Setters and Bloggers Update – August 2022 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Setters and Bloggers Update – August 2022

Thank you to everyone who has sent puzzles to be featured in our various slots.  I hope the feedback has been encouraging and will inspire you further.

We currently have enough NTSPP puzzles to run until mid-October, but our Rookie Corner puzzle stock is running slightly low.

ROOKIE CORNER PUZZLES

If you would like to have a try in the RC slot, we welcome your submissions, but they should comply with the following guidelines:

  • Normal 15 x 15 blocked grid; if it isn’t, please check with me on your proposed size and shape before sending.
  • The puzzle should be a standard newspaper cryptic as found in the Telegraph, Times or other broadsheets.
  • I would rather the puzzle be a regular cryptic puzzle for this spot. Themes are ok, but specialist puzzles like the EV puzzle or devices that wouldn’t be found in the Telegraph or Toughie slots should be avoided (see below about our new spot!)
  • Although I will test solve the puzzle, it will typically go into publication ‘unedited’ unless there is a significant flaw in the puzzle (e.g. grid construction).
  • It is helpful if you can provide explanations for the solutions.
  • I am happy to be contacted if any of the feedback after publication is causing you issues/concerns. The posters on Rookie Corner generally are constructive and helpful.
  • Submissions ideally should be in Crossword Compiler or Sympathy software, but we will accept contributions in most formats (.doc, .pdf, etc.). Our Tech expert has asked that if you can, please supply the native files generated by whatever software you use to make your puzzle.  The more he can automate conversions of your version, the less chance there is of errors creeping in when, for example, optical character recognition gets a letter wrong.

Please send submissions to crosswords@btinternet.com.  If I haven’t acknowledged your contribution within a week, please contact me again.  I have found occasional messages dropping into spam.

NTSPP

As I said earlier, we currently have a good stock of these puzzles, but we always welcome more.  This slot is usually reserved for more experienced setters who have been published professionally or have graduated from Rookie Corner.  They are mainly in the Telegraph or Toughie puzzles style.  Where themes are used, they are often ‘ghost themes’ where the solver can still solve the puzzle without needing to know the theme or a device.  These puzzles are test-solved by the team, and feedback is passed on before publication if a rewrite is needed on something.

If there’s a specific date for a puzzle, please let me know as early as possible, even if you haven’t sent the puzzle through.

Please send submissions to crosswords@btinternet.com.  If I haven’t acknowledged your contribution within a week, please contact me again.  I have found occasional messages dropping into spam.

SUNDAY SPECIAL:

We have received a few submissions over the past few weeks that are puzzles that are not in the standard format or ask solvers to use devices or methods of solving that are not so straightforward.

We have started a Sunday Special, which may run a couple of times a month, and the idea of this slot is to showcase those puzzles that require a little more thought, relate to a specific anniversary or event, or are not in the standard grid style (a barred puzzle, for example).

Again feel free to send them in but allow a little more time for vetting and testing, as these can be more time-consuming.  Anniversary puzzles should be with us at least a month before the event.

Once again, thank you for supporting the site; the additional puzzles enhance our visitors’ experience and are well-appreciated.

Please send submissions to crosswords@btinternet.com.  If I haven’t acknowledged your contribution within a week, please contact me again.  I have found occasional messages dropping into spam.

BLOGGERS

Thank you all for continuing to support us, and there has been little to no disruption to our roster (some pillock keeps messing up Saturdays, but hey-ho!).

Again, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Gazza if there is a need for us to get cover for you.

We are looking at starting an occasional Sunday Special slot for setters with puzzles that are not the standard challenge we aim for in Rookie Corner or the NTSPP.  Please let me know if anyone is interested in helping out with an occasional Sunday Special blog.

Thanks again for all the great work you do.

Best wishes

Dave T and the team

2 comments on “Setters and Bloggers Update – August 2022
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  1. A bit late I know but does anyone know what has happened to the Monday Cryptic prize puzzle? I have just the puzzle subscription and there seem to be fewer puzzles – with no explanation.

    Cheers

    1. There hasn’t been an official announcement as far as I can see, but I read elsewhere (and can’t find it now) that someone had emailed to query it and had been told that the puzzle club’s cryptic, quick and GK puzzles had finished as part of the move to the new site and with other new puzzles being added.

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