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 Post Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:07 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:56 am
Posts: 11
Here are a pair of slightly-related puzzles. One is a cryptic crossword and one is an acrostic. The crossword is titled "Start and Finish" and the acrostic is titled "This week and next".

I'll be posting these later this morning at Daily Kos, as part of the regular Sunday Puzzle diary series there. This is a Sunday Puzzle Lite week, so both these puzzles are fairly easy.

"Start and Finish":
2010-03-28 DK crossword.puz [650 Bytes]
Downloaded 236 times

"This week and next":
2010-03-28 DK acrostic.puz [830 Bytes]
Downloaded 274 times

NOTE: I edited the acrostic to correct a typo on clue 2 (which was supposed to be Feathers, not Feather) and to post slightly easier clues for several of the others. The original posting this morning had the solution locked; this new version is unlocked.

 Post Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:46 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:07 pm
Posts: 579
Location: New York, NY
While I'm on a roll, and you'll want to look at the previous comments first to get a sense of where I'm coming from, let me comment on this one. I hope to get later or tomorrow to fuller commentary on the largest of the three cryptics now that I've got the fill there, too.

This is a word square, which (while not no doubt a substitute for larger puzzles) is a nice feat to itself! My compliments, and I'd have played that up more than the theme of "start and finish," which frankly I don't get at all. 7A, Forbig running after an aristocrat," is also a very nice clue. Otherwise, however, I think w do have to work on mainstreaming your clues for American audiences. The Times, the WSJ, Harper's, and formerly The Atlantic all have had similar standards, as does the cryptic forum; the NPL is a bit freer, but still in the ballpark. They all want less wordy clues, less arch definitions, stricter use of connectors, more literal logic in correspondence of wording to wordplay, fewer allusions, a greater variety of wordplay types in a puzzle, and several other things. So...

For 1A and 1D, I honestly don't know why LIONS and LAMBS at openers and closing. I know they'll lie down together, but if this is a joke, it's not working for me. In 1B, the abbreviation AMB and Eikenberry's identity are too obscure for your needs, even with the war going on.

6A. I am guessing iit's A(D)HOC, with D for "bad back" and AHOC a war resister, but the latter puzzles me, and you might not get agreement that "back" is the last letter either.

7A. Most would accept "wordplay in definition," although I can foresee some not. More important, MEAD+E can't be "MEAD is an E."

9A. "This" at the start to designate part of a clue is too British, "well-known" isn't helpful, "ften said to be clean" isn't a definition of SLATE (wrong part of speech if nothing else), and frankly the surface sounds racist to me.

2D. This is an "indirect anagram," probably the ultimate no-no in a cryptic: you clue the word (ailed) that you want scrambled. Anagram fodder must be given explicitly in the clue. "Now" is perhaps verbose.

3D. Interesting and a bit risky to clue a container by adding "hyphen-in," and I doubt you'd get away with it, but I'd consider it worth the risk this time! Whether people will accept the jokey allusion as a definition is a matter of taste, but it's again a little British for many of us.

4D. I don't know at all what's going on here, but when you have all those words to construct a five-letter answer, you know you're in trouble. I gather TOM doesn't require a dot in telegraphing, but that's pretty obscure, it can't be unique to TOM, the statement "there's something very interesting about Tom (telegraphically speaking)" is really wordy, and it's the wrong part of speech for DOT as well. Then we get somehow from "Yes, this is off topic" to "no dot." Is the idea that "Yes, this is off" is NO? I'm not convinced. And is the idea then that a topic is a DOT, like a bullet point in a list or PowerPoint presentation? That's pretty stretchy, and it'd also lead you to shared roots in the use of NO DOT in both halves of the answer. Finally, NO DOT isn't an ordinary phrase, so not ideal for a fill.

5D. This is what's criticized as "shared roots": a double-definition with the same idea behind both uses of the word.

Last, you'd probably have to indicate "(2 wds.)" in the clues for AD HOC and NO DOT.

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