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Cluing conventions for answers with "a" or "the"?



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?


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.

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.



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