May
26
2008

  Crossword #2 Completed

It took quite a few hours, but I finished my second crossword puzzle for the Crozet Gazette. I said I'd make three puzzles for them so their regular puzzle-maker could take the summer off. My first has already been approved and will appear in the June issue. The one I made today I figure they'll run in July, County Parks is its theme. Maybe I'll do a "dog days" theme for August. Or perhaps "summer fun". Eh, I've got time to think on it.

I'll probably post links to the online java version of the puzzles here once the paper comes out. Terry tested my latest puzzle for me tonight. It's good for me to see how someone else solves it, so I can tell if my clues are clear enough. I wound up changing three clues since they didn't make sense to Terry. One I was surprised that it wasn't clear, but it was an easy fix. The second one is just problematic. It's an obscure word, so I'm still considering if there's another way to interpret the answer to make an easier clue. The third probably could have been figured out by anyone who does crosswords all the time, but I did change one reference in the clue to make it a bit easier for everyone.

I was pleased to see that he took the bait on some of my tricky clues. It's good to make a crossword puzzle where there are two different answers to the same clue that fit the space. It creates more of a challenge to the solvers. But it was also nice to see when he realized the mistake and changed his answer to the correct one. It's got to be interesting for the solvers, but I don't want to make the puzzles so difficult that only an expert can finish the puzzle. I'd say my goal is to make them reasonably easy, although in both puzzles I've made so far they have at least one obscure word that people will probably have to just fill in based on answering clues for words in the opposite direction (Across or Down).