Thursday, January 7, 2010

Poll: Should Neyartha use fewer “GK words”?

The Hindu Crossword solvers are all too familiar with Neyartha's heavy use of specialist vocabulary. Yesterday's puzzle (THC 9733) had so many obscure words that I didn't even have enough crossings for guesswork.

If a crossword themed on patterns in the sky appeared in a magazine on astronomy, I wouldn't object. But is this crossword really appropriate for a general newspaper, that many of us (like me) do on our commute without access to any internet-enabled device?

I'd like to know how many of us feel the same way. Maybe if a majority says one thing, Neyartha might listen!

Answer this poll. Please spread the word to other Hindu crossword solvers. Entries close on Monday 11th Jan 2010, 10AM IST. Results that evening.

Only one vote per person, please! Duplicate votes can be tracked and will be deleted.

Update: Poll result announced.

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11 comments

Vijay Sarvagnam said...

Well, it is better than today's (THC 9734). Starred question does not go by crossword rules.

Bhavan said...

While I prefer such clues to be limited instead of spanning the entire grid, I feel no strong distaste for them either. Just that such words don't make me feel I learned anything new !

Afterdark said...

I feel it is a mixed bag. The moment you choose to take the help of Wikipedia, one page lists all Sky Patterns or Deserts and then it is more a question of matching than thinking. The interest in solving disappears strangely for other normal clues too. Clues that would have got completed initially on a normal day gets unsolved for a very long time.

Shuchi said...

@Vijay: Starred question does not go by crossword rules.

I don't mind that, actually. Themes are welcome to twist the rules. What the theme is, how enjoyable and solvable it is, makes all the difference.

@Bhavan: Similar thoughts here.

@Afterdark: The moment you choose to take the help of Wikipedia, one page lists all Sky Patterns or Deserts and then it is more a question of matching than thinking.

Exactly. If you don't have the Wiki page in front of you, you can't solve the crossword. If you have it, whoosh you have all the answers. Pretty much kills the joy of solving.

veer said...

While sites like this one or Orkut or the Col's blog have greatly improved my solving ability, harkening back to the older days when the net was not so ubiquitous, I think solving these puzzles was more of an art. My best memories of solving these puzzles are sitting in my hostel wing's cot at IIT and hacking at them with 3 or 4 friends with nothing but the paper and a pencil (not a pen!)...In those 4 years, don't think we ever got to finishing one, but the experience was memorable nonetheless. Relevant to this discussion, if Neyartha would demonstrate her command over the language through beautifully worded clues (Ximenean?) rather than beautiful or obscure words or wiki patterns, we would all be that much better for it. From what I have seen of Neyartha thus far, she does seem very capable of it except she channels her intellect in ways different than what many solvers would prefer. Thanks for this forum..

Shuchi said...

@veer: Hobbies are so much more fun when shared with friends. Neyartha is a 'he', by the way!

@All: I'm away from the computer tomorrow, comments will get approved on Saturday. Wish I had a way to set conditional moderation to keep out spam, sadly that's not possible.

sunila2738 said...

Once the generalised nature of the clue is known, such as constellations or deserts, the cat is out of the bag and the charm is gone. One or clues here and there of that nature will add spice to the game. But to have it sprinkled everywhere is not welcome.

I am for fewer GK words

Chaturvasi said...

Whether these themed puzzles are too hard (or not), whether these are none-too-difficult once the theme is grasped (or not), whether we should advise the setter to go easy (or not), whether we appeal to the paper to uniformly publish less challenging puzzles that provoke a series of questions (or not), whether the paper has to cater also to some eggheads in different fields (or not) -

my appreciation is for the setter who manages to fit the words into the grid.

Notice that he is not using free-form or educational grids.

Notice also that he does not use for-the-nonce grid. I think he uses one or the other from the same set of limited grids with which he started his job/tryst/chore with the paper.

Sandhya said...

Neyartha's themed crosswords are a refreshing change - all the more appreciated because they are few and far between.

sravan said...

Neyartha = Athreyan

Vijay Sarvagnam said...

No problem. Others too use it, but, bit less.