1st June 2018 at 11:27 am #329
Thank you for the feedback, Ray (and apologies for the delay in responding as I’ve been away for a few days).
If you can suggest rubric that would have signalled more helpfully which version was needed for the entries, I’d welcome your thoughts.
‘Hyper-cryptic’ is an interesting description! I wouldn’t say that I consciously set the dial to a certain level of opaqueness, though I acknowledge that the conceit of SH! provides an extra twist. I find a clue satisfying when it’s coherent with a smooth surface, even if it’s relatively straightforward to solve.
Incidentally, my main outlet for setting clues (not constrained by a grid) is this long-running thread, where I post as ‘irony towers’. Our efforts are seldom polished, but setters of all standards are welcome!16th June 2018 at 1:30 pm #354
Coming in late to this one, and have to admit a DNF – something I hate having to admit to a non-professional setter – they deserve better – but can’t help it! Perhaps this sort of puzzle isn’t for me – but I really felt “once I’ve started, I ought to try and finish…”
Caution: spoilers follow.
I was not helped, perhaps, by the 7,8 clue in the preamble being a bit too vague and ill-defined for my liking – I had three different goes and crossings-out here. This was even after I wrote in 9d – my FOI – and then I saw at once what the ‘special instructions’ theme must be! My first thought for 7,8 was SWITCH SIDES (S[witc]H – geddit?) but of course this doesn’t fit the enumeration, so I wrote in the somewhat clumsier SWITCHES SIDES. The first crossers of course put paid to that, so then I had CHANGING SIDES which I couldn’t parse, finally got the correct CHANGING HANDS which I still couldn’t parse until I opened up the solution.
Another off-putter, for me, is the fact that many of the lights don’t contain ‘proper’ words, only gibberish. This is understandable, but rather deters one from looking over the partly-filled grid, staring at the nonsense-words in it – to see if one can add any more! You did well to have ‘doctored’ words which are actually meaningful, like in 9d, 23d, 12a, 13a, 22a and 27a. If you are going to try another puzzle of this kind, it would be great to expand on that!
Once I’d overcome my reservations, some clues (of those I solved, I mean) really stand out. 25a in particular – excellent misdirection! Also 28a and 6d (I was trying hard to work in FORINT – H’s currency – but it didn’t go. Pleased with the eventual result).
Sorry to have so few ‘positives’ in this comment, but I’ve done what I can. Perhaps with your next puzzle I’ll understand things better. Hope this has been some help.
Cheers, L.17th June 2018 at 10:13 pm #358
All feedback is gratefully received, Laccaria! (Perhaps I should have stated “WARNING: Contains wrong language.”)17th June 2018 at 11:24 pm #359
Trigon, I had various theories about what exactly 7 was, even after I’d twigged the conceit, similarly to Laccaria. Also, I had to be given a further hint to undestand the title. If that had been ‘SandH’ I don’t think it would have given away too much, but might have helped with the solve.
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