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Stretham
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some feedback from the February puzzle:

- Thanks for a pleasant trip down memory lane
- I remember it well and still have trouble with the new money (not enough of it mainly).
- Besides the 7 crossed off used in the puzzle, I also wrote down Bob, Tanner, Guinea, Groat and Silver Joey though those last weren't actually current in 1971!
- Oh no! It doesn't seem that long ago!
- I wonder if this puzzle actually failed in that you didn't really need to solve the 7 special clues to get the answers which was a shame - maybe the preamble was too explicit about the superfluous words in the down clues - perhaps that could've been left harder by saying e.g. "something indicated in the down clues identify an event, which should be submitted ..."
- Since you don't have prizes anymore why do you still need to submit your e-mail address also? Would my name just be enough?

I'll address the last two points. I think I did miss a trick with the themed answers and a good thought about making the preamble less explicit. As for the final comment, since (at the moment) the email address isn't really used you are more than welcome to use a non-valid one if you wish. However, since it is one of the levels of protection against spam we have in place I would ask that you stick to the submission still being in 'email form'. (Please feel free to use firstname.lastname@puzzletome.com - replacing firstname and lastname with your own.) Note that despite the multiple levels of protection, we still get the odd spam submission (another one this month). Confused


Feedback for the March puzzle:

- That was fun, but no pic-a-nic!
- Heavens to Murgatroyd!
- Finally, a puzzle where too much T.V. is a good thing! Enjoyed it, thanks for posting.
- After reading the preamble I thought they were going to be British TV e.g. "I'm free", "Where's me washboard" etc. As soon as I got "Yabba dabba do!" I was away, but it took the next one "That's my boy" to pin it down to cartoons.
- There were a few obscure answers the worst I thought was Andrena / Bee. Indeed that bottom/left corner had the sting in the tail.

I'll try and get the explanations for the March puzzle in place over the coming days.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the April puzzle, as I posted elsewhere, there was a bit of a kerfuffle surrounding 21a. If you still want to do the puzzle please don't read on as there are some spoilers below.





First of all, my thanks to Dave Howell for highlighting the inconsistency. My intention for the puzzle was that the word 'major' in the title would play a prominent part in the solver's thinking. Although everyone who submitted clearly spotted the marathon theme, it was not obvious (and is probably not well enough known) that there is a 'World Marathon Majors' series. This embraces the city marathons in Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, and New York, but also the Olympics and (in odd number years) the IAAF championships. It was an unhappy coincidence that the crossing letters for this entry also matched the word HALF. Understandably, since the World Majors are not so well known, this was submitted by most people. Well done to Jonathan Storey and WP Lessard for picking through my thought processes despite this and getting IAAF. Hopefully I'll manage to avoid anything similar in the future. Smile

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had to post some of the feedback on the May puzzle, which was based around the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, if for no other reason than this excellent submission from C.N. Wilde:

I am the very model of a modern cruciverbalist
I'm equal parts zoologist, geologist, and herbalist
I know the types of cryptic clues, and I can solve an anagram
As deftly as that Dr. Jones can measure how much sand to cram
I'm acquainted with all crossword types, whether cryptic or conventional
Despite some clues or wordplay where misleading is intentional
My flower bed is full of gladioli and chrysanthema
Yet still I get befuddled by arcane words like "exanthema"!

Some other comments include:

- Impressive to get so many G&S operettas into the grid without resorting to very obscure crossing entries. The only word I had to check was EXANTHEMA but the wordplay was very exact.
I had a fair sprinkling of non-thematic answers, but my way into the theme was Mikado.  The fodder (OFTEN WITHOUT TIP)* after removing THE and OF showed the TOWN leaving TIIUTP which was a great PDM when I realised it was TITIPU and MIKADO fitted the grid. Then I could go back to the others (easily identified by the word lengths) and tackle their (mostly) long anagrams. In fact I had got 21/20 earlier but didn't realise it, or recognise it's significance.  Again, after removing THE and OF from (PRO HE GROWS EFFORTLESS)* FLOWERS and PROGRESS appeared which rang a faint bell but I mustard mitt I didn't know that was the alternate title for Utopia Limited (which I suspect I've never seen or heard - certainly not as well known as Patience / Bunthorne's Bride in crosswording circles!).

- My first complete grid, that took less than several months! I think I'm getting the hang of your twisted mind Smile Nice work by the way - keep them coming

- I though that the four across clues connecting 19d (18, 24, 26, 29) were very simple (three anagrams and one hidden word), allowing the theme to be found too easily. This meant I was able to fill in the thematic answers without worrying too much about solving the "OR" clues, and the rest of the crossword soon followed.

This last comment is an interesting comment. As a setter, I'm always worried that if a solver can't get the theme of a puzzle (where a theme exists) then there is less chance of getting anywhere and the puzzle may be left to languish. As such I am probably guilty (if that's the correct word) of sometimes making the thematic clues slightly easier than the others to allow the solver a way in. I'd be interested to hear whether anyone else has any opinions on this point, so please post here if you do.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd got a bit behind (Embarassed), but now I've caught up with adding the explanations for the last couple of months' puzzles.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The June puzzle celebrated the 100th birthday of Erwin Müller. (Full details are in the explanations part of the solution.) Some feedback on the puzzle:

- Nice to see a solid scientific theme
- What's going on? A crossword with no words that I haven't heard of?! I almost managed to complete this one without the help of the Internet, but 9a had me giving myself a serious kick!
- Another enjoyable crossword, thank you

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some feedback on the July puzzle:

- Another winner! Keep up the fun, please!
- No complaints, very clever clues as always. I appreciate your previous comments about difficulty rating, but I like my crosswords quite spicy!
- As usual with the monthly, a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Thank you
- A nice idea, & some days I wasn't familiar with.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of comments on the September puzzle (sorry I've been a bit neglectful in posting these recently).

- With DIAMOND and ADAMANT, I took a quick detour into male vocalists.
- Thanks again for keeping up the supply of these entertaining puzzles.
- Either I'm getting better at these or this was easier than yer average P2Me Monthly. I had it polished off in a half-hour with no aids - apart from afterwards checking 16A EIMKE which was inevitably the last entered, but being a Hidden clue there wasn't any doubt - just curious as to where it is in Germany. I was surprised because I usually have great trouble with clues lacking definition. What made it easier was that the groups were pretty obvious once a single member was found. Storms particularly has a very restricted set of 7-letter members surely - after getting TYPHOON I immediately went looking for CYCLONE. The only one I initially pencilled in wrong was 6A WADED where I put Dived (DIV short for Dividend "lot of money" - no it isn't quite right) Anyway, it was very enjoyable.
- The most enjoyable monthly for a long time, many thanks.
- Not much of a challenge this month, I'm afraid - and I thought EIMKE was a pretty desperate grid-filler!

These last two comments show how difficult it is to please everyone. Confused (Quite correct that EIMKE was a bit of a last resort though Embarassed )

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With apologies for the delay again, the explanations for the last couple of months' puzzles are now all in place.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2012 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wrote:
The explanation is not quite there yet, so I'll put it in place as soon as it is ready.

Once again more belated than hoped for Embarassed, the explanations for the December puzzle are now in place. My trusty tester (The Hirsute One) informed me that this one was much tougher than normal, so hopefully the solution will help clarify some things for some people.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of comments on the March puzzle:

- I liked the theme very much; good puzzle
- Nice choice of theme. I recently presented The Great White Silence, the film of the Terra Nova expedition, at our local film society in commemoration of the centenary.
- Very good fun. Interesting to see that Captain Oates has cropped up more than once in this month's crosswords. Is there something that resonates with cruciverbalists about doing something slightly pointless against tremendous odds?

And I think the answer to the last comment is probably yes. Smile

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some April comments:

- What a nice idea -- I really enjoyed this one (despite wrong-footing myself briefly by putting in Bela Lugosi instead of Bram Stoker!).
- One of your best! I loved the way that, even though it was possible to figure out the changes after solving a few "simpler" clues (for me it was 23a, 14d, 4d, 17d), it still look a lot more clues to get all the thematic words, and then much longer still to solve the whole blasted thing. Great puzzle - enjoyle and fulous!
- I really liked your COUNT DRACULA / BLOOD COUNT
- That was a real toughie! The nature of the grid entries made it difficult to check for typos but I thoroughly enjoyed the mental workout. Thank you
- Eminently solveable and another clever idea
- My first solve was 17a (birthdays or birthday) which gave me an added or missing a. With an r as the end of 19a I was looking for a name as the start of the preamble and Bram Stoker came to mind

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A mixed bag of comments for the May puzzle. Some good:

- Great theme, fun crossword
- Great honoring for the subject matter, Mr. Lear.
- This was very challenging... it took me a lot longer to solve than usual
- A bit harder than usual, but great fun.

And some less good:

- Not so sure about RUNCIBLE
- Sorry, but I thought the clues were generally dreadful! Anagram indicators like "where the Jumblies," "bullies" and "allergic"; "cacophonous" used to indicate a homophone; clumsy definitions e.g. "just like hail" for pelt; and, in the clue for PICT, I don't accept that "it's said" can refer simultaneously to both "was chosen" and "Scott". In 17A, "Lear nonsense with CDs" doesn't, in my view, permit an anagram of the two sets of letters - "Supports Lear with CDs - nonsensical" would be acceptable. I hope I have been negative in a constructive way!

In reply to the last comment, firstly the answer is yes it is constructive. I would rather get a bunch of comments like this than nothing since it is the only way I can see where I go wrong and (hopefully) improve. Secondly, I think I distracted myself somewhat by trying to cram as many Lear references in as possible, sometimes to the detriment of the clues themselves. Here's hoping that the June puzzle is bit tighter. Smile

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some comments on the August puzzle:

- Really enjoyed the crossword ... One of the best methinks.
- Thank you for an extra hard challenge this month
- 21 across appealed to my lavatorial sense of humour.
- Definitely some tougher clues this month!

By the way, if anyone wants to comment further on any of the crosswords or discuss individual clues (from any puzzle except whatever is the current monthly) you are more than welcome to post in here.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some October feedback:

Quote:
Nice puzzle, glad I caught it before the end of the month - other things got in the way. I especially like the abundance of film-related clues. The only thing I would say is that you could perhaps have put 24d in a few more clues. Certainly 20d could have become "Glitterati judge 24d to be rigid", perhaps 7d could have been "Perform in 24d etc, with an afflication". And I'm sure you could have reworded 25d to include it. I can understand why you only used it for clues where the answer was a movie but I think it would have worked. Anyway, just my opinion.
Good idea - I must have been in a kind mood while writing the clues. Smile

Quote:
I see that your clues are getting harder... it makes the challenge all the more fun!...
Not intentionally, I hasten to add.

Quote:
I particularly liked the clue for 21 down.
Yes, that's one of my favourite clues I've written.

Stretham
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Stretham
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The November puzzle alas contained an error in one of the clues. 24d was intended to refer to HULK, constructed by defining HULL with K replacing L. Unfortunately, the clue actually implied that L was replacing K! (It was also pointed out by one of the solvers that KEEL & HULL are not necessarily the best of synonyms.)

Also there was a bit of an issue for 1a, where it was intended that the entire clue would be the definition (i.e. an "&lit" type clue). That may not have been obvious, and perhaps an exclamation mark rather than question mark might have been more appropriate.

Finally, apologies for all the famous moustaches that I missed out (notably Hercule Poirot!). Smile

Stretham
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