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Stretham
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some feedback on the Dingbats puzzle:

Quote:
7 down defeated me until I realised there was an error in the clue, with (6) given instead of (2,4)
Yes and no. The original answer for this was indeed NO IDEA, and was clued with 'precous' (precious=dear with no I). However, my hairy tester came up with the different answer of NOISES (no 'ises', as if said by Gollum from Lord Of The Rings). This seemed such a brilliant answer that I decided (a) both would be acceptable and (b) I would modify the clue to 'my precous' to point more towards the Gollum one. To allow for both answers the presence of multiple-word dingbats therefore had to be concealed, so I apologise for that confusion.

And we also have a suggestion:

kloontjeleo wrote:
The dingbats were great fun! I was wondering, isn't it possible to make some sort of competition? Giving points for a correct grid, and maybe bonus points to do it within a day, and with points substracted for each wrong letter, or something like that? At the end of the year there's a winner and everyone starts at 0 again. I think it would attract people to submit their solution more often. I certainly would.
This seems like a great idea to me, so could those who would be interested in such a thing post here please?

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

April Showers:

Quote:
A weakness of the puzzle was that it was possible to complete the grid without identifying the shows
This is a fair point. I must have been in a generous mood when I decided I was going to clue the characters as well as the shows. Smile

Apart from a couple of mentions of enjoyments (many thanks) the only other thing to report is some Stateside surprise at my use of ruralized (with a Z rather than an S). I will try not to let such dreadful lapses occur in the future! Razz

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continuing congratulations for everyone who solves the puzzles, but especial congratulations should go to stozz who spotted the following that was missed by setter, playtester and (as far as I'm aware) all other solvers:

July puzzle, 8 down - Make sense about time back in ropes (8):

stozz wrote:
I would like the clue to be an anagram of SENSE around ARE (ERA backwards) to give ENSNARES, but of course that anagram doesn't work. What am I missing?
A misplaced E can cause all sorts of problems! Ill

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh... and I almost forgot. Keep your eye out for a guest crossword setter taking over the reins for the monthly puzzle in the very near future. Smile

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some feedback for stozz's September puzzle:
    Very nicely done! There were just enough normal clues to allow entry. Well, that and Yankee Doodle (which alone did not tip off the NATO theme for me). Of course, I am aware of stozz's talents in puzzle writing, and I would expect this level of quality from him, but this was a great entry nonetheless.

    Thank you, Stozz, I enjoyed this. The idea was nice, and it would have been even better if all the insertions were balanced by corresponding excisions (as you did with LIMA, for example).

    I hope you'll be presenting us with lots more crosswords which are as much fun as this one.

    I really enjoyed this challenge! I was stumped until I found YDOODLE. Since I'm from the USA, I am not up on the football teams "across the pond" and CLTIC was one of the hardest clues for me to solve.
This last point is quite pertinent as I try (probably not always successfully) to cater for the fact that a number of the solvers are not from the UK. There are very many UK-centric abbreviations, etc used in the UK newspapers that are so embedded in me that I probably use them without thinking. Please do feel free to let me know if I fall short in this regard.

In the meantime, I think it is reasonable to say that stozz's contribution was a success. Don't hesitate to get in contact if there is someone else out there who wants to have a go.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

November's time travelling celebration appears to have been well received. Here are some of the comments:

Quote:
Very enjoyable crossword. Would be nice if we had the setters name so that he could be thanked.
At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, unless otherwise stated it is me. Embarassed

Quote:
I enjoyed this month's challenge - it took me until the very end to work out the theme (over here in the USA we don't get the "Dr. Who" television series

Quote:
The "Time Lord" part was a perfect finisher for this crossword, as it had me scouring the grid for quite a while. I was really impressed with the construction of this, and I'd never seen "adding words into clues" before... I liked especially 6d and 12a.

Quote:
I wasn't too keen on the use of "E Bay" rather than eBay (I appreciated why it ended up like that)
It's a fair point, and although I wasn't completely happy with it I just couldn't resist. Smile

There was also a query about whether SC can be an abbreviation for Seychelles (SY is the internet code) but I'm pleased to say that for once I haven't messed up: see here.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some feedback on the December puzzle:

Quote:
Thank you for an enjoyable and fun puzzle this month. Also for making it a little easier to solve for this busy holiday season. Look what Arthur Wynne started!!!
Quote:
A perfect puzzle to honour a great man who was buried 6 Down and 4 Across!
Quote:
I have criticisms of 2 clues: 1D is grammatically flawed as SACRED COW is singular and "they" is plural in the definition; and in 6D I don't see how "debut elements" can refer to the initial letters of "debut elements" itself when it doesn't even refer to the initial letters of all the other words in the clue i,e. "To".
Quite right in both instances. The former I suspect was a case of me concentrating more on the surface reading (and even then it's wrong with cadre being singular! Embarassed). The latter was an attempt at an &lit type of clue, which didn't come off as well as I had intended. Partly in my defence, 'to' was retained as it was part of the original clue by Arthur Wynne, but the unforgiving world of cryptic crosswords where a letter/character out of place can change everything prevents me from getting away with it. Confused

Unsurprisingly, as fans of cryptic crosswords in general will no doubt have noticed, I was not the only setter to mark the centenary.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inspired by feedback for the January puzzle, I have a couple of self criticisms:

23a - In retrospect this either should not have contained the word 'get', or should have been rewritten. My apologies for this oversight.
18d/19d - Both used the construct of 'walk' as they were written at different times. In separate sections of the crossword I could maybe get away with this, but in consecutive clues this was poor.

Hopefully you are enjoying, or have already enjoyed the February puzzle. As I mentioned in a separate thread, March should see another puzzle from a new compiler. Please do feel free to leave some feedback here for this, even if you don't get a chance to finish the puzzle.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sun May 04, 2014 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My sincere apologies that I haven't previously addressed the debut puzzle of our newest administrator here. Embarassed Here is a selection of comments for JWawro's puzzle "Of The Sun":

- I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge.
- Excellent debut made all the more difficult because of non-dictionary words.
- Enjoyable, with good clues - to name a few I particularly liked 23a (took me a while to work it out but kicked myself afterwards), 7d and 24d.
- Nice puzzle, Jay!! Look forward to seeing more from you.
- A strong candidate for: a) the most obscure theme I've yet encountered, and b) the worst blunder I've ever seen in a cryptic clue - A. Perkins, not A. Hopkins, was in Psycho!
- Nice to see another guest setter, and fun to chase up the topic on the web -- I learnt a lot. I would like to see a more Ximinean approach though: for example, I don't think one should clue aplomb, a noun, with composed, an adjective.

On the whole pretty good. The Psycho hiccup also needs blame apportioning to the testers, so I accept responsibility for missing that.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first of two posts in quick succession. The first is to address the April puzzle, cunningly entitled 'April'. Here are a couple of the comments:

- Another good puzzle. I don't understand the link to the number four - perhaps I need to know Shakespeare a bit more in depth? - and would be grateful for the enlightenment!
- I'm afraid I thought this was conceptually weak - there seemed to be no reason why the answers to starred clues should be characters from the Shakespeare plays spelled out by the 4th letters of each word in the clue, other than the bard having been born in April.

Fair point about the use of four/fourth letters, which I admit was purely derived from the fact that April is the fourth month. However, the choice of characters was picked up by a couple of people (who perhaps solved it on the first day of release!).

- This month's challenge was an especially enjoyable one. I had to solve all but one of the non-themed clues before I figured out what to do with the themed clues. I had to Google GRAVEDIGGERS and look at the results, and when I saw SHAKESPEARE and FOOLS I finally knew what was going on. Very sneaky and clever!
- It took me a ridiculously long time to see how the asterisked clues worked -- I picked up the theme first by guessing GRAVEDIGGERS and FALSTAFF, which allowed me to complete the grid, and only then did the penny (or perhaps the groat) drop.

So overall, perhaps weak and arbitrary use of some constructive elements, but I hope I made one or two people feel a little bit foolish (in the nicest possible way). Smile

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On to Stozz's May puzzle:

- Thank you Stozz, yet another intricate puzzle. Solving the cryptic crossword was only the first half...
- This was fun and once the theme became clear, very satisfying!
- This was great fun. I particularly liked the way the three groups were hidden, and neatly hidden at that. Was the stiletto there as a deliberate red herring? Many thanks, Stozz.
- I've seen several Cluedo-based cryptics and this was as good as any of them.

I'd like to point out that this latter comment comes from our harshest critic (many thanks Dave, please keep up the good work as serious appraisal is the only way we can improve). I think Stozz can be very pleased with a superbly well constructed puzzle.

Stretham
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stozz
Thou knotty pated fool


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, as the monthly crossword is not a prize crossword any more I have no qualms about posting for help/advice on the very challenging Inflation crossword.

The clues I have not solved are 1a, 10a, 12a, 31a, 1d and 2d. What I would really like to know at this stage is simply which of the remaining clues are "special" and which are normal?

I do not consider myself to be easily defeated, but likewise I do know when I am defeated!

Jon
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JWawro
Mr. Frosty


Joined: 21 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon,

I believe that enough time has passed while you wait for your response.

3 of your 6 remaining clues are standard cryptic clues, while 3 are special.

JWawro
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The explanations for the August puzzle (22) are now in place. A couple of comments from solvers:

- I really enjoyed your challenge this month. It was made a little easy after I noticed the abundance of "V"s and then I realized what the display was supposed to be and what the title meant. The clue for 22 down was actually the last clue that I solved, it was so cryptic. Thanks again for these monthly challenges!
- Two six-letter lights with four unches each - ugh!

On the latter, for those who don't know 'unch' is jargonese for 'unchecked letter'. And it is a fair comment, although in my defence to get the letter Vs lined up I had to go for an unusual grid and 22d was always intended to be difficult.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also now in place are the explanations for the September puzzle, JWawro's 'Inflation'. Hopefully I have everything correct, but if something is wrong or missing then I am sure my esteemed colleague will let me know. Smile

Here are some comments from solvers:

- What a great challenge this month! I always like it better when you can't just enter what you know into a word list generator. It makes for a much more enjoyable solve. Way to go JWawro, I hope to see more intricate puzzles by you!
- Took us a while to see the connection, but once we figured it out, it was smooth sailing.
- Very enjoyable, good theme and fairly difficult.

And finally in answer to the solver who wondered whether I was still writing crosswords, see this month's puzzle! Smile

Stretham
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