"...anyone grappling with the sort of evil cryptics with no black squares will appreciate its power." - The Sunday Times
The Advanced Crossword Solver is a combination of a powerful regular expression-style word matcher and a user-customisable database of nearly 300,000 words and phrases.
It is specifically designed to help with solving advanced thematic crosswords such as The Times’ Listener and The Sunday Telegraph’s Enigmatic Variations, but is also useful for word games such as Scrabble and Boggle, and indeed for any other word puzzles or games, for logic problems and as an aid to crossword setting.
Unlike most crossword solving programs, this is far more than a simple pattern matcher for unknown letters. It can be used as a pattern matcher, and can solve simple anagrams, but in addition, some of its more powerful features include:
• search for a combined pattern and anagram, when you know the answer is an anagram, and you also know where some of the letters are.
• search with wildcards, when you know that an answer includes a particular letter or string of letters, but not where in the word they are.
• solve partial anagrams, when you know that some of the letters of an answer are an anagram, but other letters are unknown.
• solve subset anagrams, when you want to find the longest word you can make from a given set of letters.
• search with multiple possibilities for letters, when you know a letter is one of a few possibilities, but not which one it is.
• search with letter variables, when you know that several letters are the same, but not which letter it is.
• search with vowel and consonant symbols, when you know that a letter is either a vowel or a consonant, but not which letter it is.
• search for all the words which are one misprinted letter away from another word.
• search for words which match a given pattern but which have one or more misprinted letters.
• search for pairs of words (across and down) which cross at an unknown letter.
Using the simple input syntax, complex combinations of the above can be searched to quickly narrow down to a solution. Even the most complex search takes no more than a few seconds, and results are clearly presented in a scrollable list.
Tapping on a result from the solver shows a menu which allows the result to be looked up in a choice of iPhone dictionary and thesaurus applications, including Chambers and WordWeb, or online. This menu can be customised to add your own choice of applications and websites. (Note that in order to link to a dictionary, it must offer a URL that can be used by other apps - check with the publisher of your chosen dictionary that this is the case.)
The word list used by the Solver is a combination of the UK Advanced Cryptics Dictionary (UKACD) and the Enhanced North American Benchmark LExicon (ENABLE). The UKACD is compiled by a crossword puzzle enthusiast from the words and phrases that are found in typical British advanced cryptic puzzles. ENABLE is an authoritative list of Scrabble words valid in both US and UK games. Between the two lists, the program searches a database of over 298,000 words and phrases.
The word list used by the solver is stored as plain text files, and the files can be accessed via iTunes to allow them to be customised to your own requirements - words can be added or removed, or the entire word list can be replaced if desired. In addition, the symbols used to denote the input syntax can also be changed, making the entire operation of the solver customisable to your own requirements.
If your taste in puzzles extends to the truly challenging, this is the application for you.