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Author Topic: CrossFire question  (Read 1669 times)


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CrossFire question
« on: October 13, 2020, 06:09:40 AM »
I am wondering, about CrossFire, if there is a way for me to avoid adding multiple words with the same first three or first four letters in a grid.

The reason I ask, is because I have been getting some occurrences where I was getting a singular word as well as its past tense/plural/etc. version (ending in -s, -d/ed, -r/er, ing, etc.).

I know Crossword Compiler does really well, but the problem is, it only allows the program to use a maximum number of words to choose from, despite the lists having millions of words to choose from.  And I do not use the Wikipedia list, as it may add words/terms that nobody is familiar with or a very unusual foreign word.
- Jonathan


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Re: CrossFire question
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2020, 07:21:51 AM »
I'm not a Crossfire user, but in general I would advise against not allowing the fill to include words with matching strings of letters. This is because there are so many words that have several letters in common that are not related. HEATER and HEATHER, BEST and BESTIAL, FOREGROUND and FOREVER just to name a few that come to mind. The better approach is to have the capability of spotting these matches after the fact so that you can eliminate them if needed by replacing one of them with an alternate word. Crossword Compiler will show you words that share strings of letters, and you can decide if they need to be changed. That's not a foolproof tool because there are so many words that are essentially duplicates that DO NOT have a shared string of 3 or more letters (ATE, EATING; WORE, WEAR; SMITE, SMOTE; etc.).
Mark McClain
Salem, Virginia, USA


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Re: CrossFire question
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2020, 07:40:37 AM »
The thing is, I should clarify, that some words have the same first four letters, but those words you mentioned ("Heater" vs. "Heather", "Best" vs "Bestial", "Foreground" and "Forever") have different meanings.  This could be why AutoFill is discouraged, if you prefer to create a professional crossword puzzle for submitting to newspapers.

Regarding the "Heater vs. Heather" thing, I also realize that "Heater" and "Heating" have basically the same concept.  "Heater" is associated with heat, while "Heather" is a girl's name and also a variation of flower.  That said, it's perhaps better to design the crosswords from scratch, enabling the word suggestions when you hover the mouse over a certain area of the grid.  Of course, I could use AutoFill, but I would look through the grid to see if there are any words with the same concept that have the same first three or four letters.

It's days like this that I wish CrossFire would update to including the function which searches for duplicate occurrences of the first three or four letters and highlights them upon the click of a button.  If no highlighting occurs, the puzzle is acceptable.  However, if there are highlighted occurrences, verify to see if these words have the same concept.  One time, I found an occurrence of "Box" vs. "Boxes", and that was on Crossword Compiler.  This is what I do not want to see in my grid.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 07:54:55 AM by DarlaFanbridge »
- Jonathan


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Re: CrossFire question
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2020, 07:46:24 AM »
Crossfire has a "Words" tab that lists all the words you have entered into the grid. You can click on the column heading (where it says Word) to sort the words into alphabetical order. At the bottom of the word list, you can also choose the number letters in "shared strings" to highlight. This will help you spot duplicates.


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