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Author Topic: Designing Grids  (Read 1279 times)

JLU

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Designing Grids
« on: September 27, 2011, 10:53:33 AM »
I starting creating puzzles one month ago.  I use Crossword Compiler and use the grid library.  I want to design my own grids, but I just don't "get it".  I've searched the Internet high and low and have yet to find instructions that are helpful to me.  Any suggestions?

SJS

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2011, 12:01:03 PM »
What aspect of grid creation is giving you trouble?  Is it understanding the rules (the symmetry requirements, etc.) or is it strategies for making sure your puzzle is fillable with good words?

thebitterend

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2011, 07:28:24 PM »
If you look to the left under "Resources" you will see the sub-topic "Sage Advice". Read these. Nancy Salomon has some very good tips and suggestions on puzzle construction. The other expert's advice is very relevant to constructing as well. Other than that, the best way to learn is by studying puzzles and learning the good old-fashioned hard way; by doing it.

VB

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 07:54:44 PM »
I agree with the above, but I also think that if you can find someone who has done it a bit, sitting down with him/her and working through it could be very helpful, especially if you have a themed puzzle, for which your choice of grid is probably somewhat restricted by the theme entries. I have not been at it that long, and I am already much better at seeing where there will be trouble and thinking about how to set up the grid. I still paint myself into a corner more often than I'd like, but I usually see it coming. I think that it's a bit like chess - the more practice you have, the farther ahead you can anticipate trouble.

JLU

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2011, 09:26:45 AM »
Thanks for the helpful responses.  I had read Nancy Solomons articles but was hopelessly confused.  I sent her an e-mail and as soon as I pressed "send", it hit me.  I now understand the symmetry required for three or four theme entries.  Nancy responded to me and gave me additional tips.  She's great.

Now that I understand the symmetry, I have another question.  How many of you use the grid library and how many always design their own grids?

Thanks again.

SJS

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2011, 12:55:54 PM »
I find grid libraries helpful for visualizing what's possible.  For example, if you have a 13-letter theme entry that has to go in the middle, that's hard to work with.  I sometimes use the grid library at the very initial stage.  Maybe I have a pun theme and I generate 8 or 9 puns of various lengths.  If I see lots of grids work with some lengths and not others, it can help me decide which ones to use.

Often I'll even start with a grid from the library, knowing I may shift a few blocks around while I'm filling.

thebitterend

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 10:43:09 PM »
I design my own grids as I fill them. I can't seem to create an arbitrary grid and then fill it. I have to create the grid as I fill. I have posted a puzzle in the posting area. Check it out.

Todd G

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 11:27:02 PM »
I've always designed my own grids (in fact, I'm not entirely sure how to use a prefab grid).  I've certainly had difficulties sometimes getting a grid to work, but almost always found a way to make it work.  And I've created some pretty weird grids.

Practice definitely helps...but a seasoned constructor (like Nancy) can help you get there faster.  Also, books like Patrick Berry's Crossword Puzzle Challenges for Dummies offer some good tips and examples.

Good luck!

—Todd

JLU

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 08:38:55 PM »
Thanks to all for your advise.  This is addicting, fun, but most of all, challenging.  If it were easy, I'd have quite weeks ago!  LOL.  I think I'm in it for the long haul.

JLU

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 08:45:36 PM »
SGS -

you wrote  "What aspect of grid creation is giving you trouble?  Is it understanding the rules (the symmetry requirements, etc.) "

This is a big part of it.  I have hundreds of notes all over the place about symmetry requirements.  Is there a cheatsheet anywhere?

Janice

ebirnholz

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 01:01:06 AM »
SGS -

you wrote  "What aspect of grid creation is giving you trouble?  Is it understanding the rules (the symmetry requirements, etc.) "

This is a big part of it.  I have hundreds of notes all over the place about symmetry requirements.  Is there a cheatsheet anywhere?

Janice

The Basic Rules page in this forum is a good primer on symmetry and other requirements.  If you want to be more specific to a particular publication, check out Publisher Specifications.

JLU

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 07:21:11 PM »
Thank you!

victorwilson

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Re: Designing Grids
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2012, 02:53:14 AM »
Look for Crossword-Compiler Lybrary!

 

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