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General Crossword Discussion

Posted by Admin on February 17th, 2009


This post is now closed. Please use the ‘General Discussion’ page instead.

427 Responses to “General Crossword Discussion”

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  1. 401
    Bryan Edmonds Says:

    Does anyone know what has happened to the crosswordsolver program,which allowed me to solve or print off the Indy puzzle? I got the original link from here.
    All I get now is an error message telling me to check my internet connection.I now have to go to the Independent website to view the daily puzzle(complete with annoying adverts!)
    Are others having this problem?

  2. 402
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Bryan
    We all have the same problem. See the comments at another forum for a possible cause and an interim solution:

  3. 403
    Bryan Edmonds Says:

    Thanks Gaufrid – I’ve had IP related issues with my connection and wondered if it was something to do with that.
    I’ve tried Big Dave’s solution and it doesn’t seem to work for me.

  4. 404
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Bryan
    I tried it this morning and it worked. I copied the URL from Big Dave’s comment and pasted it into Crosswordsolver (using Ctrl+V as the right mouse button doesn’t work in this program). I then changed the date within the URL to 281110, clicked on ‘open’ and today’s on-line Quixote appeared.

  5. 405
    Bryan Edmonds Says:

    Thanks again Gaufrid.
    It now works fine – I guess I didn’t type the URL correctly.Didn’t think to try the Ctrl+V option.

    You’ve made my weekend – I’ve been suffering withdrawal symptons as we have had no papers here in Guernsey since Friday.(2 sleet showers and the Island comes to a standstill!)
    Don’t suppose you know how I can get a copy of Saturday’s Inquisitor?

  6. 406
    Gaufrid Says:

    “Don’t suppose you know how I can get a copy of Saturday’s Inquisitor?”

    Yes, check your mailbox ;-)

  7. 407
    Bryan Edmonds Says:

    You are a star!
    I thought someone at Fifteensquared might be able to help me and you have certainly come up trumps!
    This site never ceases to amaze me,everyone is always friendly and helpful – a real treat to come across these days.

  8. 408
    Paul Drury Says:

    Can anyone recommend some good software for creating and printing crossword puzzles? I’m looking for something which will generate empty grids of various sizes and format the clues in a neat printable layout.

    Thanks in advance…

  9. 409
    Derek Lazenby Says:

    I use the free Spoonbill Software Crossword Compiler, not to be confused with Crossword Compiler as used by some newspapers and not free. The latter is a more comprehensive beast obviously, but the former preforms well enough for me and it’s dead easy to use. It includes the standard Guardian templates (my fault, I translated them for the author because he was tremendously supportive about fixing some bugs, there are none left as far as I am aware (I used to be a hot software tester/designer))(and I’m one of the site’s nit pickers!).

  10. 410
    Paul Drury Says:

    Thanks Derek, I’ll give Spoonbill a go.

  11. 411
    mhl Says:

    Paul Drury: Anax wrote a in-depth review of two of the most commonly used packages on Shuchi’s Crossword Unclued site:

    … which may be of some interest.

  12. 412
    mhl Says:

    Did anyone here go to the Guardian’s “Secrets of the Setters” event? If so, would you like to tell those of us who couldn’t go what it was like? :)

  13. 413
    Carrots Says:

    For those planning to attend K`s Dads “do” on 29th January, and who wish to make an early start (and rapid conclusion if Rightback is around!) on the prize dish of the day, you might want to consider dropping in to the Brunswick just for “elevenses”. This is within straggering distance of the Waterfall and the walk will do us good.

  14. 414
    Sylvia Says:

    I’m puzzled how people use Google for crossword help? I just use the OED and/or Bradford’s Crossword Key or Solver’s Dictionary when desperate but don’t know how to use internet help – and think it may feel more like cheating, anyway.

  15. 415
    Dynamic Says:

    mhl @412:
    The one glimpse I’ve come across is on Twitter, found via a retweet from John Halpern @crypticpaul

    Another chap, real name Paul, goes by the ID @bitoclass!/bitoclass
    (broken link – copy and paste URL instead)

    His tweets towards the end of 30 Nov include a number about the event, many of which used the #setters hash-tag. Some interesting stuff but clearly only a taste of the event.

  16. 416
    PeeDee Says:

    Sylvia – I use Google (and Wikipedia) in place of an old-fashioned encylopaedia. As to whether it is cheating or not, Hugh Stephenson, the crossword editor of the Guardian puts it like this…

  17. 417
    Sylvia Says:

    Thanks, PeeDee. I had previously seen the article. I presume that to get a googled answer you just type in the clue? If this works no doubt it is quicker than my reference aids!

  18. 418
    PeeDee Says:

    Google is like a card index in a library, will only ‘find’ the answer if someone has previously included both question and answer on a website page somewhere (such as this one). It takes a while for new web pages to be catalogued by Google, usually days or weeks.

    As the likelihood is that a Google search will only redirect you back here anyway, if you want to know an answer its quicker to just come here first!

  19. 419
    Gaufrid Says:

    “It takes a while for new web pages to be catalogued by Google, usually days or weeks.”

    You would be surprised at how quickly Google updates itself for sites such as 15². I cannot now remember what my search term was a few weeks ago but the first hit returned by Google was a 15² post that had been published less than an hour earlier.

  20. 420
    PeeDee Says:

    What you say is true, some sites do get indexed more quickly than others. I suppose what I’m really trying to say to Sylvia is that Googling a clue soon after it appears will probably just bring her back to 15² again anyway.

  21. 421
    Derek Lazenby Says:

    I hardly ever use general engines for crosswords. I have crap recall of synonyms etc, so I use sundry word list generators to compensate, mainly the Chambers Word Wizard. If I need more general info then being creative with Wikipedia searches is all I usually need. I use that for the simple reason that if you use a general search engine, then most of the time a Wikipedia entry is high on the list of matches. So why bother? Just go straight to Wikipedia.

  22. 422
    Dave Ellison Says:

    Sylvia: I sometimes use the “Google type to search the web” box to complete clues from a couple of initial letters. For example, if I had j_k_f__, I would try typing jak, then jik etc in the box which then suggests some alternatives, until I found a solution.

  23. 423
    Tony Welsh Says:

    Have solved today’s FT (13576, FLIMSY) but do not see a posting for it. When will posting appear?

  24. 424
    Gaufrid Says:

    Hi Tony
    About 2 minutes after your comment was added! Please bear in mind that two of the FT bloggers (Agentzero and smiffy) live in the States so unless they are able to solve the puzzle and write a blog before they go to bed it will be mid-afternoon before a post appears.

  25. 425
    Tony Welsh Says:

    Hi, Gaufrid.

    Was not really complaining. I’m just not used to solving the puzzle before the solution is posted! I live in US too, and do the crossword on the physically delivered paper after having perused the news. But I am retired, which helps!

  26. 426
    Robert Clarida Says:

    An odd request — as a birthday gift for one of my colleagues here in the US, I am trying to obtain an autograph from Guardian setter Rufus. All suggestions welcome. Happy holidays!

  27. 427
    Scarpia Says:

    Hi Robert,
    You could try contacting the Guardian crosswordv editor at [email protected]

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