Constructing => General Discussion => Topic started by: BradleyRobbins on December 22, 2011, 06:36:11 PM

Title: Question about sparkle
Post by: BradleyRobbins on December 22, 2011, 06:36:11 PM
Being new to crossword construction, I am doing a lot of reading on the subject and one common item I see mentioned is that your fill should have 'sparkle'.  It seems to me that sparkle is a very subjective term open to much interpretation.  I understand that your fill should be as fresh as possible without much awkward phrasing or crosswordese, but frequently I see puzzles that to me contain pretty dull fill (operas and opera singers, fairly obscure artists, old actors that to me are not fresh or relevant).  I realize that this is largely opinion, but I would like to know what your opinion of 'sparkling' fill is.

Title: Re: Question about sparkle
Post by: Todd G on December 30, 2011, 12:31:41 PM
No responses so far?  OK, I'll give it a go.

To me, sparkling fill is entries that are (a) lively, (b) rarely used, and (c) have some Scrabbly letters.  Lively is, of course, subjective, but to me means entries that are both interesting and at least a little surprising.  A great example is DJJAZZYJEFF (at least if you were into 80's pop rap music): lots of Scrabbly letters and unexpected combinations.  It also means avoiding contrived words like RESEATERS (ugh!).

Sparkling fill is, alas, like sparkling wine: it loses its fizz pretty quickly.  So one shouldn't expect more than a couple of sparkling entries in your average themed puzzle (usually the longer nontheme entries), and maybe half a dozen or so in even a good themeless...but more likely 2 or 3 really sparkly ones, and a fair smattering of nice but less flashy ones.

Hope that helps.

Title: Re: Question about sparkle
Post by: magus on December 31, 2011, 09:19:58 AM
I guess that's what I comment on daily in the Forum. But de gustibus non est diputandum.