Christopher tm Herdt (cherdt) wrote,
Christopher tm Herdt
cherdt

Word Games

Did you know that datageneral is in a movie with Jon Stewart and Bill Clinton? It's true: Wordplay, which opens nationwide tomorrow, is about crossword puzzles, and datageneral has created many crossword puzzles, which I think is pretty neat.

well_lahdidah enjoys crosswords, and many other puzzle games. She was working on a crossword at a Phillies game when my friend Terry mentioned that he has a friend, Brendan Quigley, who makes crossword puzzles. A few days later, on my way home from work, I saw a discounted book about crossword puzzles. It even contained a chapter on creating crossword puzzles, and suggested starting by filling 3x3 or 4x4 grids with words. There was definitely something in the zeitgeist—crossword puzzles were everywhere.

I wonder how hard this is, I thought. I know—I'll try to make a 4x4 puzzle for well_lahdidah!

It turned out to be a little tricky, and I covered many pieces of scrap paper with words and almost-words. I eventually had a few successes. (I tried to make a 5x5 grid, but I found it frustrating and I gave up.) After a weekend of making little 4x4 puzzles, I decided I should share them with everyone, and built a javaScript application that mimics the Play Four! Java applet so that you can play them online:

4x4 Puzzle Game

I can't promise that the puzzles themselves are very good—in fact, I used one word that was mentioned in the "creating crossword puzzles" chapter under the "if you used any of these words, GIVE UP and STOP making puzzles" section—but let me know if the application works properly, or if I botched any of the puzzles.

And go see Wordplay and look for datageneral!
Tags: crossword puzzles, crosswords, games, javascript, movies, word games, wordplay
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