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61
General Discussion / Re: Bad crosswordese, and word lists
« Last post by mmcbs on March 10, 2017, 08:37:25 AM »
Please see http://www.si.com/mlb/2015/09/03/awards-watch-lightning-round-mvp-cy-young-roy-josh-donaldson-zack-greinke for current usage of NLer from a reputable source (Sports Illustrated). I agree that it's a crosswordy entry, and I avoid it whenever possible (as you should any abbreviation, and this one is not a "standard" abbr. so even worse). You'll note (crosswordtracker.com) that this entry was not used by NYT, LAT, or Newsday in the year 2016. But Glen9999 is right, sometimes these entries are necessary. I think maybe I've used it once or twice in ~400 puzzles. While many people don't like to see sports jargon in puzzles, everyone who knows anything about baseball knows what NLer means. Demoting its point value is a good way to keep it from tempting you to use it.
62
General Discussion / Re: Bad crosswordese, and word lists
« Last post by Glenn9999 on March 10, 2017, 06:06:05 AM »
The broader question I have though is why we need these at all?

I'm new to the constructing thing too, and a lot of what I'm trying to do is stay away from my personal peeves I have as a solver.  Perhaps that's why I'm having trouble with getting fill completely accomplished on a grid, too.

From what I notice, though, if you start with a set of theme answers that are non-negotiable (naturally) you have to make certain compromises in order to accomplish those, and that's the occasional odd non (strict) dictionary phrase.  Although, a certain amount of "rework" is always possible, from what I gather.  But given the nature of how words are constructed, it's hard to come up with the "absolute perfect" grid.

Many more will be more informed.  But that's just what I notice in trying to do this myself.

I'd guess that there's no need for 150,000+ word lists

The way I see it, word lists help a lot from more of a memory standpoint.  How can anyone remember all the "accessible" words?
63
General Discussion / Bad crosswordese, and word lists
« Last post by chd on March 10, 2017, 12:14:53 AM »
I'm still brand new at this, so if I'm off base here I'm fine with that, and hope to hear so (learning that way).

I just wrote the longest clue I've written yet, for NLER. The clue is "Horrible but common crossword puzzle answer that needs to die; abbreviation for a National League baseball player. Sometimes these things happen when you have to make a grid fit together."

Obviously I would never write that for a puzzle to submit anywhere for real, but since it's just for friends and practice at this point I'll let it stand.

The broader question I have though is why we need these at all? I'm probably going to delete NLER and ALER (and some others) from my word lists (or at least score them around 15) and see if I miss them. There is a lot of crosswordese that could probably use the same fate, unless it just makes things unworkable. If the goal is to have all the entries be mostly accessible---not too obscure, not too contrived---is it practical to only use words to that standard, and re-work grids until you can do it? Maybe not, or maybe it requires giving up too many otherwise cool ideas, which is totally fair. I'm still learning here.

If it is reasonable to keep everything accessible like that though, I'd guess that there's no need for 150,000+ word lists, which is well above most people's vocabularies even for well educated people and accounting for entries that are phrases.

How badly do we need those awkward crufty entries?

Of course, the counter argument that comes to mind is that I don't imagine this is a new idea, and since smarter people than me keep using them and smarter editors than me keep accepting them, I guess there are needed?
64
General Discussion / Re: Who accepts submissions now?
« Last post by fggoldston on March 09, 2017, 07:24:40 PM »
Thank you for passing that along.
65
General Discussion / Re: Who accepts submissions now?
« Last post by Glenn9999 on March 08, 2017, 03:19:37 PM »
Interesting question as I have not either and would like to know, if I ever figure out how to get a puzzle going.  I found an e-mail connected to the "puzzles" realm of Universal Uclick that I asked the question to, and hopefully they will be able/willing to provide a good solid answer.

And I got an answer off of the e-mail.  Their puzzles are done by assignment of the editor only.  So, no submissions there.
66
General Support / Re: R.I.P., CrosSynergy
« Last post by BALLYHOO on March 08, 2017, 07:32:25 AM »
BOB KLAHN REALLY WANTED TO BAFFLE YOU
67
General Discussion / Re: Cluing conventions for answers with "a" or "the"?
« Last post by chd on March 06, 2017, 11:53:25 AM »
Thanks -- yeah, I agree it's not very good. I'll try to avoid that sort of thing if possible. Right now I'm just building a few practice puzzles to get a feel for what works and what doesn't, and what sorts of things turn into problems as I get farther into it.

Thanks!
68
General Discussion / Re: First-timer needs a bit of help
« Last post by packs on March 06, 2017, 10:27:22 AM »
Thanks all.  Good feedback.  I'll definitely jump on the mailing list.
69
General Discussion / Re: Cluing conventions for answers with "a" or "the"?
« Last post by Glenn9999 on March 06, 2017, 07:57:22 AM »
Usually, if it's a superfluous article, it's a bad idea.  In other words, if the word could stand alone it's better to do it that way.  Especially when you consider most editors policies on partial phrases...

As for ADEN, you could refer to the port city of Yemen as many others have done.  THERAP as you have described is a bad idea in general, though it has been clued as [some can beat it].

Just my thoughts, though...YMMV.
70
General Discussion / Cluing conventions for answers with "a" or "the"?
« Last post by chd on March 05, 2017, 01:57:00 PM »
Hi,

I'm brand new at this, and trying to do things by the book if possible. What's the convention for cluing answers that include "a" or "the"? I try to avoid them in the first place, but that needs more practice too.

DEN might be "a place to find cubs", but would you clue ADEN differently?

I also have THERAP as "___ sheet; police record" -- I don't really like it in general, but is it acceptable in terms of form?

Thanks!
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