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Author Topic: Theme entries transformed via deletion  (Read 131 times)


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Theme entries transformed via deletion
« on: November 21, 2020, 02:49:14 PM »
Hey folks, I've got a question about deletion-type theme entries, i.e. the entry is a word/phrase with a part of it removed. Take this puzzle for example: the revealer is LOST ART and the theme entries are things like BENDER (i.e. transformation of B(ART)ENDER), PIES (i.e. transformation of P(ART)IES), etc. My questions:

  • do the theme entires you actually put in the grid (i.e. the result of the transformation) have to be real words/legible? When (if ever) can you get away with them being gibberish?
  • does your clue refer to the transformed word/phrase or the original one? What might you consider when deciding which to clue? (The puzzle linked above clues the original word/phrase, but I've heard conflicting advice.)


  • Sr. Member
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Re: Theme entries transformed via deletion
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2020, 03:05:18 PM »
The general custom is that the entries in the grid need to be actual phrases (though they can be puns created by the removal of the letters), and the clues refer to the altered phrase (the actual entry) and not the original. Just so you'll know I did the LOST ART theme a few years ago in a Wall Street Journal puzzle (4/21/16). Themers were:

VODKA MINIS - Those in-flight Stoli bottles?
INJURED PIES - Bake sale items showing signs of damage?
OER THE RAMPS - How poets drive onto interstates?
CREAM OF TAR - High-quality paving goo?
Mark McClain
Salem, Virginia, USA


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Re: Theme entries transformed via deletion
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2020, 09:22:09 AM »
Also note that you want the solving audience to "get" that the word "art" has been removed from the base word or phrase. For that reason, you shouldn't simply use B(ART)ENDER or P(ART)IES. You'd have to use something like POLITICAL PIES instead of simply PIES.


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