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General Support / Re: PUZ, May 2018
« Last post by phil262 on May 14, 2018, 07:49:19 AM »
General Support / PUZ, May 2018
« Last post by Glenn9999 on May 14, 2018, 12:33:44 AM »
Here's the script for Monday, May 14, 2018.  Copy this and save it as a plain ANSI text file, then open it in Across Lite and you will get your puzzle for today.

LA Times, Mon, May 14, 2018
Paul Coulter / Ed. Rich Norris
© 2018 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Big name in PCs
Play idly, as a guitar
Not that
With 15-Across, station with a hook and ladder
With 16-Across, indoor chores
With 28-Across, tireless sort
Particle for Fermi
Out-of-use anesthetic
Blunted blade
One fighting back
"The Quiet American" novelist Graham ___
First stage of grief
Firmly resolved (against)
Election winners
Company head
With 31-Across, big biting insect
With 32-Across, sticky strip
With 40-Across, bills to pay with
Big cheese
Wide shoe size
Azerbaijan's capital
With 42-Across, financier
With 43-Across, strength needed for a team job
With 61-Across, turn off, as a computer
Censor's target
Friend of Frodo
Elk relative
Hand-tightened fasteners
Galway Bay's ___ Islands
New Orleans NFLer
Lotion additive
With 62-Across, Australia
With 63-Across, attempt
With 14-Across, become ignited
"Do it, or ___!"
Wordsworth words
Fed. power dept.
A long way off
Credited in a footnote
Like jagged edges
Wax nostalgic
Angle symbols
Marriott or Hyatt
German industrial region
Traffic slowdown spots
Coarse cloth
Cara of "Fame"
Triangle ratio
Farrier's abrasive tool
Elder statesman
Sound from the fold
Sewn edge
Kitchenware brand
Stimpy's sidekick
Thigh bone
Cat foot
Just get (by)
Capek's robot play
1914 battle river
Hunger twinge
Really botch
"Who goes there?" guard
Aptly named novelist
Swashbuckling Flynn
Tied chess games
"Death, be not proud" poet
Uses the good china
Disney's Chinese warrior
Feed, as a fire
Like a 10-lane highway
Tarot reader
Chilean year
General Discussion / Re: Themes--
« Last post by Glenn9999 on May 12, 2018, 03:59:35 AM »
(I don't know what notes you're referring to, so can't say specifically, but a general response to what you wrote)

More or less, you don't want to try to copy a specific theme too closely (see the Timothy Parker plagiarism thing), which is why the suggestion of looking up your theme entries is generally made. 

As for repeating themes, there's only so many variations of them possible, so given all the puzzles ever produced in all venues, it is inevitable that you might duplicate one in your own efforts.

For themes being "over-worked" in the definition I'm taking it to be, you generally want to try to find some variety in comparison to everything else that's been put out in the general time frame.  You get a feel for this in solving a variety of puzzles.  For instance, letter substitution themes (for instance A to LL in the 05/11/2018 LA Times) got rather repeated in 21x21 grids about a year or so ago, because more or less every single one was some variation upon the idea.  In that sense, you tend to want to find something novel if you can.

Overall, there's nothing wrong with repeating a theme concept if you can put a new spin on it and the time isn't too close from the last one.  This of course, as long as you aren't directly copying another one.  But you want to try to be a bit novel in comparison to what people are doing in general too.
General Discussion / Themes--
« Last post by fhadpe on May 11, 2018, 06:36:45 PM »
I have seen notes about over-worked themes.  And I know there are indexes of previously used themes.  So is the best advice to never repeat a theme or do you just have to check if the theme has been used if you are submitting to the NYTimes [out of my league at present] or other specific publishers?

Thank you.
General Discussion / Puzzle Tutorials
« Last post by 4wd on May 06, 2018, 09:22:03 AM »
Has anyone ever thought of creating crossword puzzle video tutorials?. For example videos explaining the underlying principles of theme creation, grid design, various types of puzzles etc. Think this would be a great resource for new and old constructors also a great way to get the younger generation involved as it would take a modern approach towards teaching.

Books are great and I love them, though accompanied with a great video tutorial is a match made in heaven. So if there are any veteran constructors out there who are willing to take up something like this,'s a great place to start, a masterclass in constructing with a few example projects would be great, I'd be in the first batch of students :)

Etc. / Re: New Yorker now has a weekly puzzle
« Last post by Glenn9999 on May 03, 2018, 10:00:41 PM »
Seems like it's for subscribers only.  Anna Schechtman did the first one.

Look free to me.  And I happened to see the word "free" used too.

Go here to play...
Etc. / New Yorker now has a weekly puzzle
« Last post by HowardM on May 03, 2018, 02:44:16 PM »
Seems like it's for subscribers only.  Anna Schechtman did the first one.
General Discussion / Re: How to Choose/Create a Grid?
« Last post by 4wd on April 30, 2018, 09:38:46 PM »
My suggestion would be to try building it from scratch that way you'd have more flexibility. The grid would be tailored to your specifications and it'd have a personal touch. Your 9 letter entries should be within rows 3 and above, your 14s row four and above, experiment with the placement (side, center etc.) Then add the individual black squares, remember to add two separator block fingers on the edges. This helps with your word count, pay attention to the block limit and word count whilst tweaking your black squares. Tweak them till you've created a design you're happy with.

At first it may be a little daunting, though with time you'll be able to create complex grid designs to suit your taste.
General Discussion / Re: How to Choose/Create a Grid?
« Last post by mmcbs on April 29, 2018, 01:26:13 PM »
There is a grid library on this site (under the Puzzle Database menu), but most constructors use the grid library in Crossword Compiler which can be accessed directly or by entering your theme entries in the New Puzzle dialog box.
General Discussion / How to Choose/Create a Grid?
« Last post by hashbrown64 on April 29, 2018, 01:11:43 PM »
Hello!  I'm brand new to constructing and have no idea how to design a grid except to randomly scroll through existing puzzles and find a grid that works for my themer lengths.  That seems...less than efficient.  I have a puzzle I'm trying to make with 4 theme entries - two of 9-letter length and two of 14-letter length.  Is there some tool that can help me find a grid that will accommodate those four theme entries?  Thanks in advance for the help!
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