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Hints

Hints for Creating a Word Search Puzzle
Hint for Creating a Word Search with a Hidden Message Puzzle
Hints for Creating a Crisscross Puzzle
Hints for Creating a Double Puzzle

HINTS FOR CREATING A WORD SEARCH PUZZLE
It's easier and faster to generate smaller word search puzzles. The smaller the puzzle size, the more enjoyable it will be to solve. The bigger the puzzle size, the longer it will take to generate—and remember, a 40 x 40 puzzle contains 1,600 letters. We recommend creating a puzzle three to four letters longer than your longest word.

The program will not use or will ignore
- one- and two-letter words,
- punctuation and capitalization, and
- duplicate words are used only once

The program will allow three-letter words in a puzzle, but we advise not using them.

If you enter punctuation—such as dashes, periods, or quotation marks—the punctuation will be treated as spaces. For example, the phrase "three-letter" will become the separate words three and letter.

Try not to use parts of words that might get lost in the puzzle or confuse the solver. For example, if you input the words cat and catalog, the word cat could get hidden in the word catalog.

The choice of option 1 will not allow any word to share a letter with another word. However, two diagonal words (forming an X) can cross but not share a letter. For example, in the puzzle below, the names Dave and Mark cross but do not share a letter.

DXXM
XAAX
XRVZ
KXXE
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HINTS FOR CREATING A WORD SEARCH WITH A HIDDEN MESSAGE PUZZLE
The more words you input, the better the probability that the message will be well hidden.

If many of the letters in the puzzle are not used, it is highly likely that the hidden message will be placed near the top and mostly together. For a small puzzle, it is best to enter lots of words so that the hidden message is broken up.

Play around with the size of the puzzle. You will need to find a size that allows all the words and the message to be hidden, with only a couple letters left over.

The program will not use or will ignore
- one- and two-letter words,
- punctuation and capitalization, and
- duplicate words are used only once

The program will allow three-letter words in a puzzle, but we advise not using them.

If you enter punctuation, like dashes, periods, and quotation marks, the punctuation is treated as spaces. For example, the phrase "three-letter" will become the separate words three and letter.

Try not to use parts of words that might get lost in the puzzle or confuse the solver. For example, if you input the words cat and catalog, the word cat could get hidden in the word catalog.

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HINTS FOR CREATING A CRISSCROSS PUZZLE
The first word on each line in the word will be in the puzzle. The rest of the line is the clue.

The program will not use or will ignore
- one- and two-letter words,
- punctuation and capitalization, and
- duplicate words are used only once

If you enter punctuation, like dashes, periods, and quotation marks, the punctuation is treated as spaces. For example, the phrase "three-letter" will become the separate words three and letter.

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HINTS FOR CREATING A DOUBLE PUZZLE
Two- and three-letter words do not scramble well. A two-letter word can only be scrambled by reversing the letters.

The program will sometimes not scramble short words. Since there are only a few ways to scramble a two- or three-letter word, it is possible that the program will try to scramble the word but end up putting the letters in the same order.

Letters in the final phrase might already be filled in. If a letter appears in the final phrase but not in any of the clue words, the letter is filled in for the solver. So, make sure you have enough clue words to support the final phrase. For example, if your clue words are Tiger, Bear, Emu, and Pig, and the final phrase is Saint Louis Zoo, the solver would see

Punctuation characters are not scrambled. Nonletter characters like apostrophes and dashes are not moved around when words are scrambled.

Words are scrambled individually. If you enter a multiword phrase as a clue word, each word is scrambled separately. For example, Saint Louis Zoo might scramble to

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