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Author Topic: Unfillable Grid  (Read 3170 times)


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Unfillable Grid
« on: September 14, 2014, 05:24:10 PM »
Hi all-

Just curious about software (I use CrossFire). When the software alerts you that the grid is *unfillable* is there a way to determine where the source of the problem is? For instance, if I knew what entry was holding it back from being fillable, perhaps I could find a word not currently in my .dict file to suffice or rearrange black squares appropriately. If I don't know what the source of the problem is, it's guesswork.

Is this a feature that is in Crossword Compiler? If so, I might figure out a way to invest in that software to use on Mac.




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Re: Unfillable Grid
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2014, 09:19:56 AM »
To my knowledge, CC does not tell you where the problem is.  That might not be a simple question to answer.  I don't know the filling algorithm used by any of these programs, but I suspect it's pretty much brute force.  CC uses a fair amount of processor power when it's working.  At some point, it gives up.  Seems to work on a section of the puzzle at a time.  Maybe it could say what quadrant it was on when it quit, but you can tell that just by watching it (assuming it at least tries to fill for awhile, which I know it doesn't always do).  Anyway, as a general matter, while there may be a word or two that could be changed and thereby make the grid fillable,  I don't think the software has any idea which ones they would be.  Seems like the theme answers are usually the killers.  Try backing them out one at a time, maybe?

That's not much help, sorry, and I should point out that I'm very new at this.

Alas, I don't think there is a version of CC that runs on Macs.



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Re: Unfillable Grid
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2014, 05:40:34 PM »
Thanks Bill- From what you describe, CrossFire works the same way- just glad to know that there's not an "easier fix" that I'm not taking advantage of in the software. Thanks for your response.



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Re: Unfillable Grid
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2014, 10:01:07 PM »
In CC, if you're trying to fill around theme entries, you can eyeball places that look suspicious (like, you can't think of something in your head that would fit), then right click on that word to see if your wordlist has ANY suggestions. If there are none, that's a spot that needs to be fixed by rearranging theme entries, moving or adding blanks, or trying a different grid. It doesn't tell you specifically where problem(s) are.
Mark McClain
Salem, Virginia, USA


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