Grids: Fair and unfair

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afrit
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 10:11 pm

Grids: Fair and unfair

Post by afrit » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:56 pm

My comments arise from the November Slot 2 Grid which shows a third-rate rate unfair grid. The following remarks apply to the mormal 15x15 blocked cryptic puzzle. They are not original and may be found in many crossword manuals.

A fair grid should exhibit the following features:
1. A balance of short (3-6 letters) medium (7-10 letters) and long (11+ letters) words.
2. A quarter of the grid should join with its adjoining quarters
3. No one word should contain more than two consecutive unchecked letters.
4. There should be a minimum of words beginning with unchecked initial letters. (The AJ is an obvious exception).
5. There should be an avoidance of grids containing more unchecked than checked letters especially where the ratio of unchecked to checked is gretaer than say 8:7, 7:6 or 5:4.
There may be other features of fairness which members may wish to add.
Following the above still leaves the setter with the choice of many hundreds of potential grids with which to construct their puzzles.
Comments welcome.
Afrit

afrit
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 10:11 pm

Re: Grids: Fair and unfair

Post by afrit » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:02 pm

One more feature:
The grid should contain between 24 and 32 clues.

zinzan
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:58 pm

Re: Grids: Fair and unfair

Post by zinzan » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:03 pm

Mmm, 2 and 3 I'd certainly agree with. 4 to some degree.
The others are a little dependent on what the setter is trying to achieve. The ACC puzzles try to be a little left-field and with some amount of innovation. Newspaper dailies trade on consistency.
If a puzzle featured many 15 letters answers, as Crowsman sometimes does, that's no less worthy than others.

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