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Today's Puzzles / Thu., 4/24 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on Today at 09:05:46 AM »
THEME:   no one special
Small, medium, or lge.   ADJ      
Enjoying a Jazz performance?   AT THE GAME [note capital J]   
"Hmm…I was thinking of something else"   OR THAT ONE [clue and fill are different: clue = undifferentiated; fill = particular]   
Cinque plus due   SETTE [Italian is a nice language, but inapproriate here]  (I've got an idea!  What about Cinq y due as a clue?  That way you get three languages in the clue and the answer, SEVEN, a fourth language.)    8)
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
Today's Puzzles / Wed., 4/23 Matt Skoczen
« Last post by magus on April 23, 2014, 08:43:30 AM »
THEME:   phrases containing the letters AHA, though not together but in that order
Light bulb-over-the-head moment {& theme}   AHA MOMENT   
Big name in ice cream   EDY [but short]   
Turned green, say   DYED   
Field with roots and logs   MATH [square roots and logarithms, e.g.]   
K-12 to textbook publishers   EL-HI [I don't care how often I see this in Xwords, the term is K-12, which includes the primary grades.]     
RATING: ;D ;D   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
Software / Technical / Re: Comparison of CW Construction Software
« Last post by duncanMKZ on April 22, 2014, 07:21:40 PM »
I came looking for the answer to the same question. I created crosswords by hand many years ago for a puzzle book, and now I'm working on a new book. Creating the grids used to be hard work - I can't believe how much easier it's all become! I purchased Crossword Compiler - it is generally considered the king of the hill, and it deserves its reputation. It does a good job on a variety of puzzles. I was impressed by how well it handles Word Search puzzles - it will check for accidental duplicate words, and for accidental obscenities. Very professional! Its crossword engine is powerful, but you really have to get the Professional Bundle, which automatically fills the grid, or gives various options to do the job semi-automatically, choosing words as you go. You can create and enter your own specialized word lists for themed puzzles. It will offer clues, too, although not all words have clues. Its export options are so-so - to get a good printed version, I find it's best to export to EPS (which is scalable and look good) and lay it out in Adobe InDesign. But all in all, a very nice program.

I have played around with Crossfire, too. It has fewer options than Crossword Compiler, but is also more straightforward to use, and, if you use a Mac, it seems to be the only option. It will autofill grids, although (based on a fairly brief test) I don't think its word lists are as extensive as CC Pro. However, working interactively with the program was easy. I also liked the way that it would warn me if I tried to put black squares in the wrong positions - producing two-letter words, or squares that are part of only one word.

The CrosswordMan offerings also look excellent, and seem to be a particularly good option if you intend to create UK style cryptic crosswords. Its Wordplay Wizard option (which offers cryptic tips) is also available separately.
General Support / Where's Brendan Emmett Quigley?
« Last post by Barry Goold on April 22, 2014, 01:23:02 PM »
Does anyone know why Brendan Emmett Quigley's website is offline?
General Support / BEQ
« Last post by Barry Goold on April 22, 2014, 01:21:25 PM »
Does anyone know why BEQ's website is offline?
Today's Puzzles / Tue., 4/22 Grabowski & Venzke
« Last post by magus on April 22, 2014, 08:43:17 AM »
THEME:   LAST is built into phrases
Constructed for endurance {& theme}   BUILT TO LAST   
As I proceded downward to 58-Across, the theme clue, I thought it would deal with ELLA Fitzgerald or ELLA Grasso.   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
General Discussion / Re: Brendan E Quigley's site is down?
« Last post by DrBB on April 21, 2014, 05:44:21 PM »
Thanks! That gets me my BEQ fix--just hope he's back online soon.
General Support / Re: LAT download not working
« Last post by admin on April 21, 2014, 04:11:08 PM »
What browser and version are you using? Hundreds of members are successfully downloading everyday, so not sure what the problem might be. If all else fails, go to the LAT archive and you can have the puzzle emailed to you.

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