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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:41 am 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 9:50 am
Posts: 14
Once in a great while, I try to make a 72-word themeless crossword. Never works out all that well. Or it morphs into the attached.
Jim


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 Post Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:07 pm
Posts: 579
Location: New York, NY
I don't get the two feet joke.


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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:15 am 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 9:50 am
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One foot has five digits (toes), etc. Example of me being desperate for a fresh SSN clue.


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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:30 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:07 pm
Posts: 579
Location: New York, NY
Thanks. You know, I thought right away of digits as in toes. So is the idea that an SSN's having nine digits is enough to define it? I'd say the clue is very close but needs tweaking, but then that's no doubt often the case with an unpublished puzzle.

It's probably why overall I found this harder, despite a lot that felt like gimmes or straightforward vocabulary, than a Saturday puzzle. Some things just never did click with me, as has happened with other puzzles in the forum, of course, too. I never could finish the NE (although that's in part because I didn't know about tires).


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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:36 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 9:50 am
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I'd be fairly comfortable with a clue "It has nine digits: Abbr." for SSN. NYT puzzles have used similar clues. My clue did get highly playful with the "nine" concept. Lots of my playful clues do get tweaked, when they make it to the NYT. Most of my puzzle testers have said they've had to get used to my mindset, before they could work thru my puzzles. I just love coming up with fresh angles on unfresh grid answers. Thanks for trying out my "sassy" fresh, experimental puzzle. And for your feedback. Mad scientist Jim H.


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 Post Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:07 pm
Posts: 579
Location: New York, NY
May I offer some more feedback anyway? I'd say the theme was close, but it too could use some tweaking. It doesn't feel tight enough. In one clue, the entire answer is the general sense of the theme. In another, the first word puns on its thematic meaning to introduce an unrelated phrase. The other two are somewhere in the middle.

I don't think that really works. It left me feeling that the "roughly" clue was an outlier that didn't fit, whereas in reality punning phrases that start with a word for "roughly" truly is the theme. Maybe more work could make the two others fit that pattern much more closely, with different fill, while the clue to the "approximations" answer could suggest in some way that it pulls the other three together. You know, something like "x, y, and z across, just for starters," with appropriate numbers, although that's not terribly imaginative and gives too much away so needs improvement.


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