Sunday, January 31, 2010

Free Puzzle Inside

"Stop this unsavory sausage-making process . . . !"

That's a sound bite from John McCain, in a recent speech before Congress. When I first heard the words  "unsavory" and "sausage-making", my heart skipped a beat -- was the Senator referring to puzzlemaking?

Public warnings about puzzlemaking can be traced to prescient political figures in the 19th century. Decades before the invention of the crossword, Otto von Bismarck cautioned:  "Laws and crossword puzzles are like sausages.  It is better not to see them being made."   

Before Congress schedules hearings on Puzzlemaking Reform, here's a free puzzle constructed from my cubicle in the Puzzle Industrial Complex.

(I'm trying to figure out how to post an Across Lite version of the puzzle on Blogger.  I'd appreciate suggestions from those who've done so. . . . Update: Amy and Joon have advised.  Thanks! Answer Grid is posted below)
Crossword in the Raw No. 1

*****ANSWERS: Click here


Crossword Man said...

Lovely puzzle, thank you. The grid design ties in nicely with the graphics on your blog.

Ab Fab is a favorite show of mine. Glad to see it was broadcast in the US and is well-enough known to make it into a crossword.

I'm puzzled by the American convention regarding defining the general by the specific. In British cryptics, this is a no-no, and you'd have to add e.g./perhaps/?/for one etc to excuse it ... as happened in 9a {Tanqueray, for one}.

But I've also seen clues like 18d {Plug eyed by a pug} from many different puzzlemakers, which suggests you can sometimes get away with an example in a definition. It would be natural to add a ? at the end in this case, but maybe that is reserved for a punning clue like 27d {Play book?}?

I'm still searching for an explanation of the rules here, so if you have one, I'd be glad to hear it!

Joon said...

there isn't any way to post an across lite file in blogger. the best you can do is upload it somewhere else (like amy's forum, or a google group) and then post a link to it from blogger.

Orange said...

The grid looks a little more like a lion or teddy bear to me.

Cute puzzle! Four 15s in the theme, a few related bonus answers, lots of wide-open space, a picture in the grid, and it still meets the standard criteria for word count and block count? Well played.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks Amy, for taking a shot at the puzzle, and for your expert review. It does kind of look like a dog/bear/lion crossbreed, ha.

Joon, Amy -- I appreciate the Blogger advice! My other website might work as a launching pad for the files. Thanks!

Crossword Man: Oh, yes, I'm a fan of Ab Fab . . . I do like British programming. My brother was born in England and my folks married there, so "Rule Britannia" runs through my head a lot.

Ah, to add a question mark or not to add a question mark -- that is the question. Honestly, sometimes it's a toss-up. In this puzzle, I deled some question marks after reviewing the clues.

My own rule is -- I leave out the question mark unless it's a serious pun or wordplay. I don't like solving puzzles with tons of question-marked clues. I guess my preferences as a solver drive my construction practices. Of course, these may be overridden at the editor's desk, but that's show biz.


Bruce S. said...

I just printed out your puzzle and am excited to give it a look. Who doesn't love new puzzles?

Joon said...

just got around to solving this. fun puzzle! i'm always impressed by people who can draw things in a crossword grid. and amy, it looks canine enough to me!