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BG Crossword Puzzle

title:BG Crossword Puzzle
download page:link
genre:Trivia games
developer:Spoonbill Software
release:July 2010
features:text, sound, visuals
last edit by:Dark


Crosswords are a form of intellectual entertainment dating back nearly 200 years, and now are a staple of newspapers and magazines all over the world. The basic principle of a crossword is to provide a linguistic challenge with elements of both trivia and word search. A grid of letters is created with most or all of the letters at the start of the game blank. The aim is to fill in all letters in the grid and thus uncover the hidden words. In a crossword however, the words are not merely random collections of letters, but the answers to specific clues, the answers to which each give a clue to the identity of words across or down the grid, giving the number of letters involved. These clues could be simple substitution or trivia clues, for instance "daylight star, three letters" or more fiendish clues involving riddles or the dreaded cryptic puzzles.

BG crossword puzzle is a fantastic, free, self voicing crossword program, which provides all the necessary tools for navigating around the puzzle grid, hearing the clues, entering letters and giving full feedback about what you have or have not entered. The program is extremely easy to use, simply hit the arrows to look through the clue lists down or across (hit D or A respectively), hit w to here the word (including missing letters), or c for the clue. Behind it's very easy interface however are a number of more advanced features and tools which make solving crosswords quicker and more convenient. These include the ability to spell words phonetically, to enter a tentative guess, to look through the clues letter by letter (handy for those nasty cryptic monsters), and even to bring up a suggested list of words from the dictionary that could fit the space on the crossword with any letters you've currently filled in. As with all programs by Spoonbill, BG crossword is self voicing using Microsoft sapi, and has several low vision access aides too such as the ability to have white letters on black or to maximize the crossword clue lists for easier reading.


Probably the most unique thing about BG crossword puzzle particularly for an accessible crossword program, is that though it comes with a fair few crosswords to get you started, both standard and criptic, it's main focus is being able to load crosswords in common file formats that you can find and download from the internet. It can load crosswords in across lite binary format with .puz extention, across lite text format with a .txt extention, it's own crossword compiler format with a .xwc extention, and txt files obtained specifically from the UK Guardian news paper website. To load these mostly all you need to do is simply drop the file in the correct subfolder of the crossword program, then hit f11 to change format followed by l to look in that folder for the file. The program even keeps track of what crosswords you've solved, and moves their files out of the crosswords folder when they're done so that you don't have a massive list of ready solved crosswords to look through when looking for a new puzzle.

BG crossword puzzle also comes with very extensive help which it's highly recommended to take a look at, both to get familiar with the program and to learn about loading different crossword file formats. There is also a detailed Tutorial on solving crosswords and using the program which even covers various sorts of critptic crossword clues written by ERic Westbrook.

As to where to get more crosswords to solve, several from news papers such as the English Daily mail, the Scottish Glasgow Herald, and the Australian Melbourne Age can be directly downloaded from Spoonbills' crosswords page while links to further online resources that host crosswords in compatible formats can be found on The crossword Links page found here

With it's highly customisable interface, self voicing options and the ability to make so many crossword format files accessible BG Crossword is a fantastically built program and one which indeed, often puts more commercial programs to shame, so is worth checking out for cruciverbalists everywhere!


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Updates: entry 2 Feb 22 and description 2 Feb 22

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