Man Creates An AI to Solve Crossword Puzzles

Jacob Goings

Matt Ginsberg is an AI scientist, author, and even a playwright, but he can’t solve crossword puzzles for his life.

He even writes them for the New York Times, but he says he often is not able to solve them.

After losing a major US crossword competition, he finally decided to do something about his poor abilities.

After 10 failed attempts, Ginsberg finally created an AI named Dr. Fill, which, as of May 4th, has just won his first competition. The competition it won was the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT), which is the leading crossword competition in the US.

As to how Dr. Fill was trained to do this: he was shown a giant database full of crossword puzzles and their answers.

Dr. Fill was taught to search for possible placements of words inside of a crossword puzzle, and the giant database of puzzles and answers helped it be able to do this.

A few weeks before the ACPT, two people from Berkeley contacted Ginsberg saying that they created a crossword clue answering system, and they were interested in combining it with Dr. Fill.

With this combination, the system would be able to solve the clues for the crossword puzzle, and then Dr. Fill would be able to use these clues and then would be able to solve the crossword puzzle faster.

Dr. Ginsburg said that most crossword puzzles are fairly easy for an AI, and that’s because all of the answers can be found on Wikipedia, but American crossword puzzles were very difficult for them to solve.

The reason is that the answers aren’t located on Wikipedia. One of the questions on an American crossword puzzle was “Pasta dish at the center of a murder mystery.” and the answer was “poisoned penne”, which can’t be found on Wikipedia.

“I’m not bad at crossword puzzles, I’m just not that good either,” says Colin Hill, a junior at Lakewood High School.