> I am trying to insert unicode charater 217D (a cross) into a line of 
> text. I cannot figure out how to do it, or if it can be done.

  You probably mean U+217D, not U+271D.

  This is one of the famous Zapf dingbats, available in dedicated fonts;
you don't really need Unicode fonts in order to typeset it.  Try the
instructions by Adam Lindsay

  An alternative with Mark IV: just find a font that contains that
character.  You can look for it with BabelPad on Windows /
UnicodeChecker on Mac OS / gucharmap on Linux.  Then, just use the font
with the \definefont command.

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