Introducing lmnowave

Posted in programming at 12:02 am by danvk

logoLast Winter, a dear friend of mine moved from San Francisco to Brooklyn. With an entire continent between us, my principal crossword puzzle buddy and I looked in vain to the internet for help. Was there truly no good way to do a crossword together online?

The New York Times offered an applet, but it proved to be finicky and would only let us do the most recent day’s puzzle. A friend’s project offered hope, but only led to “Service Temporarily Unavailable”.

Enter: lmnowave!

lmnowave is a crossword puzzle gadget for Google Wave. To do a crossword puzzle with a friend, you’ll both need Google Wave Accounts.

Once you’ve got that taken care of, click this big link to get going:

lmnowave installer

You should see something like this:

lmnowave installer

Click the “Install Icon” and create a new wave. You’ll see a crossword puzzle icon in your toolbar:

puzzle icon

Click it to add a crossword gadget. It should look like this:

load screen

If you’re using Chrome or Safari, you may get a warning about not being able to upload puzzle files. This is fine — just switch to Firefox for a minute or try one of the built-in Onion puzzles.

If you have a .puz file on your computer (perhaps from your times subscription), drag it onto the big lmnowave icon:

dragging a puz file

The puzzle will load instantly. Now drag a friend into the wave:

Adding a friend

and you’re ready to compete or collaborate as you see fit! Each player gets his or her own color, so you can keep track of who’s filled in each square:

partially-solved puzzle

lmnowave is an open-source project written entirely in JavaScript. If you’d like to contribute, check it out on github. Run into a bug or have a feature request? Let me know here.