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 Post subject: Cryptic puzzle
 Post Posted: Tue May 11, 2010 9:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:41 pm
Posts: 10
Hi all,

I made this cryptic--my first--on a sort of dare from a friend of mine. I figured it wouldn't hurt to post it here for you all to try. Happy puzzling!

Cheers,
ktd


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 Post subject: Re: Cryptic puzzle
 Post Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:07 pm
Posts: 579
Location: New York, NY
Very nice first effort, but if I can offer some advice, her goes. I didn't know 1A, the singer, but got it. More important to cryptics, though, are some general points. First, the grid wouldn't pass, since three entries have fewer than half their squares checked.

Second, at least two clues have maybe the biggest no-no in cluing, what's called an indirect anagram, in which one has to scramble the letters of a word that's indicated only by a synonym. Anagram fodder has to be given in the clue. That's also true when the clue isn't just an anagram but a compound clue type containing an anagram and something else.

Third, it's much more satisfying, and for most U.S. publications and solvers actually required, if the two definitions of something are entirely distinct. You tend quite often to clue a word with slight variations on a single meaning. Even the pun on tech/techno would be way too close for most solvers, since both are just based on shorthands for technological. Generally speaking, it's thus also much more satisfying, if maybe a little less mandatory, to avoid wordplay like GANG+WAY, since that's how one parses GANGWAY in the first place. Remember that the trick is to surprise one by wordplay that doesn't, on its surface, mean what it means.

Last, I saw a lot of such puns and a few anagrams, while you'd want to be sure there's a variety of clue types. The only hidden answer, STEW, also wouldn't pass for many solvers since it's not fully contained in the fodder but falls at one end of the fodder instead.

Good luck with more,
John


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