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Crossword Help Forum
Forum Rules

xfan

25th January 2009, 00:08
I think some of you guys out there are missing the point. This forum is, I hope, somewhere for help, not a mad scramble to solve other's crosswords: but to ask a question in a form to be understood by those who may wish to share a problem, and be guided to the solution rather than being given the answer on a plate. If you can't help, or do not like the presentation of the problem, then don't respond.
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trevor

25th January 2009, 00:39
Hi Xfan
I think, if somebody has asked for help on this forum, then they probably do want the answer/explaination "on a plate".
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big dave

25th January 2009, 10:37
I have always taken the view that if someone asks for an answer then that is what they want. If the clue is from a cryptic puzzle, I always give the wordplay, unless it is blatantly obvious, as I know from past experience that a lot more people read the forum than respond to it.

If they want only a hint, then they should say so, and those replying should respect that request.

I have noticed that a lot of times replies have been given by people who have not read the question properly, and those are the ones that you should be criticising.
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mark

25th January 2009, 19:43
I agree with Xfan. As someone who is trying to improve at doing crosswords, I find this forum increasingly unusable - the answer is "forced" on you, whilst equally the reasoning behind it may remain obscure.
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terry

25th January 2009, 19:58
I agree with Big Dave. What he says is just plain common sense. I can't recall anybody asking to be given only a hint. But lots of people come back to ask for an explanation of a given answer.
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big dave

25th January 2009, 20:00
Mark
I find your posting a little surprising. I went back a few pages and the only question I could find from someone called Mark was answered very well and politely, in spite of the fact that you gave none of the placed letters in your question.

Or was this someone elses question?

"Times Jumbo 796

Struggling with a couple

9a Like fellow Bolshevik in revolution, very subdued (8)

14a Long, glowing article of Zola's recalled island (8)"
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terry

25th January 2009, 20:25
Does "struggling with" mean you want a bit of a hint,a medium sized hint,a really big one or the answer.
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john (from arran)

25th January 2009, 21:29
Another here who agrees with Big Dave. This forum seems to be suffering from the same affliction that I see on many others. I am a moderator on a couple of technical forums and I have noticed recently a severe decline in the in the art of communication. Spelling, Puctuation and Grammar seem to have gone out of the window and many posters are offended when they are told that their message is complete gibberish. Some even try to ask technical questions in Textspeak!

The moral of this rant is, that to get the answer you require, you must ask the right question. Don't assume the other people on the forum know what it is that you need or what information you already have. After all this is cyberspace and we cannot see what you have in front of you. If you only want a hint and not the full answer to a clue then say so in your message.

Although it is really about programming, there's and excellent treatise on how to ask smart questions here:

http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

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xfan

25th January 2009, 23:47
I am sorry, I did not mean to offend anybody. I do think, however, that the clue is in the title; Crossword "Help" Forum, as in "help to solve", or try to lead the poster to work it out for themselves: that is the best way to learn, isn't it? There are plenty of other sites you can find a string of answers to fit, but what we hopefully offer is an insight into the mental agility required to beat the compilers, however perverse they may try to be! I think there is great skill in presenting an "incomplete" response, leaving the poster to return with thanks if they have made the connection, or to ask for more help if required: but, as they say, what do I know? All the best to everybody, have a good week.
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trevor

26th January 2009, 00:47
Hi again Xfan,
I'm sure you haven't offended anybody, but what you describe would be a Crossword "Hint" Forum.
When I ask for help, I usually have only a few answers left to be filled in and I want to know the answers.
I can then work backwards to see the wordplay. This (working backwards)is how I learned to solve cryptic clues.
All the best, Trevor.
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