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Author Topic: Interpreting a NYTimes rejection  (Read 3018 times)


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Interpreting a NYTimes rejection
« on: April 16, 2015, 10:29:32 PM »
Hey everyone,

Joel Fagliano, on behalf of Will Shortz, gave me the following feedback in rejecting some recent submissions:

"They're both solid work, but the themes didn't excite Will quite enough to say yes.

Sorry about that.

We did really appreciate the chance to take a look at these, though."

I'm just wondering if I should take it as written--close but not quite there--or if I need to read between the lines and see this as a polite way of dismissing a wholly inadequate puzzle.  Ultimately, in the event I did get a rejection, I was hoping for a little more specific feedback. 

Thanks for any feedback / words of wisdom!

Bill Zachar
Jacksonville, FL


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Re: Interpreting a NYTimes rejection
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 02:57:00 AM »
If they felt the themes were subpar, there's a good chance they didn't look that closely at the fill. But I don't think he would have said "solid work" unless he felt that the fill was pretty good. In my most recent rejection Joel said the theme didn't excite Will and laid out the reasons without mentioning the fill at all.


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Re: Interpreting a NYTimes rejection
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 06:04:55 AM »
Speculating (based on my recent rejections) . . . "didn't interest" I think just means the theme idea wasn't in the ball park of what Will likes to receive. You've probably noticed that most NYT puzzle have themes that are really creative. "Solid work" - you know how to construct a puzzle. I sometimes get detailed feedback on the theme, other times not. Also, sometimes feedback on the fill, even though theme didn't cut it. May have to do with how much time is spent reviewing them. Keep trying, and be assured that you may get these rejections approved by other publishers, if they are indeed "solid work". I've been doing this for about a year and a half and still learn something new almost every week.
Mark McClain
Salem, Virginia, USA


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Re: Interpreting a NYTimes rejection
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 09:09:31 AM »
Thanks for the feedback, gentlemen!


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