Constructing => General Discussion => Topic started by: ktd on January 18, 2010, 10:37:43 PM

Title: NYT revision request
Post by: ktd on January 18, 2010, 10:37:43 PM
Hi all,
I just read mcb's post and it occurred to me that I should ask this question: Back in July, I received an email from Paula Gamache re: a crossword I had sent in to Will Shortz one or two months earlier. The message was not a straight-up accept; instead, I was told that the puzzle was good, Will liked it, and asked for specific revisions in the grid. I made the revisions and sent the puzzle electronically back to Will. Since then I haven't heard anything more from NYT about it--not "thanks, we'll accept it now" nor "sorry, we can't take it" nor anything else. I have had a couple other puzzles rejected in the past from them so I have been under the impression that the edited version was not rejected. But should I expect to receive a message that the puzzle is accepted? And since it's already been five months, is there some point where I should maybe write a follow-up email?

Title: Re: NYT revision request
Post by: jorkel on January 22, 2010, 03:09:32 PM
Hi ktd:
I usually submit my revisions with a new (snail) mail submission -- and point out the request in the first paragraph of the cover letter.  E.g., "The enclosed puzzle is the revision you requested for my previously submitted puzzle from July 2009..."  Then -- in addition to the new puzzle's grids and clues -- I submit a copy of the old filled grid -- marked "OLD version" -- and his Email requesting the fix. 

The reason for the new mail submission is that the revision may encompass new grids (empty and filled) plus an updated set of clues to go with the new puzzle.  (It also shows that you were diligent in making those revisions).  It just makes things more complete for the editor -- so that he has everything he needs right in front of him, and so he can hand off the approved material in the proper format to his people. 

I seem to recall resubmitting grids by Email once or twice -- and it involved a slow reply.  (I think the expectation was a mail submission to accompany it).  I think Will will probably get back to you soon -- ACPT planning is keeping him busy these days -- but it seems reasonable to send him another Email since you've waited 5 months already.  IMHO.

Joe Krozel
Title: Re: NYT revision request
Post by: ktd on February 22, 2010, 01:46:54 PM
I did send a quick email to Will this morning asking for a status check. He got back to me pretty quickly and said it's in the rotation for upcoming puzzles, and asked me to be patient. I hope I didn't offend him!  :-\
Title: Re: NYT revision request
Post by: jorkel on February 24, 2010, 08:27:00 PM
Not to worry, I think it was just fine to ask, and I am certain Will is not going to think less of you.  I think every constructor has at least one submission where he starts to worry about an editor not getting back to him.  I certainly have in the past, but the only way to break that tendency to be concerned is to go ahead and ask just once and see that things really are fine.   Now, if that concern ever arises in the future, one can always reflect on the outcome from the current inquiry:  things were fine, just a bit backlogged.  So don't fret;  It certainly takes a lot of patience after 5 months, but you just have to get used to the silence.

-Joe Krozel
Title: Re: NYT revision request
Post by: jorkel on February 25, 2010, 09:02:08 AM
By the way...
Inquiries with an editor almost always lead to one of two responses:

1. It's in the queue ... be patient,        or
2. I can't find it ... resend it.

The latter is extremely rare.

What's absent from the above list of responses is any details about
a puzzle ... because an editor isn't ready to provide full info at that
point:  When an editor needs more input -- or is ready to move in any
way on a puzzle -- his reply is liable to come within a day of that
decision.  (Overall, this is just the standard procedure that editors use
so as not to make a hasty/wrong decision by being put on the spot).