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Author Topic: Theme consistency with wordplay  (Read 1268 times)


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Theme consistency with wordplay
« on: March 22, 2017, 05:01:48 PM »
When using wordplay to alter familiar phrases for theme entries, is it generally better or more desirable, whatever tricks the wordplay uses, for each of the base phrases to be related in some way, particularly if the wordplay is consistent?  For example, I did a puzzle a while back where I used words with "IN" in them and moved it around the same way each time to make a new word (e.g. SINK / SKIN or CHINA / CHAIN), but my base phrases have nothing really to do with each other (SINK LIKE A STONE and GREAT WALL OF CHINA). 

Is the consistency of the wordplay enough to tie the whole thing together, or should links between the base phrases themselves be seen as equally important?  If I had titled that puzzle something like "Moving in," would it have been better if my base phrases all involved movement or relocating instead of being well-known but arbitrary?

I assume the answer is yes, but I'm interested in what people think.


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Re: Theme consistency with wordplay
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2017, 09:46:50 PM »
Most editors do not insist that the entries of a wordplay puzzle be otherwise related. Your instinct is correct that it is better if they are related. I'd recommend spending lots of time reviewing/solving the puzzles of the publisher that you're targeting to observe how they deal with wordplay themes.
Mark McClain
Salem, Virginia, USA


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