Black Ink & Multiple Letter Answers

May 29th, 2007

Black Ink 1.0.4 includes a number of fixes to the multiple character support of the application. In particular there were major problems with Undo and with revealing answers, when multiple letters were present. Thanks to a dedicated Black Ink user for bringing these problems to my attention!

Anybody who’s solved a lot of crosswords is familiar with the fun games puzzle authors like to play. Sometimes a clue will contain a play on words, or sometimes an answer will contain an especially creative spelling of a word. I recently came across a clue for a type of running race. As I filled in the adjacent clues I became more and more confounded by the clue. It seemed as though every other letter in the answer was a “K”! I’ve never heard of a KAKAKAKA race! Turns out the answer was “KKKKKKKKKKRACE”. That was obvious, wasn’t it? A 10-K race! Another answer in the puzzle was “DDDGLASSES”.

Another trick puzzle authors sometimes use is asking solvers to enter more than one letter into a square. This is the last thing most of us is expecting, but when you stumble upon it, it’s a sweet victory. Usually the multiple letter answers are the same throughout a puzzle. That is, a three word run like “SET” temporarily becomes a first-class “letter” for the puzzle:

Once you figure out the first instance of the trick, you’re on guard for remaining answers. When there’s a gimmick to a puzzle, noticing it is the turning point to solving the rest quickly.

To enter multiple letters with Black Ink, just right-click the square, or select “Enter Multiple Letters” from the Edit menu.

4 Responses to “Black Ink & Multiple Letter Answers”

  1. Dan Moren Says:

    I once had a puzzle in which two squares contained numbers. That took a while to figure out.

  2. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Dan: there are also some puzzles that contain shapes in the answer. For instance, a heart shape. Unfortunately, Black Ink doesn’t support this yet. But they’re so rare that it isn’t too much of a shortcoming.

  3. Carl Says:

    Daniel: Use Unicode, eg. ♡ or ♥

  4. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Carl: I will definitely do so if Unicode covers the entire set of required symbols. There is actually a list of symbols that is supported by the Across Lite format, and I’m not sure if all of them are adequately represented in Unicode or not.

Comments are closed.

Follow the Conversation

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this entry.