Saturday, October 11, 2008

(Re)Writing THC's Acrostics

In my last post I talked about the unvaried style of clueing acrostics in The Hindu crossword in the series of puzzles 9338 to 9347. I had picked these three for illustration:
9338: Initially, mix enough sweet herbs in net like material (4) M E S H
9340: Initially, get nets and trap a fly (4) G N A T
9346: Initially, put a little mud on an oar blade (4) P A L M

Here’s my attempt at writing clues for the same words, using the same acrostic style but with experimentation in structure.
Grid management experts scorn hardware beginners (4) M E S H 
Starts to get nervous, about to fly (4) G N A T
To begin with, poisoning affects leg muscles, the surface of the hand (4) P A L M

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Chaturvasi said...

I am afraid I can't agree that in THC there is no variation in first-letters indication in acrostic clues. If you say there was no variation in a series of puzzles by the same compiler in a particular month, well, that will be nearer the truth.
I shall try to search for acrostic clues with indications other than 'initially'. Give me some time!

Chaturvasi said...

I am back in a few minutes!
Suit sources of Bangalore engineering firms in technology (5)
Consider sources of vitality in English winery (4)
At home, take originally Indian drink - that’s tasteless (7) (here 'originally' indicates the first letter of one word only)
There may be more but my dB is limited.

Shuchi said...

Oh yes, the comment was meant only for puzzle numbers 9338 to 9347 by the same compiler, which I had covered in my last post. I did link to the last post, but I'll edit that sentence as well to make it specific.

Chaturvasi said...


Suit sources of Bangalore engineering firms in technology (5)

Consider sources of vitality in English winery (4)

In the above you will notice that the def. is at the beginning. Then comes the acrostic ind. There are no extra words in the acrostic fodder.

Of course, the acrostic ind. need not always be in the beginning but it so happens that they are in the illustrations culled.

Now, examine your acrostic attempts in the light of:

Do the solvers know where they have to stop picking up the first letters?

In your first clue won't 'beginners' go to Grid as well?

In your second, why can't I pick up 't' from 'to' as well?

Third acrostic ind. is good! The comma at least breaks the acrostic fodder and the def.

Shuchi said...

I think you mean here that there should be a separation between acrostic fodder and the definition. I haven't always seen this done though, even in the better crosswords. Like this, from Times 93935: Chances of dishing dirt? Splendid, at first (4). Or the example on our Crossword Club page.

But in any case, I see your point.

Chaturvasi said...

Maybe what I said earlier is an extreme view.

In some acrostic clues we have clear indications of acrostic letters fodder and in some we don't have. Even in published clues that I have just seen in my collection of crosswords but am not quoting.

So your first clue "Grid..." might be publishable!

My uneasiness remains, though.