xword man page

xword — do crossword puzzles in the Across Lite format


xword [puzzlefile.puz]...


Xword is a GTK program for doing crossword puzzles. It can read and write puzzles in the Across Lite file format. Consequently, it works well for doing puzzles from The New York Times. As well as a clock, it supports printing. It also auto-saves puzzles as you solve them so that you can return to partially completed puzzles.


First, locate a puzzle on the web. The best place to go is the web site of The New York Times. However, it costs money to access these puzzles. Free puzzles are available from The Houston Chronicle.

After you have found a puzzle, click on it in your web browser. Xword will open the puzzle and you can start solving. You can also choose to save the puzzle on your hard disk. Then you can open the puzzle using Xword later.

After you have worked on a puzzle for a while, you may want to save your work. There are two ways to save. The easiest way is to close Xword without any further action. The next time you open the same puzzle (either by opening the .puz file or by clicking the same link on the web), you will be asked whether you want to continue where you left off. If you choose to continue, all your correct and incorrect answers will be saved, as well as the time on the clock.

However, this technique only works for opening the puzzle on the same computer. If you need to open the saved puzzle on a different computer, then you can choose "Save" from the "File" menu. The saved file can be opened with Xword on any computer. However, incorrect answers and the time on the clock will not be saved.

To print a puzzle, select "Print" from the "File" menu. You can see what the printed puzzle will look like by clicking "Print Preview". You can select the paper size and orientation by clicking on the "Paper" tab (puzzles are usually easier to read in landscape mode).

Sometimes a puzzle will be locked so that the answers are unavailable. Unfortunately, Xword's support for locked puzzles is somewhat flaky. When using a locked puzzle, you should not click on the "Check" or "Solve" buttons, since they will give incorrect information. However, you can still use Xword to enter answers for a locked puzzle. Later, when an unlocked version of the puzzle is released (usually the next day), open it using Xword. When asked, choose to continue where you left off. Now you can use the "Check" and "Solve" buttons to see how well you did. Sometimes crosswords will come with a four-digit code to unlock a locked puzzle file. This code is not needed by Xword ...

For more information, see the project home page at <http://x-word.org>.


xword was written by Bill McCloskey <bill.mccloskey@gmail.com>.

This manual page was written by John Sullivan <john@wjsullivan.net>, for the Debian project (but may be used by others).


December 3, 2007