Puzzlers' Cave started off in July 2000 when I was going through some crosswords in a puzzle book and the idea of creating a real-time crossword generating web site came to me. It occurred to me that writing software to generate crosswords would be a doddle, especially with modern day computing power. So I sat down to write the code.
After quickly knocking out the code to produce new grids, and putting together some useful word lookup code I soon discovered that writing code to solve the grids was not going to be as easy as it first seemed. Some quick research on the internet however gave me the clue on how to write the crossword solver; Crosswords are actually a mathematical problem known as a constraint satisfaction problem. With some simple algorithms I was able to put together the code that solved the crossword grids. One final hurdle remained....getting the clues for the crosswords.
And this hurdle still remains. At present each of the grids at Puzzlers' Cave, although generated and solved automatically using the Puzzlers' Cave Crossword Compiler, are finished manually by adding the clues. This will change when enough clues have been written to make the whole site fully automated.
Puzzlers' Cave however has finally been born with the main aim to provide Puzzlers around the world with free access to an unlimited resource of online crosswords and puzzle related topics. I hope you enjoy it and will help me by adding some of your own crosswords to the site to make the dream of fully automated, real-time puzzle generation a reality.
Enjoy the site
It's just over 2 years since the Puzzlers' Cave site went live and the site has had it's first major facelift ( here's a view of the original site for those nostalgic ones amongst you :-) ). The needs of Puzzlers' Cave players have changed and expanded in the last 2 years and the site has had to expand as well. With more and more crosswords being submitted by our members, thanks to you all!, we've introduced better commenting, rating, and mistake reporting so that the quality of all our crosswords can be improved. Additionally submitters can now edit their crosswords online to easily fix any problems found with their crosswords. We've also added new features such as printing for those players who still want to sit back and play their crosswords with a cup of tea or coffee in their armchair. I hope you all enjoy the new site and keep your feedback coming in because it really helps to improve the site.