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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:28 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:06 pm
Posts: 46
Last winter I was solving Robert Stockton's weekly crossword puzzle and there was a clue I had an issue with. I have no recollection of what the clue or entry were, but there was something incorrect about it and I sent him a suggestion for a replacement.

We got to talking back and forth and I sent a few more sections that he liked alot, and he asked me if I wanted to try cluing an entire puzzle that he had lying around. I said, "absolutely!" Since I rarely finished my own puzzles (or finished them with some ridiculous fill) I hardly ever got to clue a puzzle.

Robert sent me five themeless puzzles. I picked out what I thought was the best of the lot, clued it and sent it back.

He liked it a lot and even suggested that we send it on to Will Shortz to see if we could get it published. About two months later we received our rejection notice. Based on what Pam wrote to Robert, I gather that what we had was a Wednesday grid with a mix of Thursday-Friday clues.

We discussed sending it on to another venue, but it was difficult to come up with a publisher with whom this puzzle would be a good fit. I suggested that it would be right at home with CrosSynergy. Robert, however, informed me that CrosSynergy doesn't take submissions as it's produced by a closed clique of constructors, bless their clannish hearts.

As I've begun to complete and post my own puzzles, this is the only collaboration that Robert and I have finished. (Incidentally, I tweaked some his original fill in the southwest corner, and he tweaked a few of my clues. This is very much a 50/50 effort.)

We thought we had a pretty good puzzle, but couldn't find a home for it. Until now. We hope you enjoy it.


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SporkBeekeeper.puz [2.13 KiB]
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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:06 pm
Posts: 46
Actually, I just did the puzzle for the first time six months and the clues aren't as Friday-esque as I remembered. Still a bit of a challenge, I hope. :)


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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:59 am
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I enjoyed this puzzle a lot though there are a couple of clues that I took issue with. For both 9A and 35D, the wording led me to think I was looking for a verb as the answer. I am missing something or misinterpreting?

27A is a bit funky, too. I might have gone with "____ Belt" or "____ Never Sleeps", though those aren't particularly stellar clues.

Those are minor quibbles. Overall it was enjoyable and maybe around Thursday level.


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 Post Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:06 pm
Posts: 46
Aah, yes. Good ole' misdirection is at work here.

The clue, as a phrase, clues the adjective. If you add the word "is" to them it becomes clear. "Is making a point more sharply"; "Is acuter".

Macarena, while in the actual song is a woman's name, has come to be the name of the dance associated with it. "Let's do the Macarena" and "Let's Macarena" are both common usages, so the phrase "Party like it's 1996" clues the verb usage of "Macarena". (This entry was one of our test solvers' favorites.)


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 Post Posted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:01 am
Posts: 146
Location: Tshwane/Port Elizabeth
Hi Robert and Robert! Who's who?

Thanks for the puzzle. 35 down was actually my favourite clue - loved it! Was 9 at the time, and the only kid who refused on pain of death to do said dance!

The actual grid - 21 and 23D were quite awful as foreign words - but I do understand the trickiness of aligning so much white space! Did love THUNK (made me think of the Violent Femmes line "a thinkin' and a thinkin' till there's nothing I ain't thunk") Didn't remember that tricksy shared N at 41D. Winced filling in 48D, might've worked better as a reference to tennis (though I see from MG that's how it's usually clued... bravo foor stepping out on a limb!) Didn't know 52D - I vaguely remember using Sudan stain but biochemistry is a bit hazy! Wanted 15A to be ALLEYDOCK, but alas did not fit! 30A - you so had me, was convinced was about painters.

Was overall a fun and challenging outing (at 21:45 a very definite Saturday - though the top-right and bottom-left were way easy and the other two corners uber-tough!)


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