Here’s a new feature. The day after the publication of every Paul, Punk, Dada and Mudd puzzle, I shall be blogging my thoughts on it.

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Punk – 14/01/12

This puzzle was all about creating the grid. For some reason the clue ‘It was here all the time (6-4-5)’ for twenty-four seven, had entered my head. I had to create a grid in which 24 (across or down) was 10 letters long and 7 (across or down) was 5 letters long. Fiddly stuff, but fun.

But on top of that, I decided to hide ‘all the time’ in other solutions. I figured if you could just read ‘It was here all the time (6-4,5) at 24,7 the solver would get it straight away. Personally, I think it more satisfying to have to work a little to get it. So, with this in mind, I needed other entries ‘all the’ and ‘time’,  BUT felt I had to include these in other solutions, which became ‘who ate ALL THE pies’ and ‘hard TIME’.

Reading this all back, perhaps this all makes more sense to me than it will to anyone else!

When grid-filling, a solver can usually tell in advance where he will have problems. For me ‘Episcopal Church’ looked tricky, so I felt that I’d got out of jail with ‘see people’ as a definition.

And usually, before even starting a crossword, I’ve got half-baked ideas on a Word document. For example, it occurred to me that ‘Perrier’ would possibly occur naturally around the outside of a phrase P***** ERRIER. I then jotted down ‘people carrier’ on my Word document to clue at some point. I am told with my puzzles, solvers often solve first than work out why afterwards. Also, I deliberately set out to find synonyms the solver wouldn’t immediately consider. ‘Water’ perhaps wouldn’t bring to mind ‘Perrier’, at least at first.

It was nice to hear from Bert and Joyce on fifteensquared.net that 24 7 was the last clue they filled in. Hopefully the trick worked then. Give the solvers the smiles at the end, rather than at the beginning. Have them arrive grimacing, and leave beaming. It’s tough out there. Make people smile, if you can.

All the best,

John (Punk)

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