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Question about "Previously Published"


Wordy Wordpecker:
Does anyone know if posting a puzzle here for critiquing constitutes having "published" the puzzle elsewhere, which could negatively affect its marketability?  I had one here, but then I axed it because I got nervous about this.  I sent the puzzle to the New York Times and I didn't want any conflict.  Does anyone have any experience with or knowledge about this aspect?


Will Shortz told me that puzzles discussed on the cruciverb-l discussion list would not be considered "previously published". I beleive most editors would feel the same way. I have set the Post a Puzzle forum to be open to members only. Guests cannot view. I would therefore think that the same logic would apply.

- Kevin

Wordy Wordpecker:
That logic makes sense, Kevin.  Thank you.  I want to be certain before I post another here.  I'm thinking I should really ask Will Shortz, myself.

A short story: I am very new to the crossword biz.  (You likely already know that.)  I just recently sent my first puzzle for submission to the Times.  I wasn't sure how long I should expect to wait for any kind of response, so I waited a few weeks patiently.  Then, this past week, I called the Times and just asked to be transferred to the puzzle editor, whereupon I unexpectedly found myself listening to Will's recording on his voice mail telling me to leave a name and number.  So I did.  I figured an assistant might call me back and I could ask when to expect a response, or how it all works.  So later I receive a call from an unknown number, and I answer, and he says, "This is Will Shortz returning a call..."  I said, "No way!" and then I said something dorky about it being like talking to a movie hero.  But he was very nice, and he answered my question about the time frames, and upon my suggesting sending more while I wait he even mentioned that sending too many might not be a good thing.  I suppose that's because if there is something being done consistently wrong, it would be better to understand that sooner rather than later.  (This was being discussed on another thread, IIRC)

Anyway, this story ties in here because while I had him on the phone I should have asked for his email address, or even specifically about this question of mine.  Since I didn't ask him either in my silly starstruck state, I'll ask you this: do you know if he has a public email address that he prefers?

Thanks for your input.

[On a maintenance note, I apologize for misposting this; it should probably be moved to the "Post a Puzzle" section.]


Do you happen to have that number for the Times where you got transferred to the Puzzle editor's voice mail?  I was hoping to maybe get that question of mine about whether new constructors should send only one puzzle at a time answered by Will Shortz himself.

Wordy Wordpecker:
The Times offices: 212-556-1234


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