Thursday, September 1, 2016

801 My First experience with a CrossWord Puzzle Generator, and my First Crossword Puzzle No. ybcw1.


Trigger for this blogpost: Crossword Puzzles of Guardian, NewYork Times, and Spectator. Most of these English Crossword Puzzles are published in Indian English Newspapers, both Net and Print Editions. Apart from the global Newspapers, Indian Newspapers like TheHindu have their Daily Crossword Puzzles. DeccanChronicle also publishes Guardian and NewYork Times, English Crossword Puzzles, with key following the next day. After working out a good number of such puzzles, I have developed an irresistible urge to design some CWPs, albeit with the help of Computer Programmes, as is the craze and the State-of-Art of today. The above picture is the blank grid of my first such English Cross Word Puzzle. Some of the words in the grid have been supplied by me. The rest of the words have been auto-filled by a Computer software. The above grid is not interactive (we cannot answer the Crossword on the Computer or the mobile). For that we may need a java applet, or an android mobile app. Right now, though I can write some Java programmes and design some small android apps., it is not sufficient for me to create and implement a truly effective Crossword Puzzle Creator/Generator/Maker in Java or Android.

Clues: Across: 1. degrade, get degraded.(5)
6. Salty.(6)
11. Without anything in hands.(10)
13. Abbreviation for 'link'.(2)
14. A language in Nigeria and NW Africa.(4)
15. Exist, stay.(2)
16. It is I.(2)
17. Opposite of debit (2).
19. Back side (4).
21. Saying yes, approving (7).
24. Having a name (5).
25. Nomini umbra in Latin, man of straw in English (3).
27. A collection of anecdotes and quotes (3).
29. Crush with a piece of a thin wood (5).
31. An Arctic tusked whale (7).
32. Succeeds, triumphs (4).
35. North India(2).
36. Engineer before name(2).
37. Bachelor of Arts. In Telugu language: bottiga annAniki lEni vADu [A person who does not even have anything for survival](2).
38. Bible, murderer who killed his own brother out of jealousy (4).
40. A Bank Probationary Officer in India(2).
41. Assemble (10).
44. Bent, inclined (6).
45. From the valley (5).


1. More capable, skilled (5).
2. Prohibition (3).
3. Accounts Receivable (2).
4. A British river (6).
6. Swimming with a diving mask (11).
7. Sum up (3).
8. Open arable land (3).
9. Identity in short (2).
10. Come out, ooze out (6).
11. Master of Arts (2).
18. Help (3).
19. A Biblical baby name (4).
22. A high level computer language used in aircraft navigation (3).
23. Neither morning nor evening (4).
27. Baby girl name of gracefulness (6).
28. Baby name to mean 'king' (3).
29. Some what colloq. "Silence please!" (2).
30. Go ahead, from teens (6).
33. Industrial Relations in short (2).
34. Disdain (5).
38. Fraud (3).
39. Neither 'were', nor 'will be' (3).
40. Pisum Sativum, to eat (3)
41. Fourth note in music. Is it 'ma' in INdian music? (2)
42. Arabic for 'the' (2).
43. Head Master or Home Minister? (2).

Question: You could have googled for some Java jars, available on the Net for downloading.

I use Ubuntu / PepperMint operating system based on Linux. Of course, the Java applications available on Net are platform and os independent. Some of these applications I have downloaded and experimented with. There are about some 10 java applications at SourceForge.Net. Click to have a look at java applications which are platform independent, some of which are useful for creating Crossword puzzles. .

I use a Java JDK8 + JRE, from a USB drive (pen drive), and access it from Linux Command Line.

Some of the Java applications and jar files downloaded by me from Net, and tried to use to generate crossword puzzles, started giving an error message "Main Class not found". An example of one such type of application is Crossword Sage. I am in the process of resolving them.

What will you say about downloading Java applications, from Windows based developers, and download-web pages?

Answer: I am really exasperated to find that many of them contain hidden links to FORCED ADVERTISEMENT CLICKS. We have to spend a lot of time in seggregating real download links, and forced-advertisement links. Some of the real download links, may finally lead to only. In Indian Banking, we have a maxim "Lendor of Last Resort" which refers to the Central Bank of the country, i.e. the Reserve Bank of India, (a class similar to Federal Reserve in United States, and Bank of England, in England). SourceForge seems to be our truely dependable MAGNANIMOUS donor for downloading UNSTRINGED free software, without forced advertisements.

Question: What did you install for generating the above Crossword Puzzle?

Ans: I am trying a linux based package called 'qxw', which is available in Ubuntu Repositories. It can be installed from Ubuntu Software Centre.

For installing from Ubuntu Command line:

sudo apt-get install qxw .

Installation does not take more than 1 mb.

What is the most important merit of qxw?

Ans: It has a dictionary, from which it will autofill the words in the grid, if we choose autofill. Or, alternatively, we can supply some words, and for the rest we can use autofill.

2. It has a facility to export to png, both the empty grid, and the filled solution grid. It can also export to 'html' which can be uploaded to a website.

Did you experience any problems?

I have so far done only one crossword puzzle. Though it seems capable of giving clues, I am unable to use the facility for creating clues effectively. I have manually created the clues, applying my mind and using my brain + dictionaries.

Question: Why do you waste your time in creating CrossWord Puzzles? English is a foreign language.

Answer: Even a completely and truly Socialist country (the goal and theme of this blog), has to depend for its livelihood-income on production of goods and services. Today, whether anybody or any country likes it or not, English is a language of the World Today. That means, even if one / two / some countries get rid of Capitalism and install a truly Socialist Economy and Society, they cannot avoid production of goods and services for export to the other parts of the world. For promoting and marketing of exports, Business Communications serve as an effective tool. Language skills become important. Not just writing computer codes. Not just producing cement or dredgers and earth-movers. Whatever we produce, we have to market, by canvassing for orders, develop customer relations, make export documentation containing invoices, transport documents, insurance documents, weight lists, numerous other certificates adhering to the conditions laid down by the foreign buyers.

Vocabulary in a language can be compared to bricks and steel rods used in raising a building. Right type of vocabulary cannot be obtained in one day. Vocabulary building requires daily exercise, comparable to physical exercise in Gyms, undertaken by body-builders. Crossword Puzzles serve the purpose of SEMANTIC EXERCISES needed for our brain, while walking, jogging, working in gyms etc. provided us PHYSICAL EXERCISES to body.

Question: Can Crossword Puzzles be used in controlling blood sugar and diabetes?

Ans: Difficult to say yes or no. Crossword Puzzles can be classified under the category of 'exercise to brain and mind', apart from being VOCABULARY BOOSTERS and REFRESHERS. Brain for its consumption seems to use direct sugar from blood, while our muscles in shoulders, limbs, thighs etc. seem to use starch-based sugars produced in liver. Hence, in my personal humble opinion, working continuously with brain is as important as working with muscles. Both are not mutually exclusive.


For this reason only, in the roadmap for TRUE AND COMPLETE SOCIALISM of YB BRAND, every physically fit person and mentally fit person should be given a daily routine of 20% physical labor, 20% mental labor, 10% leisure, 25% family commitments, hygiene etc, and remaining 25% for sleep.

Thousands of books have been written, thousands of web pages have been created, Governments and NGOs make out adequate publicity about the link between physical exercise and health. But few books, websites, Governments, NGOs highlight the importance of mental labor. Of course working in an Office as some Assistant or as a sales person or as a Software Engineer or somebody else may involve some mental labor. But it may not be adequate, because it does not have a mix of various components.

I shall never support the idea of some Sections in the Society saying that they will not do any physical labor, as they are INTELLECTUALS AND BRAIN WORKERS. If brain workers start sharing physical labor, at least for their own personal and family chores, that will reduce the burden on occupations which are now considered as menial and looked down upon with condescension. It will reduce the present drudgery which is thrust upon some occupations today, which seem to be thrown upon poorer sections of the society.

To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.

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