How to set up Word Lists for Crossword Variations

This tutorial shows how to set up Word Lists for Crossword Variations. It applies to:


There are quite a few options to add information to your word lists and word list files. If you want more and specific control over the puzzles that are created, you can use all of the options. Alternatively, Puzzle Maker Pro - Crossword Variations can also generate puzzles when you only provide the words.

For example, a word list consisting of just a list of animals:

Polar Bear
Red Panda

You can save it just like this in a text file, e.g. animals.txt, and use this to create puzzles. Puzzle Maker Pro can use the built-in dictionary to retrieve clues (descriptions). You can use the word fill or word scramble options, which only need these words.

Word Descriptions

For more control, you can also add the clues for each word, like this:

Giraffe: Tallest animal, long neck
Elephant: Large ears, trunk, tusks
Lion: Mane, king of jungle
Penguin: Waddling bird, cold habitats
Koala: Australian, eucalyptus leaf eater
Polar Bear: White bear, Arctic native
Kangaroo: Hops, has pouch, Australian
Rhinoceros: Horn on nose, large
Hippopotamus: Large, aquatic, huge mouth
Sloth: Slow-moving, tree-hanging mammal
Red Panda: Small, bamboo eater, cute
Ocelot: Spotted, small wild cat
Armadillo: Shell body, rolls up
Tiger: Striped big cat, fierce
Wolf: Pack hunter, howls often
Chimpanzee: Smart, uses tools, climbs
Orangutan: Orange fur, tree dweller
Leopard: Spotted coat, climbs trees
Meerkat: Small, stands on two legs
Zebra: Striped horse, African native

As you can see, the words and clues are separated by a colon (":"). Optionally you can add multiple clues for each word, Puzzle Maker Pro will randomly pick one of the clues when needed.

Adding Secret Words or Phrases

For certain puzzle types, such as the acrostic puzzles, you can add a secret word or phrase. Use the tag "#secret", as in this example:

#secret :Falcon: Fast flying, sharp-eyed bird
Giraffe: Tallest animal, long neck
Elephant: Large ears, trunk, tusks
Lion: Mane, king of jungle
Penguin: Waddling bird, cold habitats

For acrostic puzzles, you can also choose to randomly use a word from the word list as the secret word.

Word Sets in a single file

It's possible to add multple word lists in a single file, however, it is usually more flexible to save each word list in its own file.

For each word set, wether it's in a separate file or combined in a single file, you can set a title and description, which can be used with certain puzzle types.

#title: animals
#description: Living creatures

Multiple word lists in a single file can be separated by blank lines:

#title: list 1
#description: first word list
word 1
word 2
word 3

#title: list 2
#description: next word list
word A
word B
word C

Further Reading

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