Tuesday 6 July 2010

Poll Result: Non-Cryptic Clues In The Hindu Crossword

Thanks to all who voted and spread the word about the poll: Non-Cryptic Clues in The Hindu Crossword.

The poll was set up on 28th Jun 2010 to know what you think of straight clues in cryptic crosswords, whether you are happy with them or not.

A total of 84 votes were cast to answer the question:
Do you like the non-cryptic clues in The Hindu Crossword?

The verdict:

Poll Result: Pie Chart

 Poll:Do you like non-cryptic clues in THC? Result: No (54), So-So (21), Yes (9) 

Of those who participated, a majority (64.29%) do not like non-cryptic clues, 25% are neutral to them and 10.71% like them. This may or may not be representative of the entire population of The Hindu Crossword solvers but at least it gives some data for setters to consider.

For those who missed it, here is fifteensquared's post for Guardian 25054 which had a high number of straight-ish definitions. Going by the comments on the blog, over there too, those who feel underwhelmed by straight clues outnumber those who enjoy them.

Related Posts:

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Deepak Gopinath said...

Good to see that a lot of people feel the same way that I do

Chaturvasi said...

It would appear that there is some confusion over the classification of (a) starightforward/simple/quick/easy clue, (b) cryptic clue and (c) cryptic definition.
Let me say what my understanding is:
Take "Scheme (4)" leading to PLOT or PLAN. This is (a). This is what appears in what may also be called synonymic crossword.
Now, consider "Ancient god cunningly poisoned (8)" (Rufus in yesterday's Guardian crossword). This is (b), of course. For, in this anagram clue - just one type of the cryptic clue - we are required to jumble the letters of POISONED to get POSEIDON, for which the definition is "ancient god".
Finally, look at "Savage as Dracula (12)" leading to BLOODTHIRSTY or "Where you may find night flyers hanging around (6)" [BELFRY] or "You'd be angry if you lost it (6)" [TEMPER], all these also from the same Rufus puzzle.
I would not think that any of these is (a). Nor (b). For me, they are (c), that is, cryptic definition and I would certainly welcome clues such as these in any cryptic crossword so long as they are not overdone.
I cannot dismiss any of the above three as straightforward clue. For, in each there is a reference or allusion to a tale or idiom. Such clues offer some variety to the solver from the mechanical operations of A+B or A in B or B outside of A or head-off or tail-off and that sort of thing that form the bulk in a cryptic clue.
I do agree that these CDs (where no typical word operations are involved) are inferior to the real CDs such as, "Thoughtful communication (9)" [TELEPATHY] and "A hearty listener (11)" [STETHOSCOPE] (these two quoted by D. St. P. Barnard in his book) where the answer must come from the top of one's head and upon solving which you get an 'aha' feeling.

gauri said...

I seem to have missed the poll (unless it was on some other website). But I'm glad to see what I'd have voted for is the majority opinion.

The two kinds of crosswords are for different kinds of audience. Mixing one with the other takes away from the high of having cracked a clue - for both solvers. As a result, neither is happy.

I understand the need to include easy cryptic clues to encourage beginners, but a cryptic crossword in my opinion just has to be entirely cryptic, i.e. all clues MUST have the definition and the cryptic meaning.

Shuchi said...

Hi gauri

The poll was here: Poll: Non-Cryptic Clues In The Hindu Crossword. I probably posted the link on twitter when you were away...will remember to RT more than once if I do a poll another time.

I'm with the majority too in disliking straight clues in cryptic xwords. I do like cryptic definition (CD) clues in which the cryptic meaning itself is the definition, as in this post.

Shuchi said...

Blogger has been facing issues with their commenting system. A few comments on this post, including my own, have vanished.

I hope the old comments come back, if not I'll repost them later with my own id.

It seems that commenting with Name/URL works, with the Google account does not. Till Google fixes this problem, please post your comments using Name/URL option. Thank you!