Acorn User1st April 1990
Published in Acorn User #093
According to the blurb, Cross Star is a Wimp-based crossword solver that makes solving crosswords easy. The question is, of course: is it and does it?
Although the program does use the Arc Wimp system, it does not make use of the desktop environment, it does not even sit as an icon on the icon bar.
The main screen consists of a large and, for some reason, movable window divided into a number of areas. The largest of these is the actual crossword grid, here you must first set up the crossword 'template' and then you can start solving the puzzle.
You can alter the size of grid by clicking but only a 16x16 area can be shown at one time. Scroll bars pan over the entire grid.
To enter solutions, the cursor is positioned with the mouse, you then type in your answers.
When you get stumped by a clue, the 'Solve' icon will produce a list of possible solutions from a dictionary of over 100,000 words in the second window. Pointing to any of these will automatically insert it in the grid.
Cross Star will also solve anagrams, although you'll have to find a space on the grid to type in the 'puzzle' word. Further icons load and save grids, print them out (in a very basic form) and clear them.
Unfortunately, there is no provision for numbering the grid, or entering the clues, so you still have to sit clutching the original paper crossword ticking off the clues.
Personally, I don't think that Cross Star provides enough features to really help you with crosswords. For my money, I would rather stick to Spellmaster's wildcarded word search, which is all Cross Star really does well anyway.