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Question from a newbie

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ahimsa:
Thank you, SJS, for your very helpful answer. It helps to know that the phrases need to make some sort of "sense" after the missing word is removed. Surface sense seems like a good phrase to describe the rule.

As far as connecting the theme entries, rather than having all the phrases be in the same category (e.g., all movie titles), I was planning to have the same word missing from all of the phrases. For example, last week's Sunday NY Times puzzle had phrases where the word OF was missing from all of them. But the phrases didn't have any other connection that I could see.

AlexBajcz:
I think this is a perfect theme type to try when you're first starting out. Cluing the resulting answers will be a little tricky--they'll probably need to be puns or plays on words--but that's a battle to fight later on.

My piece of advice is this: These types of themes tend to go over best when the theme is "revealed" somewhere else in the grid. Then, if a solver couldn't catch onto your theme, but they can solve the part of the grid where the theme is revealed, they don't get frustrated. Removing the word "metal" from phrases makes me think of an answer in the grid somewhere being "NOMETAL," which could be clued as "Note on an airport security sign, and a hint to the answers to 14-, 28-, 37-, and 45-Across." Or what have you. I'm just spit-balling here, but hopefully it's of some help to you anyhow :)

jetsco13:
i think its a great idea. not to mention fun.  ;D

btw, would you mind sending me one if ever you've finished one? would be looking forward for your puzzles.

ahimsa:

--- Quote from: AlexBajcz on July 16, 2012, 07:07:38 PM ---I think this is a perfect theme type to try when you're first starting out. Cluing the resulting answers will be a little tricky--they'll probably need to be puns or plays on words--but that's a battle to fight later on.
<snip>
--- End quote ---

Alex, thanks for your advice. I meant to come back and check on this thread but I forgot all about it. I've actually gone on to a couple of other theme ideas since I posted this message.

I have completed a couple of puzzles but I'm not ready to post them anywhere for critique yet (let alone submit them to an editor!). I'm only sharing them with a few friends that I know in "real life" who like to do crosswords. I have shown puzzles to one or two folks online via email. But that's it.

I'm in awe of the newbies who are brave enough to post their very first puzzle online for other folks to submit comments. I will need to get a lot better before I feel up to doing something like that. But I appreciate all the helpful advice that I've gotten. Puzzle constructors are a very generous bunch of folks.

Marjorie

AlexBajcz:
I hear ya. I certainly would never post *my* first grid anywhere public. I think it had 43 black squares and a few borderline gibberish answers...gah! I'm glad you've been able to get a few under your belt. If you ever need feedback from someone who will be constructive, feel free to send them along to me. I will take a look at them when I have a free moment.

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