WORD QUEST DOCUMENTATION -page 1-
W O R D Q U E S T v 4 . 0 0
by Donald A. Thomas, Jr.
(released in September 1993 as SHAREWARE)
(c)1988, 1993 ARTISAN SOFTWARE
P.O. Box 849
Manteca, California 95336
No warranty, implied or otherwise, applies to the
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source code, it's use or consequences of use. User agrees to
all accept all risks.
If you enjoy and use Word Quest for non-commercial
application, a monetary token of appreciation is in order.
Earlier versions of Word Quest have sold for $24.95 in
stores, mail order and Atari fairs. The publisher makes the
request of any amount between $5 and $15 as the user deems
financially able and worthwhile. If the user cannot afford
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the minimum of $5 as requested, the publisher wants the user
to retain a copy anyway. Any shareware fees the user wishes
to send at a later occasion is welcome and it is always
encouraged for making copies for friends. Please note that
this program is fully enabled and no all options and
features are instantly available for all users to implement
immediately. The publisher encourages the existing (paid)
base of Word Quest users to consider this release as a FREE
If Word Quest is used for commercial applications such
as to form puzzles for profit-based publications, the
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publisher requests an amount of $20 to $50 based on
conditions deemed most fit by the user.
In all cases, Shareware funds should be paid by CASH,
check or money order in U.S. funds to:
P.O. Box 849
Manteca, CA 95336
WORD QUEST version 4.00 has been released as Shareware
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in November of 1993. This release does not affect the terms
of earlier commercial releases of this product. The source
code and terms of distribution remain the rights of the
publisher as protected by applicable copyright laws. The
author, publisher and/or distribution channels assumes no
responsibility for the operation of this program to meet or
exceed anyone's specific application. Every effort has been
implemented to assure accuracy and quality control, however
in an effort to constantly improve this product, the author
reserves the right to make changes without notice and such
changes may not necessarily be reflected within this
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This software may be distributed by any entity if:
* Program codes has not been altered, amended or
* Charges, if any, to consumer for distribution do not
exceed reasonable duplication, distribution costs as
measured by other public domain and/or shareware
* All references to the availability of this software
include copyright and author credit.
* The payment of Shareware fees for use is encouraged.
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* All other reasonable application of laws and
conditions for the distribution of shareware are
This program is designed and tested to function on an
Atari ST, Mega, STe and Atari Falcon 030 computers. An
appropriate monochrome/color monitor in ST medium or ST high
resolution is required. Atari, ST, Mega, STe and Atari
Falcon 030 are trademarks or registered trademarks of Atari
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Corporation. Other products or tradenames mentioned are
trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective owning
NOTE TO ESTABLISHED WORD QUEST USERS:
Word Quest now expects file extenders to be .WQ1
instead of .WQP. Please note that this helps optimize the
distinction between Word Quest and Word Quest 2 files. The
file format is identical. To convert .WQP file(s) to .WQ1,
simply rename the file(s) using the appropriate desktop or
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Artisan Software was founded by Donald A. Thomas, Jr.
in 1989. Word Quest(tm) was the premiere software release by
this company and was instantly embraced by users and critics
throughout the world. The software was always a hit at Atari
shows and fairs and countless Atari retailers and mail order
firms took the product and proudly placed it on their
shelves. In 1989, Artisan Software released Word Quest 2(tm)
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(a "sequel" not a new version). This second release was also
a successful hit and offered exceptional appeal to the
education market as well as the "common" Atari 16-bit
Word Quest and Word Quest 2 were updated a number of
times to include features recommended most by devoted users.
The current shareware release of these programs include all
these features and more. In the later part of 1991 and 1992,
the distribution of Word Quest and Word Quest 2 were
affected by several negative stimuli. One of the biggest
distributors of Artisan Software discontinued support of
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Atari Computers, STart Magazine published "free"
lesser-grade alternatives, the author became besieged by
obligations of great consumption of time and a competitor
emerged which offered similar products at slightly lowered
prices. As a result to these and other factors, advertising
was forced to stop and the products reached a virtual
standstill due to a primary lack of exposure AND the failure
of the author to upgrade the software for universal
compatibility with Atari's newest computer lines.
In September 1993, Artisan Software decided to address
the continuing urge by users to upgrade and rerelease Word
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Quest and Word Quest 2. The code was ported over to GFA
Basic 3.5, serial number and copy protection schemes were
removed, incompatibility flaws were debugged, subtle user
interface benefits were added and many program execution
routines were optimized for faster start-up and clean
operation. The documentation files were
reviewed/amended/edited and the results were formally
released in the public domain environments as shareware.
In November 1993, Artisan Software unveiled version
4.00 of Word Quest and released this upgrade to the
Shareware marketplace. This newest version features a
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rewrite to well over 75% of the original program code. It
adds the ability to enter international characters for
broader appeal, a selection of sort formulas and almost
every interactive module now offers a comprehensive
GEM-based dialog box for accelerated productivity.
If you are an existing or past user of Word Quest/Word
Quest 2, you will find all your favorite features and
capabilities intact in enhanced forms. If you are a new
user, you will find these programs fun and worthwhile to add
to your software library. Artisan Software hopes you
remember us the next time you have out your checkbook. More
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importantly, we hope you enjoy the use and benefits of these
WORD QUEST is a powerful GEM-based program designed to
construct and play hidden word games as found in many
newspapers and magazines. In little time, a fully formed 20
x 20 character puzzle can be masterfully assembled and
integrated into a challenging source of entertainment which
can take hours to solve.
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Special groups can easily dictate a dictionary of words
and acronyms for members to disassemble. Teachers can
implement puzzles to augment their educational efforts in
the areas of word recognition and spelling. Friends can
exchange puzzles they constructed in person or over a
WORD QUEST implements the following power packed
* Compatible with color OR monochrome systems in ST
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medium or high resolutions
* Adjustable puzzle sizes from 5x5 to 20x20 character
* Toggles to manually dictate the allowable directions
for words to be buried
* Option of individual word entry or list entry
* Complex integration of specific and random word
placement routines to assure even word placement
* Various built-in sort routines to assure longer
words are placed first yet hard copies of word lists
are in alphabetical order
* Instant deletion of unwanted words
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* Automatic scanning of unused words when positions
are found for new words
* Optional load of saved puzzles by filename or
detailed item list
* Data file locking option
* Automatic fill routine to fill unused character
* Most commands accessible by keystroke or mouse
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WORD QUEST may be installed from the GEM desktop
environment by double clicking on the program named
"WQ1.PRG". Refer to your Atari computer owner's manual for
specific instructions on how to start (boot) programs. If
you have any problems, please check your system or remove
any accessories from your desktop before attempting again.
ATTENTION MONOCHROME MONITOR USERS:
This program has been written to function on a
monochrome or a color monitor in medium resolution.
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References to colors, of course, do not apply to monochrome
users. In most cases, if text or characters are indicated to
be highlighted in color, the monochrome user will find the
same in bold type instead.
WORD QUEST commands may be activated by either the
mouse or the keyboard. When the program first boots up, the
screen will scroll into place behind the copyright notice.
Press the left mouse button or any key when to accelerate
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the opening scroll and again to begin WORD QUEST.
The menu bar along the top of the screen provides
direct access to all commands. As you point to the
selections, a list of options will appear directly
underneath. Simply point and click the left mouse button on
the option you desire to invoke. You may also press the
key and the corresponding letter command to invoke
options without the mouse. The corresponding letters are
those found immediately to the right of the "^" symbol
within your GEM-based menu system.
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There may be one of two things you would do immediately
when running this program. One is to load an existing puzzle
or you may wish to create a new one. + allows
you to load an existing (previously saved) puzzle and
+ allows you to begin entering words for a new
puzzle. The program defaults to 20 x 20 character grid and
words to be placed in all possible directions. If you wish
to change the size of the puzzle, you will need to press
+ to restart and/or define a new grid size. You
may also press and any one of the function keys
(F1-F8) as a toggle to enable or disable allowable
directions for words to be placed. will enable all
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possible directions if any have been previously disabled.
The corresponding directions are noted at the bottom of your
screen and an "*" designates which directions are enabled at
any one given time. The active directions are also noted in
the "DI:" box at the right of your screen. The N, S, E, W,
NE, etc. correspond to map directions.
Below are specific definitions for the available
commands. Refer to this list for a refined perspective of
program execution, puzzle construction and command
sequences. The information has been updated from command
descriptions before the most recent enhancements.
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^A ABOUT WORD QUEST
This option renders author credits and copyright
designations. Press any key or the left mouse button to exit
this dialog box.
^C CITE DOCUMENTATION
This option allows you to read or print the documentation on
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your WORD QUEST disk (this text file). The instructions for
WORD QUEST is saved under the filename: "WQ1.DOC". Non Word
Quest files can not be viewed or printed with this function.
A "read selector" will offer the opportunity to designate
where "WQ1.DOC" exists on your hard drive or floppy drive.
You will also be able to designate whether the file should
be printed to the screen or a printer. If you print the file
to your screen, you may use the keyboard or the left mouse
button to continue reading additional pages. The right mouse
button aborts this command.
You may wish to enter "WQ1.DOC" into your own word
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^D MOVE WORD
This option allows any word to be moved from its present
location to another within an established puzzle IF another
suitable position exists. Click on PREV or NEXT in the
dialog box to select the word you wish to move. If the word
is currently used in the puzzle (not in the unused word
list), the MOV box will be enabled. Click on MOV to allow
the computer to search for another location. Click on EXIT
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to exit the dialog box.
^E ENTER WORD
WORD QUEST will accept up to 250 words entered one at a time
or as an entire list. To enter a word individually, press
after typing the word of choice, then press
once more to tell the system to begin searching for
a position in the puzzle for that word. If a position is
found, any unused words will automatically be scanned since
the new word may create new positions. You may abort the
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scanning of any word at any time by pressing . If you
do, the word being scanned will automatically be retained in
the unused word list.
You may also enter a list of words. To do this, press
only once after each word is typed.
WORD QUEST deletes all words when you change puzzle size
with the ^R function. You may find occasions that you may
need to re-enter a list if you do not like the way WORD
QUEST compiled specific puzzles. For such instances you may
choose to use the buffer option in the enter word dialog
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box. By clicking on LOAD, all words entered will be copied
into a buffer. You may then exit the Enter Word dialog box
and load a new puzzle or restart the puzzle all together.
When you wish to merge the words in the buffer back into
your puzzle, click on USE from the Enter Word dialog box.
As words are placed in the puzzle, you may note that entered
words are highlighted in red (or in bold) so you know where
the words are.
Word Quest now permits easy entry of special characters
including international characters. To enter an
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international character, click on the highlighted "ENTER
WORD" located at the top of the dialog box. A supplementary
dialog box will appear which displays an assortment of
extended characters. Click on the character desired an that
character will appear at the end of the word entered in the
ENTER WORD dialog box. To insert a character, first erase
the trailing characters in the word necessary so that the
new character appears where it should. To exit the extended
characters box without choosing a character, click on
Click on EXIT to exit the ENTER WORD dialog box.
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It may be helpful to be aware of the basic rules WORD QUEST
follows to place words:
When a list of words are entered, the words are first sorted
by the sort formula designated by the user. By default, the
sort is performed by length with longer words placed before
shorter ones since longer words are harder to place as the
The first word is always randomly placed by beginning
position and allowable directions.
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Subsequent words are scanned for all possible placements
beginning at a random position in the puzzle to avoid
"bunching" of words in a specific portion of the puzzle.
At least one character of each word scanned must take up an
unoccupied position in the puzzle. This will eliminate the
potential that words like "ANT" get placed within words like
The same word may not be entered twice.
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If no location is found where at least one character
intersects an existing word, Word Quest now will place the
word in a random open area of the grid if space allows.
^F FILL PUZZLE
Implementing this option may be done at any time. It will
not effect the ability to place new words still using
"filled" positions. Filling the puzzle effectively means
designating a random letter character for every character
position which is not occupied by a placed word.
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Although the selection process of characters to fill empty
positions is random, the percentage of random selection is
based on the likelihood that each character may appear in
normal language use (based on the English language). For
example, vowels, especially the letter "E", will be more
likely to become a fill character than the letter "Z".
You may have reason to have students or others work the
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puzzles by identifying the position of words by the grid
position of the first letter of each word. This option
prints the puzzle with an alphanumeric key running along the
top and down the left side of your puzzle. Letters are
placed across the top and numbers are placed down the side.
People working the puzzles may indicate the row and column
of the word and the compass direction in which the word is
^H HUNT WORD
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By selecting this option a "HUNT" dialog box will appear in
the lower right portion of your screen. All words will be
accessible in this window by clicking on PREV or NEXT to
scroll through the words. If the word is a part of the
current puzzle and not in the unused word list, the HNT
option will be enabled. By clicking on HNT, the grid will
reveal the position of the word chosen in the puzzle by
highlighting it in color or in bold characters.
Note that words are sorted according to the users assigned
sort formula. Exit this option by clicking on EXIT.
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^I ID PUZZLE
WORD QUEST allows each puzzle you design to be titled by an
ID. This assists in locating desired puzzles with the LIST
option within the LOAD command and add custom appearance in
your printouts. The ID is the title of the puzzle you are
Select this option to change or edit the title of the puzzle
currently loaded in WORD QUEST. If chosen, a dialog box will
appear to allow editing of this data. Standard GEM-based
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editing features apply. Click on OK when finished.
This command uses a unique grid technique to identify the
position of words in the puzzle for an answer sheet. An
alphanumeric grid is printed across the top and down the
left side of the puzzle as noted in the ^G command above.
The answers are printed below by identifying the column by
letter, row by number and the direction by compass
direction. IE. "A13SW" would mean the word is located in the
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"A" column of the 13th row and travels Southwest (down to
the left). Refer to the ^P command and ^T command for
details regarding output options.
^L LOAD/LIST PUZZLE
This option is found under the FILES selection in your menu
system at the top of the screen. Select this option to load
a new puzzle off of a storage device which may include ram
disks, hard drives or disk drives. You have two ways to load
a puzzle. A window will appear offering the options. You may
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click on LOAD to view available puzzles just by file name. A
"load selector" will appear searching the drive path you
used to boot WORD QUEST. That drive path will be scanned for
all files with an extender of .WQ1 which all WORD QUEST
puzzles should be saved as. Simply double click on the
puzzle you wish to load.
You may also load puzzles from a detailed list which offers
specific details about the puzzles including grid size, the
number of words used, title, author, etc. To load a puzzle
in this manner, click on "LIST" from the initial load
window. A "list selector" box will appear to offer the
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designation of a drive path if you want puzzles scanned from
a drive path other than the default. Simply double click on
ANY puzzle within the selected drive path and all puzzles in
that drive path will be displayed up to 3 at a time. Once
displayed you may click on LOAD for any of the puzzles the
system has found and displayed. Each file with a .WQ1
extender will be tested to be a true WORD QUEST file. If not
it will be ignored.
^M MADE BY
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WORD QUEST allows each puzzle you design to designate an
author. This can assist in personalizing individual puzzles
and simply offering "credit where credit is due".
Select this option to change or edit the author's name of
the puzzle currently loaded in WORD QUEST. If chosen, a
dialog box will appear to allow editing of this data.
Standard GEM-based editing features apply. Click on OK when
^N SORT ORDER
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By pressing + a dialog box appears which permits
the user to define a sort formula. The sort formula selected
can greatly affect the overall characteristics of individual
puzzles. For instance, if longer words are sorted before
shorter ones, more words might find positions in the puzzle
when completed. However, if shorter ones are placed before
longer ones, more words may be placed in a broader selection
of allowable directions. Alphabetical sorts and a random
sort are also provided. Random will cause the sort to be
different every time the function is called upon.
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Click on OK when the desired sort is selected.
^O OPEN PUZZLE
This option, when selected, will erase all previously filled
character positions which are not a part of a placed word.
(opposite of ^F Fill)
^P NORMAL (Print normal format)
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You can only print puzzles which are resident in WORD QUEST.
In other words, you must first design or load a puzzle
before a puzzle may be printed. Select this option to print
a puzzle to a printer. WORD QUEST will first fill the puzzle
if not done already. (See ^F Fill command)
Next, WORD QUEST will determine where you want to print your
puzzle; the screen, a disk file or a printer. This is
determined by the ^T command. If the output is assigned to
the printer, you will have to check that it is "on-line".
Puzzles are first printed by printing the title of the
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puzzle, the author and the date. The puzzle is centered
underneath and the used words are alphabetized and listed
under the completed puzzle. Publishers may realize the need
to consider this a draft and to assign the output with the
^T command to a disk file. The resulting file may be then
imported in desktop publishing software or a word processor
for more formalized output.
^S SAVE PUZZLE
Puzzles may be saved once created or edited. To save a
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puzzle press CONTROL+ or select "SAVE PUZZLE" from the
options in the menu bar. Several events take place when you
First, if the puzzle has not been filled, the save command
will do it automatically. Refer to the ^F Fill command for
Secondly, you will be asked if you want to delete unused
words. If you are going to continue editing the puzzle at a
later time, you may not wish to delete those words. If you
are permanently saving a completed puzzle you may wish to
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save disk storage space by deleting unused words. Once
deleted the words will no longer be resident and must be
retyped in if you decide later to include them.
Third, all the words will be sorted according to any
previously assigned sort formula. The default is that words
are sorted by length.
You will then be offered an "save selector" window to
designate a drive path and specific file name. You may
designate an existing file name and write over it or type in
a new one. If you designate an existing file name and it was
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locked, you will be offered the opportunity to unlock the
puzzle or abort the operation. If you designate a filename
without the extender .WQ1 or if you designate a different
extender, the filename will automatically be corrected to
include the .WQ1 extender. There will be no warning if you
choose a filename that already exists in the assigned drive
path and the existing file was not previously locked, so
always save and update files with caution.
Once saved, WORD QUEST will offer the opportunity to "lock"
the file to help avoid accidental alterations or deletions
in the future. Reply to the inquiry accordingly.
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^T PRINTER/SCREEN/DISK (Toggle)
This versatile command determines to which device you will
print your puzzles. By choosing this command, a window will
appear giving you three options. Choosing PRINTER sends your
hard copies to a printer you have connected to your ST.
SCREEN prints only to the monitor which is an excellent way
to preview your work. DISK permits the puzzles to be printed
in ASCII format to the disk filename you define. These files
can be merged in to publishing programs and word
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^U WORD LIST
By pressing + a list of all words which have
been placed into the puzzle is rendered. You may select from
viewing all words, used words or unused words. If no words
have yet been assigned positions in the puzzle, the default
will be to display unused words, otherwise used words will
be displayed first.
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Use the scroll bar to scroll longer lists accordingly.
You may also point and click on individual words to
highlight them. When your choices have been made, you may
click on DELETE to remove all the chosen words from the
list. Deleting used words places them back into the unused
word list. Deleting unused words or words from the ALL
display will remove them completely from the database.
Click on PRINT to output the current list to a connected
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^W DATE PUZZLE (WHEN)
WORD QUEST allows each puzzle you design to be dated. If you
have a timekeeper or built-in clock, the current date should
be displayed automatically when you first install WORD
QUEST. Otherwise, the release date of your system TOS will
be displayed. This can assist in locating updates to desired
puzzles with the LIST option within the LOAD command and add
custom appearance in your printouts.
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Select this option to change or edit the date of the puzzle
currently loaded in WORD QUEST. If chosen, a dialog box will
appear to allow editing of this data. Standard GEM-based
editing features apply. Click on OK when finished.
^X USE ACCESSORIES
WORD QUEST supports the ability to access accessories which
may have been loaded when you installed WORD QUEST. This may
be helpful for access to spell checkers or other useful
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applications. Since the mechanism to track screen writes is
complex, Word Quest requires that you let it know that you
want to use an accessory. When you do, the screen will be
cleared and you will have full access to all installed
accessories until you choose to return to Word Quest by
using the ^X command again.
If, for any reason, you interrupt the scanning of words to
be placed in your puzzle and there remains words in your
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unused word vocabulary list, you may use this command to
re-initiate the search for positions of those words. When
selected, the words will be sorted according to the
previously defined sort formula. The process may be halted
by pressing .
< < < END > > >
HardwareSupports Blitter on Mega ST and STe