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51
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 11/7 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on November 08, 2014, 09:26:13 AM »
Rewind---

When I submitted a puzzle with "too many" blocks, the editor (Will Weng?) told me that the number was determined because more blocks meant more clues which took up too much space.  If space is not a problem, what difference does it make? (to quote Hillary).  The puzzles with more blocks function the same as those with fewer, and form unrelated to function seems an unnecessary "block" to creativity.
52
Today's Puzzles / Sat., 11/8 Venzke & Fleming
« Last post by magus on November 08, 2014, 09:13:18 AM »
THEME:   none, but four 10-letter triples
   
GOOD ONES:     
Group with many hits   COSA NOSTRA   
Locks that are picked   AFROS   
   
BTW:   
Star followers   MAGI [this magus follows LAT Xwords --- a bit less exciting than for my progenitors]    :)
   
   
RATING:    ;D ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
53
General Discussion / Re: Quick feedback on a theme?
« Last post by mmcbs on November 08, 2014, 05:18:15 AM »
Many editors will use an added letter theme, even if the letters are arbitrary. I've had some success. But that reference on ELIOTE is misleading. Look up ETOILE. It's French for star, and it's usually clued with reference to ballet. Try redoing this section.
54
General Discussion / Re: Quick feedback on a theme?
« Last post by admin on November 08, 2014, 03:10:17 AM »
The problem I have with this theme is that "SS" is completely arbitrary, as far as I can see. What does it represent? Why are you inserting "SS" and not "RB", "ND", "LL", or whatever. There needs to be some sort of *meaning* to what you are inserting, and then a reference to it elsewhere in the puzzle. If you used "SSS" you might be able to work in some sort of snake-sound theme. But that's obviously not what's happening with your theme entries. It's interesting that you can stick "SS" into some well known  phrases and create off-beat phrases with clever clues, but that's not enough, in my opinion.

-Kevin
55
General Discussion / Re: Quick feedback on a theme?
« Last post by acpracht on November 07, 2014, 01:07:57 PM »
Thank you for the feedback!

"Elitoe" was clued in Ginsberg as the lead dancer in a company (one reference). I put that in after I realized that while I thought I was filling "Elliott" (E.T.'s friend) I'd actually filled it as "Eliott" (???). I of course didn't realize this until I'd filled the rest of the grid (argh).

I thought I could perhaps get away with "Eliote" as it crosses pretty well (SMEE ALOE TINGLE PIMIENTO SKILLSET DARE).

Upon further consideration, I do think I would do better with two possible changes that would lead to a better fill on the horizontal and wouldn't affect the cross in the slightest.

First would be to fill as I originally had (accidentally) with ELIOTT (makes the cross DART) and clue it as:

"The House of _____" ('90s BBC TV series about dressmaking sisters in the '20s)

A wee bit obscure, especially for an American audience, but they started showing episodes again a couple years ago, and it's gotten renewed attention as it's similar to "Downton Abbey." And, as before, it crosses well.

My other thought is to fill it as ELIOTN (Read "Eliot N." making the cross DARN) and cluing it as:

"Untouchable" who took on mobster Al C. in 1920s Chicago.

Eliot Ness is going to be much better known, as will "The Untouchables" and I think the surrounding info in the clue makes it pretty clear we're talking about "Al Capone" with "Al C." and that it's hinting toward the needed fill of "Eliot N." to parallel. This feels a bit bogus however and, worse, inelegant.

I think either would be better than the complete obscurity of "Eliote" however. Which would you suggest?

I do have some alternate fills in some of those funny corners, but I don't know that it will result in fewer abbreviations in the end. I think I might run with it on the chance it will pass and worry about it later if it happens to not...

Thanks !

-Adam
56
Today's Puzzles / Re: Fri., 11/7 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 07, 2014, 12:41:39 PM »
Another crossword with 42 black squares. A good puzzle should have 32 or 36. A really good puzzle should have 30 or fewer. I keep telling these guys that 42 is too many but they won't listen to me!
57
General Discussion / Re: Quick feedback on a theme?
« Last post by mmcbs on November 07, 2014, 11:24:35 AM »
Looks OK overall; quite a few non-words (I just had one sent back for revision because of that), so if you can reduce the numbers of those, it would be better. These include abbreviations, prefixes & suffixes, initials, acronyms. The only individual entry I see that is probably a knockout is ELIOTE. I think that's Etoile spelled backwards, which you couldn't use in non-thematic fill.
58
General Discussion / Clue for KHAKI
« Last post by acpracht on November 07, 2014, 10:35:54 AM »
I'm considering cluing KHAKI as "Tan in a dusty shade" or "Tan of a dusty shade."
Valid?
Thanks,
Adam
59
Today's Puzzles / Fri., 11/7 Jeffrey Wechsler
« Last post by magus on November 07, 2014, 08:58:17 AM »
THEME:   substitution of N for T in common phrases
   
GOOD ONES:     
Why the kids can hardly sleep at night?   MOM AND POP SNORE [store]   
…motto for Jessica Fletcher?   SHE SNOOPS TO CONQUER [stoops]   
File extension   TAB [I've been trained to think computers when I see files --- I forgot about "real" files]   
Gang leader?   OUR   
13 for Al, e.g.   AT NO [atomic number, not Gore's billions]   
   
BTW:   
Come up short   OWE [they're not close enough --- the phrase means unexpectedly to lack money for something; to owe means merely an obligation to pay]   
   
   
RATING: ;D ;D ;D   
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
60
General Discussion / Fee for custom crosswords?
« Last post by acpracht on November 07, 2014, 02:43:58 AM »
I'm considering hanging out my shingle to make customized crosswords. I think I have ability, but no resume (in crosswords) to prove it.
What would be a fair price, do you think? I'm thinking I could find a niche for "budget" buyers.
Thanks!
Adam
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