When doing crossword, we sometimes have a fixed number of spaces and have specific words in between.
This web site will help.
The tip provided on how to use it is as follow:
Use a hyphen (dash) to give the location of a missing letter: w-rd or -are
Use an asterisk (star) for any number of unknown letters: lett* or *gry or ar*ct
Exclude words containing the letters that follow a caret (hat): ma-e ^kt
Or enter a few letters (without hyphens or asterisks) to see if they make any words.