Forum > State Puzzle Project

I'd like to represent opposing counsel...

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madscrawler:

--- Quote from: Mike Peluso on January 09, 2009, 01:59:41 AM ---
I'm not sure how well I read into the Cru's collective opinion about the money-making aspect of this project. I think I heard some say that there's no way in hell they'd do it without being paid, and I got the impression that others would be happy to just do it as a project born out of the love of making puzzles. I have to say, I'm in that second group. I have a feeling I speak for a lot of constructors in saying that payment vs. non-payment for contributing to this project really wouldn't make a terribly big difference in their standard of living.

--- End quote ---

I don't want to get into a discussion about why crossword constructors should demand fair payment just like everyone else. I'll just stick to the subject. Put me on the list of constructors who absolutely will not do this for free. I won't do it for $50 either (as someone suggested). I want a percentage of the profits. If that turns out to be 50 cents, fine. I can live with making peanuts because the venture wasn't profitable. But I can't live with making peanuts because I settled for peanuts.

Nelson

kasemenova:
Hey Cru--

I think an AAA puzzle book is probably do-able; and if it becomes that kind of project, then of course there will have to be more editorial rule-setting (and there are some good suggestions in another email--particularly the ENE, NNE suggestion, though, thinking in terms of layout, it sort of gave me the heebie jeebies. The whole book would have to be laid out, then those references made. Yikes!)

But I'm not sure that such a book accomplishes what I thought the intention was: owning our own work. Clearly, AAA would own the thing, and AAA would set editorial guidelines, and I can't see how there would be any revenue to share, really. AAA would come up with a price and offer it to the group, and that would be it, wouldn't it? There wouldn't be any sales as such--it would be a give-away from them to their customers.

That might work out to more than a constructor is likely to see from selling to a newspaper. Or, it might be a method of getting some kind of organization set up, and getting some funds into that organization to get things moving on the next book. But that would require everyone to leave their profits in the group.

And, frankly, in this scenario, I don't see my motivation for volunteering untold hours at keyboard to lay out the book.

As to the org questions: I have no idea how to establish a quorum over the Net.

Karen

kblakley:

--- Quote from: madscrawler on January 09, 2009, 07:57:57 AM ---
I don't want to get into a discussion about why crossword constructors should demand fair payment just like everyone else. I'll just stick to the subject. Put me on the list of constructors who absolutely will not do this for free. I won't do it for $50 either (as someone suggested). I want a percentage of the profits. If that turns out to be 50 cents, fine. I can live with making peanuts because the venture wasn't profitable. But I can't live with making peanuts because I settled for peanuts.

Nelson

--- End quote ---


I agree with madscrawler - I thought the original impetus for this project was to value ourselves enough to demand royalties rather than give away all rights for a pittance.

Bonnie - you can have AZ - although I love Arizona, I still call Oklahoma home.

Kelsey

Nancy Salomon:
First, I doubt you'll find a qualified editor to take on this project when all one needs to do to be assigned a slot is to be the first to volunteer for a state.  Some of those volunteering do quality work.  Some are untested.  Under these circumstances, it's likely that an editor would have to redo about half the puzzles in order to wind up with something he or she wouldn't be embarrassed to put his or her name to.

I think you need to decide whether your major goal is profitability or if you're in this strictly for the fun and the learning experience.  If the latter, you're off to a good start.  If the former, things that have been suggested that I believe would be a major turn-off to solvers are:

OREO in every puzzle - borrrring

A direction in every puzzle - borrrring

The same grid for every puzzle - boring and worse--it locks constructors into the same theme entry lengths

Ban on punny wordplay - major bummer

Also, if you want a marketable book, you're going to need some clearing house for themes.  Otherwise, you're likely to end up with at least 6 rebus puzzles using state abbreviations.

But, most of all, you need to give your editor the right to reject puzzles.  Otherwise, you'll wind up with puzzles from the "Who makes these dumb rules anyway?" crowd.  The "dumb" rules that students of mine have complained about over the years include:

1) Maximum word count of 78
2) Restrictions against words less than 3 letters
3) Editors' desire for tight, consistent, cohesive themes
4) The breakfast test.  Do you think AAA would be interested in a puzzle loaded with words that fail this test?
5) Play-fair cluing and other cluing restrictions.  Many newbies think solvers should be mind readers.

If you want a collection in which every constructor can do his or her thing, free of all constraints, you won't have a marketable product, but you will be pleasing a lot of constructors.  If you want a marketable book, then many of the same restrictions that apply to crosswords in quality publications will wind up applying to your puzzles as well.  You can probably ignore the restriction about theme entries being the longest entries in each puzzle and you may be able to ignore symmetry requirements if your theme entries are obvious as such, but that's about all the leeway I see you having.

Imo, you need to come to some consensus as to whether you want a moneymaker or an experimental, do-you-own-thing project.  I'm highly skeptical that you can have it both ways.

Nancy Salomon

admin:

Nancy made a lot of good points. I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to appoint a small group of editors who can share the task of making sure all puzzles pass the test. Choose 3-5 among the group. Just an idea.

- Kevin

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