing them in the puzzle and then letting the program complete the construction. You can also set up a theme file and instruct the program to construct a puzzle using as many of your theme words as it can fit. I designed the puzzle on this page with our users group in mind. Watching the program fill in the words was fascinating as it went from section to section, trying combinations until it got the right combination. When it couldn't, it told me which of my words wouldn't fit, and allowed me to place them elsewhere or remove them entirely. If I didn't like a section of the puzzle, I could simply erase it.

Crossword Weaver has a large vocabulary--more than 50,000 words--and more than 50,000 stock clues. Some clues were too esoteric for my taste; these were easy to change. The program is available from the manufacturer, Variety Games Inc. (800-229-3939) for $39.95* plus shipping and handling. It works with Windows 3.x and Win95, 98, NT and requires 5-7 MB of disk drive space.

If you like crossword puzzles, this program is a gem. You can use Crossword Weaver to create your own puzzle using your own words, or you can let Crossword Weaver build a puzzle out of a combination of your words and its own. Or you can just sit back and watch the program design a puzzle for you.

*Changed to reflect current pricing.

Variety Games Inc.
115 East 900 South
Orem, UT 84058

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