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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.

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 !

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!
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.
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."
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
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]   
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   
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.
Today's Puzzles / Re: Thu., 11/6 Gail Grabowski
« Last post by LARadioRewind on November 06, 2014, 03:00:26 PM »
Yes, the four theme answers added SUR to the beginning of familiar phrases. That was surtainly a pleasant surprise. (If Curly Howard can say "soitenly," I can say "surtainly.")

The clue for HOTSEAT was "Anxious place to be." A person can be anxious but a place can't be anxious. The crossword also inclued MOLTENLAVA, which I had never before seen in a puzzle. It's kind of creepy in light of the slow-moving lava flow that has been making its way toward the town of Pahoa, Hawai'i, since June.
General Discussion / Re: Quick feedback on a theme?
« Last post by acpracht on November 06, 2014, 12:03:23 PM »
Gave up on that theme entry... Going with:
Aluminum foSSil
GraSSy matter
ClaSSy pigeon
DiSSed suddenly

Attaching my grid fill as a pdf. I have alternate/backup plans for most of the questionable/borderline entries, so if you see one that's particularly egregious, please point it out and I'll let you know my alternate thoughts.
Thanks for your help!

Today's Puzzles / Thu., 11/6 Gail Grabowski
« Last post by magus on November 06, 2014, 09:10:37 AM »
THEME:   a surfeit of SUR's
Hearst Castle?   SURREAL ESTATE [sur + real estate]   
Banner advertising overstocked shelves?   SURPLUS SIGN [sur + plus sign]   
No particular goodies, but interesting cluing throughout   
RATING:    ;D ;D
Three grins = Loved it; Two grins = Enjoyed it; One grin = A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Not much fun   
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