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1.1 Using templates to complete crosswords

One of the commonest uses for TEA is to help complete crosswords by showing the words that can fit a space: a TEA pattern made up from the known and unknown letters is known as a "template". An example of a situation where TEA can help is shown below:

Step 1 initial image

Suppose the clue for 28 down is Gum tree and you can't immediately think of an answer that will fit. You can create a template for the answer by interspersing the known letters U and Y with dots (or question-marks) to represent the unknown letters, as shown below:

Step 1 final image

Type .u...y.... into the box below the Pattern label and click on the Word Search button. You should see the words that match the template appear in lists in the bottom half of the TEA window. In this case, the answer that matches the definition Gum tree is eucalyptus and this is the first word shown in the Core English list.

Note that the lists shown may differ depending on whether you are evaluating TEA or using the full version. Also, the lists won't necessarily appear side-by-side unless you used the Window|Tile Vertical command.

In the next step, we will learn the other important pattern type, which is used to solve anagrams.

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Last updated: $Date: 2010/06/06 20:40:38 $
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