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Author Topic: Three-letter words  (Read 90 times)

margoc19

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  • Posts: 2
Three-letter words
« on: September 11, 2019, 08:54:47 AM »
Is there a limit to how many three letter words can be in a 15x15 grid?

mmcbs

  • Sr. Member
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  • Posts: 252
Re: Three-letter words
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 10:37:30 AM »
Simon & Schuster has a hard and fast rule - no more than 12. For othrers, the fewer the better, and you'll probably get some pushback it if you go over 20.
Mark McClain
Salem, Virginia, USA
https://crosswordsbymark.wordpress.com/

johnmartz

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  • Posts: 1
Re: Three-letter words
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 01:06:48 PM »
I was wondering this myself recently, and did a quick survey of the last few NYT puzzles. The September 4 puzzle, a Wednesday, has a whopping 28 3-letter words in it. That week's Monday puzzle has 21, and the Tuesday has 24. The Thursday and Friday both have 11, and Saturday has 17.

mmcbs

  • Sr. Member
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  • Posts: 252
Re: Three-letter words
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 01:23:31 PM »
That puzzle with 28 3's got dinged by the reviewer for that, but it was an oh-so-cute novelty theme, and obviously the fill didn't much matter. When you look at that puzzle, you find ONO, OTT, RTE, CEO, ALT, EEL, ADA, MTA, ORK - pretty crappy fill IMO. So if you come up with a theme that's as clever as that, no one's going to worry about how many three letter words you have (or in this case what they are).

Sometimes the theme forces a high 3-letter word count, and that's often forgiven. But I think the point is, you should design your grid to minimize the number of 3-letter words given the theme set you're working with.
Mark McClain
Salem, Virginia, USA
https://crosswordsbymark.wordpress.com/

margoc19

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  • Posts: 2
Re: Three-letter words
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 01:53:50 PM »
Very helpful, thanks everyone!

 


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