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Name: Crossword Puzzle Generator Programmers: Darren Cheng and Nimit Dhulekar Problem: A crossword is a word puzzle that normally takes the form of a square or rectangular grid of black and white squares. The goal is to fill the white squares with letters, forming words or phrases, by solving clues that lead to the answers. Squares in which words begin are numbered. The clues are then referred to by these numbers and a direction, for example ‘4 Down’ or ‘2 Across’. The main goal of this project is to emulate a constructor or setter and “compile” crossword puzzles. This crossword puzzle generator would generate British-style puzzles, which are 15x15 grids with a lattice-like structure, with a higher percentage of black squares compared to the American-style puzzles, leaving up to half the letters in the answers unchecked. The construction of crossword puzzles is a NP-complete problem. Approach: Using java as the programming language, we would design a program that would output a solved British-style crossword. Tasks: 1) Create set of empty 15x15 British-style crossword puzzle boards. The board does not have words in it, but has place markers for words already in place. 2) Compile a word list. 3) Figure out which words will fill the crossword puzzle. We would use a backtracking search to determine which word would be the best fit in each of the empty place markers. 4) Generate the solved crossword puzzle. 5) Figure out better algorithms to generate crossword puzzles. Proposed Extra Work: -Using a dictionary, generate clues for each word, and print out the clue bank alongside its corresponding puzzle. -Design an applet in which a user can interact with the crossword puzzle. Data: We would obtain a wordlist from an online source yet to be found. If we were to implement a clue generator, to obtain these clues we would use a dictionary from another or the same online source. Success Metric: To determine the progress of the project, we would generate multiple random crossword puzzles of smaller sizes to check and see if every word in the puzzle was an actual English word. The final success metric would be a 15x15 board. If we were to generate clues for every word, we would check to see if every clue correctly matched its corresponding word. If we were to design an applet for the crossword puzzle, we would test to see if the crossword puzzle correctly sensed a completed puzzle. Task Assignment: One person would generate the empty boards, compile a wordlist, and generate test cases. The other person would generate the algorithm to fill the particular empty board with possible English words from the wordlist. If we to generate clues for each crossword puzzle, one person would do the mapping from the clue to the word. The other person would test to see if accurate mapping actually occurred. If we were to create an applet for the crossword puzzle, one person would design the applet and the other person would determine if the words inputted by the user are correct. References: 1. Crosswords, Wikipedia.com. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossword Wikipedia.com. February 24, 2009.
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