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Author Topic: "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?  (Read 3538 times)


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"NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« on: October 08, 2014, 10:58:50 PM »
It's my only stumbling block. What's the clue?


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Re: "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2014, 10:31:41 AM »
There's plenty of "NCA" organizations out there, the most common of which seems to be the "National Cheerleaders Association," but it's doubtful that it would be taken as familiar to a general puzzling audience.
How about "End of the Peruvian natives?" (INCA)
Or same, replacing "natives" with "empire."
That seems more likely as a clue Will would take.


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Re: "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2014, 04:00:42 AM »
i'd say there's little chance that NCA will make it.  i've had TCB (taking care of business) rejected and i feel that that is far was the name of Elvis' band in the 70s as well.

it might take an otherwise extraordinary puzzle for NCA to make it


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Re: "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2014, 10:15:51 AM »
It is hard to appease the Will Shortz God and I know first hand. I have sent (4) 15X15s to him. 2 were so-so, 1 was so-so +1 and 1 was themed very well with no problems like 'nca.' It beat many of the usual Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday puzzles he runs hands down.

All were rejected and this is where you are making a mistake, Mr. Shortz. You should give brand-new puzzle constructors a first-time 'encouragement' pass .... You have discouraged me from sending you pretty much anything now, and I have about 50 or so 15x15s sitting in my directory of which many will end up being published somewhere else.... because I'm not wasting any more stamps (snail mail in the 21st Century, tsk tsk Will) along with 3 or so months to get an email rejection from one of your subordinates anymore.

Yes, you are sitting in the highest seat and you get to pretty much choose the cream of the crop. Not only that, but you get to add your name as an editor of another artists creation, even if it is changing 1 letter or 1 clue. But by kicking new artists in the seat of their pants for decent puzzles, you are doing yourself and the craft no favors.

So, NCA author, save your stamps. If a puzzle isn't perfect to Will, you can pretty much forget it. He's pedantic (a good crossword puzzle clue for 'anal'  btw).

FWIW I would kill as much of the block NCA appears in and do it over. But that's me, good luck.



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Re: "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2014, 06:58:23 AM »
Almost certainly a no-go with NYT or anyone else, for that matter, IMO. Agree, you need to rip out this section and keep trying for a clean fill. If you don't like it, the editor won't either. Most of the puzzles sent to NYT get rejected, usually because the theme doesn't measure up, or some of the fill is unacceptable, occasionally because they just get so many good ones it's not possible to approve them all. I just had one rejected as a "near miss". I will keep trying.
Mark McClain
Salem, Virginia, USA


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Re: "NCA" -- Will Shortz accept?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2014, 12:19:39 AM »
Will Shortz wouldn't reject NCA because he's overly fussy or pedantic. He'd do so because he is a good editor. It's worth noting that no other editor has accepted NCA (at least among the puzzles in my database). When it comes to acronyms, they have to be very well known. If you're faced with something like NCA, don't try to justify it or blame the editor(s). Yank it out and rework that area of the puzzle. The more you stick to this line of thinking the better you will become at making salable crossword puzzles.

« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 12:23:48 AM by admin »


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