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General Discussion / Crude words weighted highly in database?
« Last post by chickenwire on March 20, 2018, 05:27:30 PM »
I just became a gold member and set up the Cruciverb dictionary in my construction software. I'm a bit surprised to see cruder (often anatomical) words and slang weighted highly in the list, and therefore emerging at the top of the suggested words list quite often...

Is this intentional? Other than manually adjusting all of the values of these entries, does anyone have any suggestions?

(I'm not against seeing or using these words, I just don't think they're the best possible fill for all of my puzzles...)
Something that just worked for me, from the CrossFire website...

"If you have Gold subscription to the Cruciverb website, CrossFire makes it easy to get the most from its premium word-lists. Just select the default dictionary for now, and later you can choose the "Dictionary/Merge word list into dictionary" menu option, and specify "Use CrossFire score database" when importing the word lists."

It's not through the preferences->add dictionary menu, but it does seem to have worked... Good luck!
General Discussion / Re: How long is long enough?
« Last post by XWordHobbyist on March 20, 2018, 12:18:41 PM »
I would imagine that if you submitted the puzzle to a different publication, and your interpretation of the theme differed from the Onion's, it wouldn't be too much of a problem. I'd like to hear from other constructor's on this, but I have a hard time believing a theme has never been repeated before!
General Discussion / How long is long enough?
« Last post by atco418 on March 19, 2018, 01:47:18 PM »
I was about to start the grid for a theme I've been working on, when I discovered that someone had beaten me to it.  This idea was done back in 2012 and published in the Onion.  My themers are all different and it was over six years ago, but I still don't have a firm grasp on "long enough" when it comes to putting adequate time between iterations a theme.

I've already put time in, so I'll go ahead and finish it, but I'm interested to see how others have handled this kind of dilemma.
Etc. / Re: Looking for a man named Bill B.......?
« Last post by mothra42 on March 19, 2018, 12:33:29 AM »
YES! Thanks you so much!!!!! I was so hoping someone would know.
General Discussion / Re: New constructor's question
« Last post by Glenn9999 on March 15, 2018, 10:17:47 PM »
This is surely sound advice, but I'm having a difficult time picturing what this means in a practical sense. How do I identify constrained sectors in order to start there? Are there clues that you look for in the grid design or is it letter combinations that might originate from some of the longer or themed entries?

Once you get your theme entries laid out in your grid, you want to look for parts of the grid where there's odd combinations of letters that might be difficult to find words to match with.  For example, in my (only) grid attempt (so far), I had ??W??F as a possible word with the W and F being parts of my theme entries.  When you do it, you should have some idea from solving puzzles as to how words are constructed and what letters naturally fit together.

More or less, you want to identify something suitable for those areas first and then work the rest of the grid fill from there. 
General Discussion / Re: USA today crossword submission
« Last post by Glenn9999 on March 15, 2018, 10:10:49 PM »
As I understand it, open submissions don't happen with USA Today.  It's just the arrangement that's there.
General Discussion / USA today crossword submission
« Last post by brasarehot on March 15, 2018, 03:09:11 PM »
How come you can't submit puzzles to the USA today? Or can you?

General Discussion / Re: New constructor's question
« Last post by kwanjul on March 14, 2018, 04:33:05 PM »
Before you finalize your grid, you need to make sure that every down entry (assuming your themers are all across) has multiple decent options. A constrained sector would be an entry that has very few options for fill, such as E??H or A?F?E. When I'm doing my fill, I like to start with the long non theme entries, while also keeping an eye on the shorter fill that may be tough because I already have 2-3 letters committed to a 4-6 letter entry. For the 3, 4, and 5 letter entries, I take what I can get while minimizing obscurity and crosswordese.
Etc. / Re: WSJ 2017 Puzzle Statistics
« Last post by mmcbs on March 10, 2018, 03:20:00 PM »
Interesting stuff. No real reason to repeat the same clue/word combination, but no big deal if you do. In my books I avoided that and was able to adhere to it just about 100% of the time (especially within the same volume). But clearly some editors have "pet" clues for certain answers.

Just looking at the data available on this web site, NYT used ERA 23 times last year (that's pretty low for such a handy and legit word), with 20 different clues. Coincidentally, I used ERA 23 times in the books (450 puzzles) with about 20 different clues.
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