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Author Topic: What's the problem with stepquotes?  (Read 2078 times)


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What's the problem with stepquotes?
« on: July 29, 2014, 09:54:35 PM »
Stepquotes were popular a number of years ago, but it seems that they have fallen badly out of fashion among editors.  Does anyone know why this is?  And quote puzzles in general.

One needs a really good quote, but if that requirement is met, what's the problem?  A nice feature (for me, at least) is that you need to get a fair amount of the rest of the puzzle solved before you can begin to make anything of the quote.

One of my favorites, from some years back, was a quote attributed to Henry Kissinger (as I recall):

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad name."


Howard B

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Re: What's the problem with stepquotes?
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2014, 10:41:44 PM »
Here's the main problem with stepquotes: EVery letter in a stepquote, especially the 90-degree angle bends, are essentially unchecked. So every single crossing word needs to be unambiguously clued, and easy enough to understand. A few obscurities, or ambiguous answers, forces holes in the quote that can only be resolved by solving other letters in the quote. Too many blanks, and the puzzle becomes essentially unsolvable.

In the Maleska-edited stepquote puzzles, you often essentially needed a crossword dictionary to resolve the multiple African towns and obscure animal names that crossed nothing, in order to decipher the quote. So construction, cluing and the solving experience can be unpleasant, unless great care is taken in design.


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