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Sploofus Editor
Sploofishy (Editor)  
Tue, 20th May '08 1:20 AM

WORD PUZZLE AUTHORING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

In this thread we will lay out tips for authoring word puzzles.

NOTE: Please see the Revised Guide to Word Puzzle Authoring in this thread for current information (as of 2013): http://www.sploofus.com/bbs_detail.sp?post=86840&cID=1

Some of what is posted here is now out of date.

Separate issues are broken up so it will be easier to read than the private message sent out for the first round.


GENERAL OVERVIEW OF NEW PLATINUM WORD PUZZLE AUTHORING PROGRAM

The first big change is that we are sending out links by private message to all present and future Platinum members so that they will be able to submit word puzzles. This is now a standard perk of upgrading to Platinum.


THE RESTRICTION -
A member can only have ONE word puzzle pending at a time. Once a member's current word puzzle has ended, they are welcome to submit another.

This one at a time restriction should help prevent a few authors dominating the available slots.

Along that same line, since we are opening the door to over one hundred potential word puzzle authors, we can not guarantee time slots. Should we receive a large number of puzzles simultaneously, it could take a month or more for a puzzle to run.


EDITORIAL DISCRETION -
Since word puzzles have a very wide audience, we reserve the right to exercise greater content control than we do with quizzes or even chat rooms.


EDITOR/PLAYER LINK -
An editor will send a private message which will serve as a link for submitting your word puzzles. Please do not delete that private message. It can be used many times.

Once a player is linked to an editor, they will stay with that editor for all their word puzzle submissions.
[ This post was modified by sploofunky on 6/29/13 ]

[ This post was modified by sploofunky on 6/29/13 ]

Sploofus Editor
Sploofishy (Editor)  
Tue, 20th May '08 1:49 AM

QUESTIONS

Please post any questions about the authoring of Platinum Member Word Puzzles to this thread.

We may trim messages posted down so players will not have to look through large amounts of material to find answers that they are looking for.

Players will also be able to send private messages to their word puzzle editor as well.


mitchy
Mitchy  (Level: 130.6 - Posts: 964)
Tue, 20th May '08 2:26 AM

Do we get tons of points for the puzzles?

This is TOO KOOL! Thanx Yall!


Sploofus Editor
Sploofishy (Editor)  
Tue, 20th May '08 2:37 AM

Good question! At the moment it is unfortunately not possible.

In the future it may be and we will kick the idea around on exactly how that would work.

Still, even without points, they are like having the center ring of the circus all to yourself for 12 hours.

bigdavy
Bigdavy  (Level: 131.3 - Posts: 529)
Tue, 20th May '08 9:00 AM

Two questions about CLUES:

1. The post above states that no capitalization is needed in the clues. However, some of my clues were submitted in uppercase and some were submitted in lowercase, and Bravegator (Chelle) noticed the case difference in the clues when she did the WP. I didn't see this when I took the WP myself so it may have something to do with her browser or ???

2. The post above says the max clue length is 24 characters. However some WPs have had clues as long as 30 characters. "KIM's Movie Thrills & Suspense" WP had a clue that said:
FILMED IN '41, RELEASED IN '44
which is 30 characters so I wanted to double-check on the clue length. (My editor said the screen for revising clues allows more characters than the initial screen for entering clues.)

Thanks for any clarification you can provide!

- Dave

Sploofus Editor
Sploofizz (Editor)  
Tue, 20th May '08 9:35 AM

The clues in 1.0 appear all in caps regardless of how they are entered, but in 2.0 they appear as written. So please DO use appropriate capitalization in clues.

The entry box for clues really does accept only 24 characters (including spaces). It is a glitch from the old days (when WPs could be longer) that we have the ability to edit longer clues afterward. If and when that glitch is corrected the clues will have to stay at 24, so you might as well start that restriction now!

garrybl
Garrybl  (Level: 280.2 - Posts: 6643)
Tue, 20th May '08 11:51 AM

I'd love to see the platinum quiz-masters advised on consistency of tenses.
And also a policy determined (since so many of the WP are about TV, alas!) as to the different uses of appearing 'in' or 'on' TV shows or series. Only one of those words can be correct I think -- or at least recommended.
And since I blow a guess on this problem every time someone writes a quiz I'd like proper guidance!


maggie7556
Maggie7556  (Level: 218.0 - Posts: 268)
Tue, 20th May '08 2:32 PM

Does this mean we will no longer have word puzzles written by the editors, only those written by platinum members?

Sploofus Editor
Sploofishy (Editor)  
Tue, 20th May '08 3:27 PM

Editors will be free to contribute whenever they like. Editors will also be responsible for supplying additional puzzles should the queue drop down to three or four days.

suzer22
Suzer22  (Level: 165.6 - Posts: 1982)
Tue, 20th May '08 11:23 PM

Garrybl - I think you have advised everyone of your preference of "in" over "on" regarding TV stars. But I have to say, I don't even know what you mean about tenses. I don't recall ever being tripped up by this. Maybe I guess "has" when the puzzle is "was" or something like that. Are you suggesting that every puzzle in a set needs to be written in the same tense?

Makes me want to take up the challenge of writing each of my 10 in a different tense :P

bigdavy
Bigdavy  (Level: 131.3 - Posts: 529)
Wed, 21st May '08 12:27 PM

Suzer22, for a discussion of the tense issue (no pun intended) you can go to this April thread in Salty Dog (which was about the "I've Got the Point! WP"):

http://www.sploofus.com/bbs_detail.sp?post=79070&cID=7

As you will see from that thread, some Sploofusers have strong opinions about which tense is correct for certain situations (saying for example that the following is the incorrect tense: "Humphrey Bogart stars in Casablanca"). I expect there are other, older threads with additional discussion on this issue.

I think the guideline that all WP phrases use the same tense is an effort to keep WP players from getting tripped up by tenses that change from phrase to phrase. However this "consistency" within a WP may create strange phrasing that doesn't match how we might normally handle the tenses.

- Dave

tresgatos
Tresgatos  (Level: 204.2 - Posts: 4194)
Mon, 26th May '08 2:20 PM

Hi all,

I'd like to comment on some issues already raised and then talk about a few more:

1. "On" vs. "In" when talking about a person's appearance in/on (heh heh) a TV show

I think most of us would agree that when using the verb "to star," it's best to use "in," i.e. "James Arness starred in Gunsmoke." However, with many other constructions, the use of "in" or "on" seems equally correct, according to standard American English as I know it. Examples:

"James Arness played Matt Dillon on/in Gunsmoke."
"James Arness was on/in Gunsmoke."
"Glenn Strange had a supporting role on/in Gunsmoke."

The use of "in" or "on" is likely a matter of personal preference. I probably use both when talking about TV shows.

Now, the question seems to be, should we deem one "correct" and one not, to avoid any possible confusion for puzzle solvers? Maybe. On the one hand, I think authors should be permitted to use the style that's natural for them. On the other hand, when creating phrases about TV shows, chances are good that an author is going to use the verb "to star," and if that's the case, then I think it makes sense for her/him to be locked into using "in" for the rest of their phrases. Basically, I think that within WPs, authors should be consistent and use either "in" or "on" throughout. So far, at least for me, there's been that consistency.

2. Verb tense issues

The guide says to "keep verb tenses consistent in all phrases in the puzzle." We know that past complaints likely gave rise to this policy, and I'm in agreement with it in order to minimize frustration on the part of puzzle solvers. However, I think there should be some flexibility here so that we don't end up with phrases that sound awkward. So far, I think such flexibility has been exercised with the Platinum member WPs, and I'm appreciative of that. Personally, I think the most important thing is that the phrases make sense and are written in standard English, unless slang, wordplay, etc. are part of the theme.

Just recently, we had Phitzy's excellent "Only in Florida" WP. All of my phrases for that WP were in the present tense except the following:

mechanical refrigeration was developed by dr john gorrie of apalachicola

Obviously in this case only the past tense makes sense. So, a deviation from the verb tense consistency was justified.

Yesterday, Tuzilla gave us the wonderful WP, "Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit." Interestingly, the phrases I got also give us some good (rabbit) food for thought relevant to all this:

the famous food dish is really welsh rarebit not rabbit
elwood p dowd had an invisible six foot rabbit as a companion
the knights in monty python and the holy grail built a huge trojan rabbit
the march hare in alices adventures in wonderland is called the white rabbit too
a jackalope is a popular fictional rabbit with antlers

Notice that three phrases use the present tense and two the past. Two have to do with movies and one with a book. Now, looking at these phrases, those about Welsh rarebit and the jackalope have to be in the present tense; otherwise they'd sound peculiar. But what about the phrases having to do with Elwood P. Dowd's bunny buddy Harvey and the action in the Monty Python film? Speaking for me personally, I do think it would have best if all of the phrases had been in the present tense to conform to WP authoring guidelines.

The phrases above also raise issues from previous discussions that revolved around how we talk about books, movies, plays, musicals, etc., and in what contexts we use the present or past tense. It seems there was a consensus that when we describe the setting, plot, characters, actions of characters, and so on in a book or movie, the accepted practice is to use the present tense. I think we've all seen, "The Wizard of Oz," so I'll use that movie for examples. When talking about the action in the film, I might say, for example, "Dorothy and Toto travel over the rainbow and find themselves in Munchkinland." Now let's look at the alternative: "Dorothy and Toto traveled over the rainbow and found themselves in Munchkinland." Is that incorrect? There's certainly nothing ungrammatical about that sentence.

I think frustrations with puzzle solvers arise when the present and past form of a verb is the same number of letters, i.e. has/had, give/gave, etc.

Anyway, as noted above, I do think we need to allow WP authors some flexibility and not be too strict with rules, so as not to stifle creativity. For example, I'm glad Phitzy didn't trash her phrase on the developer of mechanical refrigeration. But I do think it'd be a good idea to continue this discussion and get more clarification.

-- MORE --

-- Geri

tresgatos
Tresgatos  (Level: 204.2 - Posts: 4194)
Mon, 26th May '08 2:22 PM

3. Swiftie verb consistency

Since this issue was raised in Salty Dog, I thought I'd go ahead and comment on it here. Now, as we all know, swifties are formulaic, and when we run into them, we expect certain constructions and reference points, most commonly, "said Tom + punny adverb." In the few months I've been here, we've had "Animal Swifties," "Career Swifties," "Celebrity Swifties" and most recently, "Musical Swifties." Generally, if the verb "said" isn't used, then it has been clear from the reference point "Tom" (or another name, such as a celebrity) that another verb involving a pun will be used. For example: "lets go see the lions tom roared," was a phrase from "Animal Swifties." The matter raised in Salty Dog had to do with both "sang" and "said" being used in the "Musical Swifties" WP, which apparently caused problems for some people. I think this is a valid point, since "said" and "sang" both have four letters and contain "a" in the second position.

So, do we need a guideline on this? If we're doing a musical swifties puzzle, should we be consistent throughout and only use either "sang" or "said" but not both?

4. Using full names of actors or actresses

This is another issue that came up in Salty Dog having to do with Keanu Reeves being referred to as just "Keanu." The full phrase was:

charlie sheens role as private taylor in platoon was initially declined by keanu

This phrase didn't cause me any trouble, but I can see how some people, when trying to figure out this phrase, might have thought they were looking for someone who's known professionally by just one name, like Roseanne or Cher.

So, it seems to me, the question is, should we make sure we refer to celebrities by their full stage names? I think this would be a good idea to avoid confusion. If the character limitation is a problem, it seems to me we can always rework our phrases.

5. Abbreviations

I agree with Al in that I'd appreciate some more discussion and clarification on this. For example, in a WP, let's say I have the phrase:
"sherman and mr peabody." I can't imagine spelling out "mister" in that case.

Just a quick review of Platinum WP phrases thus far shows that we've had "ken griffey jr," "mr postman," "dr green" and "st augustine."

I was just wondering, what's the rationale for spelling out abbreviations?

6. Miscellaneous Style Stuff

In one WP, we had ZZ Top expressed as "z z top" and in another as "zz top." It seems to me the latter would be the best, or?

7. Factual errors in WPs

I'd have to do more research to be sure, but it *appears* that there have been some factual errors in a few of the puzzles. I let them go and didn't mention them to the authors or in Salty Dog, nor did I submit support tickets. First, I'd like a little guidance. If I think there's a factual error in a WP, should I submit a support ticket? I'd personally prefer not saying anything in the chatroom, because I try to be sensitive to other Sploofusers feelings.

Also along these lines, I was wondering, should we make Wikipedia an authority, as with the WTHAIs? For example, let's say when an author is writing a WP, they find some sources that say that Robert Redford's first collaboration with Paul Newman was in The Sting, but we know that's incorrect. Anyway, many of the WPs deal with facts. Should we make sure those facts can be verified somewhere in Wikipedia?

OK, I hope I didn't wear you all out with the long posts, but I really appreciate anyone taking the time to read/scan.

-- Geri


alvandy
Alvandy  (Level: 229.6 - Posts: 7570)
Mon, 26th May '08 11:12 PM

Wow- Geri covered almost every base!
Thanks for the explicit use of examples from recent WP's.

***The in/on issue is not a major issue for me. Only the puzzle solvers shooting for very low moves could be caught with that situation.
Burning a vowel occasionally is fair game.
***Abbreviations- If it's common that an abbreviation was the norm [e.g. Mr. Peabody] then go ahead and use it- When in doubt- try a letter[s]. Using two letters to be sure is better than an error message. Caveat emptor!
ZZ Top example is trickier. I prefer a space for abbreviated names , such as A A Milne or B B King. The editors should confer with the author before launch.

Other thoughts-

**I believe Wikipedia has been cited to be a major authority resource. I use it a lot.
**Googling is fair game to use. We all should strive for lifelong learning- so use resources when needed. If I kept getting low scores because the subject was not my area of expertise, I would not play puzzles as much. Low moves ["fivers"] are nice- but I shoot for maximum points. Every puzzle has value- play them all!


I'm not opposed to an editor playing "umpire" before the puzzle is launched. He/she could advise the author of their opinion and suggest changes to a puzzle if it seems appropriate. I don't want to burden an author with a lot of self-doubt about whether some players could be tripped up. The editor's experience and objectivity should be utilized.

The best players will still usually prevail- but making too many rules will stifle creativity of the volunteer authors. When we get PAID to write puzzles- I'll reconsider my philosophy.



tresgatos
Tresgatos  (Level: 204.2 - Posts: 4194)
Tue, 27th May '08 3:47 AM

Hi again,
When I posted, I didn't know that Randy (Oldcougar) had started a thread in Salty about the in/on issue. Please see her thread: http://www.sploofus.com/bbs_detail.sp?post=86346&cID=7

Anyway, as a puzzle solver, none of these issues bother me. I always have a good time doing the puzzles. All have offered a unique and rewarding challenge, and it has truly been a pleasure learning a bit more about each author through their WPs. And that includes the editors.

As a puzzle writer, though, I feel a responsibility to try to make my WPs as enjoyable and accurate as possible. My goal is to try to provide some pleasant conundrums that are stimulating but not overly frustrating. I feel that it's my responsibility, not my editor's, to make sure I'm not creating a puzzle that's too convoluted or that might trip people up unnecessarily. (Of course, you can't please everyone, and chances are, some will bail or complain no matter what.) Anyway, my posting of these issues arose out of wanting to centralize/organize things that had been raised in Salty Dog, but also out of my own desire to do the best job I can on the WPs. And I honestly don't feel burdened by this sense of responsibility.

That said, I do understand what you're saying, Al, and I respect your point of view. I realize there may be many different ideas and philosophies on all this.

I do think we have to remember that the editors are volunteers, too, and basically, my understanding is that, just like with our trivia quizzes, we're responsible for the content, logic, accuracy, etc. of our WPs. However, I'm with you, Al, in that I certainly have no objection to any comments, suggestions, etc. my editor might have. Sploofishy helped me, for example, as I agonized over my clues for my first WP by providing encouragement and an idea that sent my writer's block into the ether.

OK, back to a few specifics:

1. In terms of "mr postman," I just now noticed the sentence in the guide that says if an abbreviation is part of a title, it's acceptable. So, that clears up my confusion over that particular abbreviation.

2. According to the guide, a person's initials, such as j k rowling, are definitely supposed to be separated. But ZZ Top is the name of a band. So, that's where my confusion comes in.

3. In terms of Wikipedia, I brought that up from the perspective of a puzzle author, not solver, i.e. if we're writing a puzzle that will be googlable, what should we be using as the authoritative source for our facts? I suppose it would depend on the puzzle. There are certainly many resources on the Web that I'd consider as authoritative as Wikipedia. Hmmm. (Pondering.)

4. For item number 7 in my post above, I should have entitled it, "Possible Factual Errors in WPs." Further, my first sentence was clumsy. I intended to say that in a few puzzles, I noticed what appeared to be one factual error per puzzle. I didn't mean to imply I'd thought I'd found multiple errors in any puzzles, as that isn't the case. Sorry for any confusion!

OK, thanks again to all who have waded through all of this!
-- Geri

tresgatos
Tresgatos  (Level: 204.2 - Posts: 4194)
Tue, 27th May '08 3:54 AM

P.S. Alvandy wrote: "... making too many rules will stifle creativity of the volunteer authors."

Agreed. I tried to say that, but it might not have been clear.

-- Geri

Sploofus Editor
Sploofishy (Editor)  
Tue, 27th May '08 1:40 PM

I trimmed up this thread to make it a bit easier to read through. This is a very useful dialog and hopefully more players will contribute to the discussion.

garrybl
Garrybl  (Level: 280.2 - Posts: 6643)
Fri, 30th May '08 10:46 AM

(apologies for double posting this; I was asked by an editor to put it into this thread)

Just exchanged emails with a plat. member who mentioned (and I had also noticed) that a recent puzzle had at least three clues that were taken straight from the internet. If you typed in the clue to the puzzle you got the precise words necessary.
Now this seems to me to be :
1) Careless on the puzzle-setters part -- if you cant be bothered to make up your own wording why do the puzzle at all?
2) generally poor tactics in puzzle-compiling. You dont want people to be able to get the answer that fast.

Could I ask our sploofus editors to add something to that effect into the WP handbook? I remember we revisited this theme after a cat-quotation WP but the message obviously did not sink in.

garrybl
Garrybl  (Level: 280.2 - Posts: 6643)
Wed, 4th Jun '08 10:15 PM

a perfect example of this theme (sorry rj!) is rjenson's carnac puzzle.
I google answers where I need help and I did here; all five answers not only jump off the google page they are clued by the precise clues the setter gave.
Something is wrong with this picture; if a platinum member wants to use his puzzle on carnac fine; but dont link it directly to the web like this.
(The puzzle was a lot of fun I'm sure -- but if instead of quoting the precise key the setter had clued a synonym --which would have been more work for him but... the whole google tie-in would be avoided).

kaufman
Kaufman  (Level: 257.0 - Posts: 3936)
Wed, 4th Jun '08 11:05 PM

So don't google. It would have been, nay, was a lot of fun.

bigbird
Bigbird  (Level: 239.6 - Posts: 3302)
Wed, 4th Jun '08 11:33 PM

I agree with Barry - since I do not Google (except for the very unusual instance) I feel that I am at a severe disadvantage when there is a puzzle that others have obviously found word-for-word on various internet sites. You can say, "So what, it is just a game" but I do really well when there is a non-Googleable puzzle, and then to find myself way down on others just cause lots of folks found the exact phrases is disheartening. It would be easy for writers to throw in synonyms from time to time.

Since no one is forcing anyone to write these puzzles, I think it would be great if authors waited till they had a clever non-totally googleable idea.

Alice

bigdavy
Bigdavy  (Level: 131.3 - Posts: 529)
Thu, 5th Jun '08 12:35 AM

As someone who enjoyed the Carnac puzzle and did not Google it, I think there is room for both kinds of puzzles -- Googleable and non-Googleable.

Yes, a non-Googleable puzzle does a better job of leveling the playing field, but I don't think the authors should ALL be expected to produce a non-Googleable puzzle. It would be an extra burden when producing a WP is already challenging enough, as many of us Platinum members found out during our first WP. Some WP authors will enjoy the extra challenge to create a non-Googleable puzzle, the same way that many WP solvers enjoy the extra challenge of doing a puzzle without Googling for the answer.

I don't think it helps the site if we beat up on the authors -- who will often be non-anonymous, extra-contributing members of our community -- if they don't make their puzzle non-searchable. I don't think that a Googleable puzzle is inherently a bad puzzle. There are plenty of solvers who don't Google and who enjoy these puzzles as-is.

In particular, using synonyms in the Carnac puzzle to "mask" the clues so it was less searchable would have been a crime against the gods of classic comedy. The Carnac puzzle consisted of a joke and a punchline (or vice versa), and rewriting the joke would have been like (insert analogy here)....

Just my two cents.

Peace out-
Dave

garrybl
Garrybl  (Level: 280.2 - Posts: 6643)
Thu, 5th Jun '08 9:40 AM

Yes and no.
Let me give you an example; the La Brea Tar Pits was a subject of a carnac joke; now it takes me ten seconds to discover that La Brea is in Hancock Park and the products are shown in the George C Page museum. Either of those would have been a clue that did not give the theme away easily. If you know all answers are on Google you can follow this indirect route.

maurlin
Maurlin  (Level: 213.3 - Posts: 2671)
Thu, 5th Jun '08 9:54 AM

My concern has always been the word for word problem. We're told we can't copy word-for-word (the word plagerize comes to mind), so why is it perfectly acceptable to do it in WPs. I google to get information about the topic in a WP, but I get pretty concerned when the pharse I'm trying to learn about is taken exactly word for word from another site. It means I haven't gotten a chance to figure out what words will fit in the WP, and the WP author really hasn't written a WP, just copied 10 phrases from somewhere.

ladyvol
Ladyvol  (Level: 205.4 - Posts: 5490)
Thu, 5th Jun '08 12:39 PM

I agree with Maurlin about the word for word puzzles. It takes all the fun out of a puzzle if you can Google it and find everything word for word. I have googled a few times I admit, but I don't do it every time. I feel if you have to Google each quiz or puzzle that is here then why do them. I know before some were accused of cheating if they used Google to help with a word puzzle or a quiz. I say to each his own...but I feel better myself if I don't Google everything. That's just me though. I for one, don't like to be accused of plagiarism as I have been in the past! Could we at least try not to copy everything down word for word?
Vickie

flcyclist
Flcyclist  (Level: 124.5 - Posts: 691)
Fri, 6th Jun '08 12:38 AM

It would be very helpful if you could number or date these postings so that I know whether or not I need to download the last one printed? I can't tell if there are any changes or not right off the bat. Thanks for thinking about it!

viperdan
Viperdan  (Level: 55.0 - Posts: 140)
Fri, 6th Jun '08 11:06 AM

Its good that you can create a word puzzle

johnbtv
Johnbtv  (Level: 264.8 - Posts: 202)
Thu, 17th Jul '08 12:25 AM

New Question...

Do SPACES count as characters in phrases?

John

Sploofus Editor
Sploofizz (Editor)  
Thu, 17th Jul '08 1:02 AM

YES - 75 total including letters and spaces

kaelin
Kaelin  (Level: 49.2 - Posts: 1685)
Fri, 25th Jul '08 8:48 PM

Just to throw in on this subject (and believe me - I won't do another quote puzzle)
"and the WP author really hasn't written a WP, just copied 10 phrases from somewhere"

On the quote puzzles that I did, I did not go to a site and copy and paste and call it a puzzle.

As I stated on another thread - with some of the prolific authors, I never imagined that someone would hunt and count and fill in and get 5's - I got educated 5 ways to Sunday on that.

I will tell you that my process was "Life". I went to various favorite authors sites that I knew said things that had "Life" in them - it was probably a six hour process all told in my selection of what I chose for the puzzle.

THAT being said, again, I won't do that anymore - I'll figure out a way to work the wise words into a quiz or something - my whole goal was that someone walk away feeling a bit better - and for some it turned out that way...most I think.

The ONLY reason I'm responding and throwing this in, is that I want to take a stand that I put effort into these, and initially my editor had a positive reaction (and I'm probably the reason that there are no more pile-up submissions too - since I had sent several in at a time).

Anyway - that's it - I think all the input is important and relevant and I agree with it - and on all future word puzzles - it'll be different.

kaelin
Kaelin  (Level: 49.2 - Posts: 1685)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 1:42 PM

When you are assigned an editor - is it set up to where there is special communications in regards to WP submissions ? I'm just wondering how they are able to "see" something they might be working with someone on in a sea of "other stuff" coming in (like does it go to a special slot since we leave the title of the PM intact?)

...again - just wondering...I understand several editors are on vacation (as they have a right to be) - but a little worried about an upcoming WP where my Editor asked me to consider something (something most appreciated - you can tell they definitely read what some people say about word puzzles!) and I had responded --

Thanks for any editor that can let me know -

Sploofus Editor
Sploofernatural (Editor)  
Mon, 28th Jul '08 6:29 PM

You may have noticed that email from editors comes in a different color. Email to editors does too, so it stands out in our mailboxes.

I checked who your WP editor is, and to my knowledge, your editor is not on extended leave from Sploofus. I wouldn't sweat.

bigdavy
Bigdavy  (Level: 131.3 - Posts: 529)
Mon, 28th Jul '08 6:36 PM

I checked the "Revised Guide to Word Puzzle Authoring" thread and could use some clarification on a capitalization issue.

I know that we don't need to use caps in our phrases (since they will automatically be in all caps) but one post says to use "appropriate capitalization" on the clues, because case is preserved in the clues.

The provided examples are:

Phrase 1: bloat gurgle and peach
Clue 1: 3 in the tank w/Nemo

Phrase 2: the incredible mr limpet
Clue 2: Don Knotts role

My question: if Clue 2 was "Role for Don Knotts" should "role" be capitalized or not? I probably prefer it capitalized, and I think this is what I'm usually seeing in the WPs, but clarification would be welcome. Updating the Revised Guide with a more illustrative clue would also be helpful.

And, for those who think this is too minor of an issue to worry about, I apologize in advance!

Sploofus Editor
Sploofizz (Editor)  
Mon, 28th Jul '08 6:47 PM

Beginning each clue with a capital letter is up to your personal preference - as long as you're consistent within your own puzzle.

Although, after this guide was written, it was discovered that the WP clues revert to all non-caps when we input them. We can go in afterward and edit them back though. This rule is really just to make sure that you understand proper nouns need to be capitalized in clues. Unfortunately it is now all on the editor to make sure it appears that way!

tallactor
Tallactor  (Level: 153.1 - Posts: 423)
Thu, 21st Jan '10 8:15 AM

If this is mentioned in the preceding list of messages, I apologize, but as a new WP creator, I think it would help if the guide said that the maximum character count for titles, clues, etc. includes spaces. It's a small matter, but one that will probably avoid some confusion for other first-timers.

Sploofus Editor
Sploofernatural (Editor)  
Sat, 23rd Jan '10 8:06 AM

Character counts include spaces.

Puzzle titles are limited to 30 characters.
Puzzle clues are limited to 32 characters.
Puzzles themselves are limited to 75 characters, all of which must be letters or spaces.
Within the puzzle, no word (interval without a space) may be longer than 13 letters.

[ This post was modified by sploofunky on 6/29/13 ]


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