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on 10 February 2011
At last, a Franklin crossword solver that overcomes the main drawbacks of the earlier Puzzlemaster CWM206--discontinued--and the Franklin Chambers Crossword Dictionary CWR206--still available. (See my reviews of these machines.)

The earlier models had a poorly designed hinge; the lid soon came loose. One or more of the small rubber pads, glued to the base, fell off, so the machine wobbled. Worst of all, after regular daily use, some of the keys--especially the on/off key and arrow keys--had to be pressed several times and eventually stopped working altogether.

The lid of the CWR319 has two separate hinges; they should last much longer. The rubber pads under the base are plugged firmly into recesses. The keys are more robust and should last longer, though only time will tell.

The display shows two lines of blue text, or one line with larger letters. Entries are typed as capitals; answers appear in lower case. Earlier models showed only one line in black capitals.

The CWR319 stores over 500,000 solutions, not just words from the Chambers Crossword Dictionary but hundred of categories of proper nouns such as the names of abbeys, actors, football teams, Prime Ministers, rivers, etc, all listed by word length.

It can solve anagrams where the answer is more than one word. The words `foam lies in' became `Isle of Man'. The CWM206 and CWR206 find only one-word answers.

It can also find synonyms, listed by word length. You can specify the number of letters to see synonyms that will fit your crossword.

However, with anagrams or missing characters, the CWR319 fails to find some plurals and derivatives. It found minnow but not minnows, countermand but not countermanded. The earlier models find far more plurals and derivatives.

It also failed to find some not unusual words; for example, culinary and semifinal. These words are not in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary book but they are in the CWM206 and CWR206 and in my Seiko ER6000 Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus.

The CWR319 can be used for Countdown using a feature called Word Builder. Enter the nine letters shown on the TV. It then displays, one at a time, the longest word(s) then the next longest and so on, including proper nouns and phrases. But it takes about 30 seconds to build a complete list so the Countdown contestant may beat the machine.

If you want a fast, easy to use crossword solver, buy the much cheaper CWR206 but the lid may fall off and the keys will wear out. For a more robust machine with extra features and a few drawbacks, buy the CWR319. Better still, buy one of the more expensive Seiko machine, excellent for crosswords but no good for Countdown.
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on 7 May 2011
i decided to buy this franklin chambers crossword dictionary after reading the reviews i had a seiko er3200 before it did not do names or places but the franklin chambers does it all names places you also get more words at the touch of a button
brilliant purchase 10-10
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on 3 February 2011
This is a wonderful compact aid for crossword puzzlers.
It's neat, economical and offers several ways to use its data.
Easy to understand and use. Easy to change contrast so you can view it in all lights.
Can change case easily and the games are fine for amusement.
On reflection, I would have bought have bought a dictionary/thesaurus as well, but that must not detract from this little solver.
Well worth having.
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on 30 January 2011
This is the best crossword helper i've had. As well as the crossword solver,the anagram game and solver are great as are all the other games on it. Well worth the money, and on Amazon I saved around £15.
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on 14 January 2013
Unbelievably bad!
Never having posted a review before, I am compelled to do so in this case simply to prevent others making my mistake and actually buying this piece of junk .
First of all this is not a dictionary despite calling itself so. This I could accept ,as it is euphemistically called a "crossword dictionary". What I cannot accept ,as other reviewers have already pointed out , is its' inability to recognize many basic
words ,and as for any plurals ...well just forget them ! This is inexcusable in a product that purports to be an anagram solver ...better hope those anagrams don't contain an "s".
I simply cannot believe that some reviewers have given this product 5 stars.
I could go on ,but I cannot find the words ,nor in a lot of cases can this !!
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on 19 November 2011
This is the worst dictionary I have ever used. I still have a very old puzzle solver, but the buttons are sticking, hence my buying a new one. My old one gives me sometimes four or five word options, while this one struggles to find me one. Often it offers no words at all. Even if you input some words in completely, it still says " sorry not found", whereas if I put in the same letters on my old one it recognises them. I would NOT reccomend this product at all.
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on 21 November 2013
I already have a CWR 206 version of the dictionary which is very easy to use and ergonomicaly good to handle but because my wife and i often want to use the same we decided to get another.This proved impossible through WH Smith as they couldn't find one.
This was the alternative but is updated badly, in the style it is trendy but not feelly. More to the point the keys do not respond to the touch unless you hit them very hard. Instead of just getting on with it you have to make lots of choices which are meant to be helpful but stops the flow. The answers are not as comprehensive as they could be and do not always match the previous version.
It works but is irritating and only is an improvement slightly by giving you an anagram solver.
I wouldn't recommend it but is there a better alternative probably not.
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on 13 January 2014
My husband bought me this for Christmas as my old crossword solver's led was not working properly. Although this product is good it is not as easy to use as my old one and does not contain as much information. You also have to press the keys quite firmly to get it to register. The screen on the other hand is very clear and good for anyone with poor eyesight. It came in good time and well packaged.
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on 4 June 2014
i am not so keen on this item, as an upgrade of its predecessor, i expected it to be better but the format is time consuming and in a hurry, can be confusing, the upside is the buttons are bigger and casing sturdier, disappointed.
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on 2 October 2011
Like the large print. Also able to play games, especially hangman. Does not seem to show all words in our Chambers dictioary. Like thatb it takes AAA batteries and not the small watch size ones. Good value.
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