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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:22 am    Post subject: Your feedback requested Reply with quote

All

Firstly, I have just posted a new cryptic crossword, at the moment without the solution available. Which gives rise to a couple of questions that I'd like your thoughts on (and there are a couple more I'd like to discuss as well).

1. Would you prefer a consistent release time for crosswords, and if not do I need to notify you in this forum when there is a new one available? (As a guide, once I'm back at work we're probably looking at an average of one cryptic crossword per week due to time restrictions.)

2. Should solutions to non-prize crosswords be published at the same time as the puzzles or is it better to have a short time to discourage peeking?

3. Can I also ask whether you would like to see any other style of crosswords?

4. If there are any individual clues (where the solutions are available) that you don't understand then I'm more than happy to address them on the forum as well. (And change them where necessary since a mistake or two is bound to creep in.) Please create a separate topic for these.

5. Any other comments on the site then please post them here as well.

Stretham
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MrsNapoleon
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta say I've never been into cryptic crosswords, mainly because I suck at it. However I was excited to see something new, and curiosity made me give it a try. With a bit of training, I'm getting better, so thank you Stretham Smile
Interestingly enough, I found the non-prize ones harder so far. But I think you should not post the solution right away. It's easy to check the solution and work it backwards, but with no solutions, we have to try harder. It could also help develop exchange between players.
Anyhoo, appreciate the job and effort you put into this.
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had a handful of submissions for #7, and to save replying individually I believe that (at time of posting this) everyone has all of them right.

The impression I get is that while this one was trickier than the others, they shouldn't really be made much more difficult for fear of putting people off*. Is that a fair comment?

Stretham

* Although I reserve the right to make the prize crosswords more fiendish if appropriate! Evil or Very Mad
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The Hirsute One
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stretham wrote:
Is that a fair comment?
I'd say so - they're hard enough to require some brainpower to solve but not too hard as to be interminably frustrating.

However, always willing to try a bit harder if necessary. Smile
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have made some updates to the Puzzletome crossword site. Hopefully you will find that these are an improvement, but I would welcome any comments you have, either here in the forum, by PM or by email.

Note that, the first time you access the new page, it may be worth doing CTRL-F5 to avoid any cached data being reused and affecting the appearance.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2010 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all again for your feedback on the April 2010 prize puzzle. I notice that 26d was mentioned a couple of times, so while you wait for the explanations to the puzzle, this was my intention:

Lose was the definition for SHED, end of power was the letter R, and grate was SHRED. So 'no R in SHRED' led to the answer. I'm aware that with no crossing letters this is probably ambiguous, but hopefully with other answers in place it was pinned down. Everyone who submitted got it right, anyway. Smile

By the way, please feel free to post in this topic about any individual clues you wish to discuss. (After the solution has been published for prize puzzles, of course. Smile )

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks to JimFromMN for pointing out that I had omitted the explanations for the June prize puzzle. These are now in place.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject: July prize puzzle feedback Reply with quote

The July puzzle seems to have gone down quite well. Here are some of the comments received:

Very enjoyable puzzle!!! Well constructed!!
Many thanks for another fine puzzle
I enjoyed this one a lot, great theme. Zip the Pinhead indeed! That stumped me for a while and made me laugh at loud when the penny dropped. Thank you
Probably the trickiest one you've set, primarily due to the relative obscurity of the subject matter.
Thank you for a thought-provoking puzzle. I needed to do a bit of research, as my circus knowledge is negligible.
Unusual theme!
Just a query, is it possible to include the number of correct entries received each month?

The last of these is certainly the easiest to address. The July puzzle received 14 all correct answers.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With apologies for the delay (due to work commitments) I've finally got round to adding the explanations for the August prize puzzle. I'll also take this opportunity to post some of the comments received:

- Very fun. Was much easier, though not at all easy, once I read the instructions. Ill Also, I was not aware of the word "agnate", so it was a joy to discover it.
- Pretty illuminating! Thanks.
- I enjoyed this puzzle, but am annoyed with myself that your 4 sets of paired clues beat me! Although I have solved them, my sparse knowledge of Florence Nightingale prevents me from seeing the connection. (Google proved to be a waste of time on this occasion). Thank you for a stimulating exercise.
- Seemed like you took it a little easier on us with the clues. Thank you, I think!
- One word - perfect.

And one more to which I can respond:

Quote:
I'd be very interested to know if you meant "The Beatles" to be a red herring in this contest...  I saw the title "Help!" and the Beatles came to mind and a little research showed that they formed their band fifty years ago in August... I saw the four pairs and thought they were the band members names too....

The answer to that is no and it was merely a happy (possibly, depending on your point of view Smile ) coincidence. The choice of title was intended to be a nod towards the sense of helplessness one can sometimes feel with a themed puzzle before that theme is cracked, as well (of course) as the aid provided by the heroine of the puzzle.

Oh - and there were 13 correct answers for the puzzle.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were 14 correct entries for the September prize puzzle. Some of the comments were:

Quote:
Most enjoyable crossword - added two new words to my dictionary! I can't fully justify 14ac though so will read the answers and explanations with extra interest next week.
Quote:
Very tough. Not so much the theme and Reciprocator entry method (nice twist using palindrome RADAR for one), which I guess early on - BOMBERS was a give-away - but some of the wordplay was difficult and a few answers very obscure - GINGLYMUS and of course ALKEKENGI !!!
Quote:
The Battle of Britain AND this puzzle: winners! Very enjoyable contest!
Quote:
Fun one - the upside down ones took me forever to figure out! Smile
Quote:
A good puzzle with the 70th anniversary of The Battle of Britain as the theme. It took me a little while to realise that the reciprocators were firing back! A nice touch. Thank you for an entertaining diversion.
Quote:
Ginglymus is probably my new favourite word.
Quote:
ALKEKENGI took some finding!
Quote:
A very nice puzzle, thank you. Just wondering how many of your international audience will fully make the link to the theme. Out.

The final comment also echoed one of my worries about the puzzle, but I'm pleased to say that the winner (currently being notified) is from the USA!

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Explanations now in place for the October puzzle. Some of the comments received were:

Quote:
It took me a while to get to this month's setting, mainly because I didn't recognise the songs referred to in the setting clues.
I thoroughly enjoyed it as usual (and learnt another two new words!) Thank you once more.

Quote:
Great clue at 17D. You really captured quite a bit of content in this puzzle and the clues!

Quote:
I found this month's puzzle harder and it took me a long time to get the theme, but very enjoyable. Well done.

Quote:
A real toughie this month!

Quote:
Victor Hugo would have enjoyed solving this puzzle! I did!

Quote:
Thank you for a welcome and well constructed mind-bender.

Quote:
Nice crossword for a great musical!

Quote:
Although the integration of the theme into the crossword was very slick, what impressed me most was the cleverness of a lot of clues, especially the "& lit" quality of 19 and 20.


And some very interesting insight (for me at least) into the solving process of others:
Quote:
This took ages. I'd been picking at it at odd times after getting 7 or 8 answer getting no further and nowhere near the theme. I now see that my trouble was that I had put in both 16A ON MY OWN and 5D LOOK DOWN convinced they were in the majority "straight clues" - not recognising them as songs then. The breakthrough was 21A MISERABLE itself where I got it from the wordplay (SAIL [m]EMBER[s])* and thought the definition "one is this" more then weak - till the lightbulb came on. Inevitably http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Misérables_(musical) was used - to fill in the 7 songs / characters. But it wasn't all over - there was an "endgame" where the last few clues with SCHONBERG letters hidden in the wordplay took effort to find. 2D C.[B.] radio LOSER was the last and solid, but 29 HE[N] (future bride?) A ROUT (hiding?) I feel is stretching definitions used in subsidiary parts.

29 down was also mentioned by others, and I can see in retrospect that this was a little obscure, not least because of the extra letter in the clue. I'll take that on board for future puzzles.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the feedback for the November puzzle:

- Terrific idea! Thanks for not making all the clues rely on other answers.
- The clues this time were harder... I really enjoyed them.... My favorite moment was finding that CI stood for 101 DALMATIANS... Pretty clever!....
- This is a very elegant idea and beautifully executed. I had to look up noria and fascia, though.
- A bit loose in parts. Probably not one for the purists.
- I don't recall seeing this format before.
- I liked 5 across; ci (101) dalmatians was a nice touch.
- FUN & CHALLENGING!!

There is a fair comment about this not being a pure Ximenean crossword, which I think I had accepted would be the case when I came up with the idea (even before constructing it). Hopefully there were enough good moments in there to make up for it.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hadn't noticed I was so far behind with the explanations (Embarassed) so I've just added the details for November's puzzle. I'll try and get December's in place over the next couple of days.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stretham wrote:
I'll try and get December's in place over the next couple of days.

December explanations now also in place. Looks a bit neater using an (HTML) ordered list as well so I'll continue to do that. Smile

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The explanations for the January puzzle are now in place. Here is some of the feedback:

- Thank you for a most enjoyable crossword. Clever idea leaving 7D unsolvable until the theme had been solved.
- Thanks for another pleasant entertainment. The "road trip" device was nice.
- Particularly clever clue at 18D
- One of your very best, and as always very educational given your choice of words at times!
- I must query your spelling of PARDON(N)ER & your use of PROSE as a synonym of POETRY in the clue for 10 across.

Two very fair points in the last comment. I could plead the restrictions of compiling the grid for PARDONNER, but really it was not correct and I think I might have been a bit guilty of Googling to see whether it existed and not noticing that all the pages were in French! For prose, this was an error where I had intended to use 'not poetry' in some form or other, but that fact got lost during the clue construction.

I'm glad to see that these issues didn't stop the solvers, but I'll try and do better in future. Embarassed

Stretham
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