XWordList is a crossword puzzle word list builder that I wrote to help me construct heavily themed crossword puzzles. I recently open sourced it on GitHub and also launched a companion documentation site with detailed instructions on how to use the software.

The software has a number of features to help crossword puzzle constructors make word lists including:

  • Web page parsing: one of the best ways to build a word list is to use websites with thematic content, for instance a lyrics site for a puzzle about a musician. XWordList has a number of features to help you grab content from one or more structured websites.

  • Text parsing: once you have acquired large blocks of text, the next step is to turn it into a word list. The software will do everything from stripping out non-alphabetic characters to separating text blocks into words using any delimiter(s) of your choosing.

  • List clean up: to make a list ready for your construction software, XWordList does the obvious word munging functions — alphabetizing, getting rid of duplicates, filtering out words smaller than you need and making everything whatever case you want.

I’ve had a lot of fun building and using it. I welcome your feedback and hope you find it as useful as I have.