Blind Crossword Programs

Losing your sight is no reason to stop enjoying crosswords.

For audio-assisted 2D crosswords, Windows users can download and install Spoonbill Software’s free BG Crossword Puzzle to solve puzzles downloaded from the internet. While running the game, hit Shift F1 to access the tutorials written by Eric Westbrook. These tutorials teach you how to use the program and also give an introduction to cryptic crosswords.

Eric explains how the Spoonbill program works on BBC Radio 4 in a 2010 episode of In Touch. Eric’s bit starts at 12:57. Keep listening to the end, after Colin Dexter has talked about his love of cryptic crosswords, to hear Eric pose a specially composed clue for the episode.

In 2012, Sam Twidale of York University won the £1000 IT Challenge to develop software to enable blind solvers to solve the 2013 3D Calendar Puzzles.