THE HISTORY OF MAGNUM OPUS

  • Version 20140128
    • Withdrawal of all Java Applets, due to the security hazards which they represent. Web Applications will progressively be developed to replace the Applets.
    • Significant additional features added to the Acrostic build function.
    • Other minor enhancements throughout the program.

  • Version 20131111
    • Full implementation of the Gokigen Web Application has been included.
    • Major changes to the appearance of the opening screen of Magnum Opus.

  • Version 20130815
    • Ready to use versions of Web Applications for the interactive solution of Minesweeper and Sudoku puzzles can do be exported by Magnum Opus.
    • Minor improvements to the Crossword and Word-Search Web Apps.

  • Version 20130610
    • Introduction of a Web Application for the interactive solution of Word-search Puzzles.
      This is the second in the series of Web Applications which will replace the now discredited Java Applet standard. The next three Web Applications will probably be Minesweeper, Akari and Sudoku.

  • Version 20130513
    • Introduction of a Web Application for the interactive solution of Crossword Puzzles.
      This is the first of an extensive series of Web Applications which will replace the now discredited Java Applet standard. The Web Applications are implemented in HTML5 which will become the standard for the foreseeable future.

  • Version 20130318
    • Improvements to the ACROSTIC build function.
      The build function is now far more reliable, and the speed of building has been increased very significantly.
    • Import of a text file in the Dictionary Maintenance function to create a new dictionary.
      This option allows you to very quickly and easily populate an empty Dictionary with a set of words. The words are derived from a text file stored anywhere on your hard drive. A very convenient and free source of such files on the Internet is the  Gutenberg project  which has over 40,000 books available for download. These books are available in many different languages, so it is a simple matter to create dictionaries in the language of your choice. Naturally the resulting dictionary will not contain any clues.
    • Copy clues from a crossword puzzle to the parent dictionary.
      When you build a Standard Crossword using a dictionary having no clues, the Build function allows you to add clues directly to the puzzle. It also offers an option to be able to copy these clues from the puzzle into the dictionary. In this way, the dictionary will gradually acquire clues to all of its words.

  • Version 20130206
    • Text export function for the words and clues of all word puzzles.
      Export options are Export words, Export clues, and Export words and clues. Destination of the export can be to a text file in a location of your choice on the hard drive, or to the System Clipboard.

  • Version 20130124
    • Added a "Request a Hint" option to the GOKIGEN Solve function.
    • Gemini style crossword printout for ESL instruction.
      Two copies of the crossword are printed, each having exactly half of the words, but none of the clues. Each ESL student will make a list of clues for the words on her puzzle, and then exchange these clues with a student who has the other half of the puzzle. Each student will then attempt to solve the entire puzzle using these clues. Obviously, this would be useful for teaching any language, not just English.
    • Word-search puzzles.
      Highlight the letters of a hidden message when a word-search puzzle has been solved, and when the solution is printed.

  • Version 20121231
    • Clipboard Export. All examples of printed output can now be exported to the System Clipboard from where it can readily be pasted into any Word Processor or Desk Top Publishing software.

  • Version 20121220
    • Included the Request a Hint function in the Sudoku Java Applet.
    • Included the Request a Hint function in the Akari Java Applet.
    • Added a "Request a Hint" option to the MINESWEEPER Solve function.
    • Included the Request a Hint function in the Minesweeper Java Applet.

  • Version 20121129
    Numerous minor bug corrections.

  • Version 20121119
    • Can now select a Clue Font when printing crosswords.
    • Improved display of the "loops" in the solution of a Word-search puzzle.
    • Language Options for standard words (eg. ACROSS and DOWN) used when printing puzzles.
    • Introduced a Wizard function for the construction of Crossword Puzzles.
    • Added a new print function for the output of "French Style" crossword puzzles.

  • Version 20120924
    • Improvements to puzzle printing functions.
    • Added a "Request a Hint" option to the AKARI Solve function.

  • Version 20120903
    Re-released after almost two years. Extensively re-written to include a standard menu system, and a reworked Help system in which all of the Help screens are actually web pages, displayed by the default web browser. It is a free offering, and no donation is requested. It is hoped that over time, revenue from the Google ads will pay for most of the operating expenses.

  • Version Dec10
    Soon after release, the program was withdrawn from distribution. Although many thousands of copies had been downloaded, only one donation was ever received.

  • Version Oct09
    The first release of Magnum Opus.
    It contained most of the functionality of Crossword Express, but also added Futoshiki, Kendoku, Domino and Letter-drop puzzles.
    It was written in the Java language which means that it is able to be operated on both Windows and Macintosh computers, as well as Linux. There was no registration fee, although a donation was requested if the program was found to be useful.

  • 2009
    Both the Windows and Macintosh versions withdrawn from distribution. Despite regular program releases incorporating many new features, sales had ceased completely due to the easy availability of pirate versions of the program. Download counters on some of the pirate sites indicated many thousands of downloads per month, but never a paid up registration.

  • 1996-2009
    Many versions of a Macintosh program called Crossword Express. It included many other types of puzzle such as Wordsearch, Acrostic, Sudoku, Kakuro, Slitherlink etc.

  • 1994-2009
    Many versions of a Windows program called Crossword Express. It included many other types of puzzle such as Wordsearch, Acrostic, Sudoku, Kakuro, Slitherlink etc.

  • 1992-1994
    A single version of a PC-DOS program called The Daily Crossword.