Return to Main Menu

About Netcrostics

How this website came to be

Somewhere in late 1999, David Howorth started a website called "ECrostics". It contained the ability to download a piece of software he had developed that made solving Acrostic puzzles infinitely easier. Instead of the tedious writing and cross-checking the numbers (and often filling in the wrong space), users could use his software to solve the "Ecrostic" puzzles he had posted on his website. These puzzles were constructed by a number of different puzzle constructors (myself included) using another piece of software he had developed, the ECrostic maker. This software also saved a lot of time in constructing Acrostic puzzles.

In my 'real world' job of website design, I began to realize it would be nice for people to be able to solve these same puzzles online (also the ECrostic software only worked on Windows computers, thus the whole Mac and Linux world needed Windows emulators to run the software). Additionally, if you did not have your computer and the software with you, you couldn't solve the puzzles.

In mid-2010, David Howorth gave me permission to develop web scripts that could utilize the puzzles his software produced and I began developing this website. I then obtain some of my fellow puzzle constructors' permission to use their puzzles on this website.

Thus "NetCrostics" was born.

About this website design

Currently, I am running this website "lean and mean". It does not have a lot of graphics or other flashy web components. This allows those who are accessing this website via smaller screen devices (cell phones or iPad-type devices) to easily navigate around. At some point in the future, I may choose to "wrap" this website in a fancier environment, but this "spare" website will still be accessible in this state from another URL.

A note about the software

Due to the nature of browser input (and various Javascripts that run in the background) you cannot type super fast in any NetCrostic puzzle (even when you know the answer). You don't have to type super slow, but be wary of any bursts of fast typing as the keyboard will sometimes "eat" some of your letters.

Internet Explorer (see "Spawn of Satan") : I am still having problems with the print version of the puzzles in Internet Explorer. As any web designer can tell you, IE is the one browser that won't work when all others will (there are even websites devoted to cursing its name). There is a reason it has gone from an 80% market share to 25%. On behalf of myself and every web designer on the planet, please consider changing to Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, or Opera. Any of these browsers beats Internet Exploder hands down.

Your feedback

While I have tried to debug the software that processes the ECrostic files to the best of my ability, it is impossible to test all 1,300+ puzzles on this website. As a result, your help would be invaluable in helping perfect it.

If you find a problem with any puzzle, please take a moment to fill out "Contact Us" form and let me know!

Happy Puzzling!

-- John Kiernan, NetCrostics

PS: A special thanks to David Howorth for all his hard work in developing Ecrostics and ECrosticMaker, and in the editing of EVERY puzzle on this (and his) website.

Another big thank you to each of the puzzle constuctors who agreed to have his or her puzzles posted on this website. They are great puzzles and I have myself had many hours of enjoyment solving them.