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Crossword Help Forum
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27th September 2010, 15:38
It has been my custom for many years to do the Times Saturday cryptic crossword and to send it in with the hope of winning a (modest) prize as one to the first 4 opened, and conning myself with the notion that not many will have been as clever as me. Now that I have found this website, the whole thing seems a bit pointless, as anyone can be fed all the answers instantly.
Would it be a good idea to agree a voluntary embargo on questions and solutions on “prize” crosswords until the deadline for sending in answers has passed (as “Times for the Times” does)? Does anyone agree?
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27th September 2010, 15:50
Hi Jomac.

Part of me agrees but overall I think I don't agree.

People can post clues without stating the clue's source Alternatively, they could lie about the source. In both cases, how would a potential 'answerer' know not to provide an answer?

Anyway, even with an embargo on this site, answers might just become more readily available on Another Board.

I don't know how many people send in correct solutions for these prize crosswords. Let's assume 20,000 per week for the Saturday Times prize crossword. The additional 20 people (say) who send in a complete solution solely due to answers posted on this site - and who would otherwise not have sent in a complete solution - don't significantly alter the miserable odds that you currently have of winning the prize.

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27th September 2010, 15:52
P.S. Good luck though!

JimC :)
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27th September 2010, 15:54
I don't think an embargo here would help your cause. In the past I've seen that you can fill an entire Times crossword grid without thinking about any of the clues by visiting sites like answerbank.

I know how you feel though - I like to do the viewfinder competition in the Observer which sometimes can be quite tricky but see that the answer to this is posted regularly in cyberspace so you probably get hundreds of people entering who don't even buy the paper!!
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27th September 2010, 16:03
I always wonder how many people do enter these prize crossword comps. I used to but don't now, just do them for fun. I suppose crosswords like the Listener one have a lower percentage of entries because they're so difficult, but maybe I'm just being presumtious here, just because I've never completed it!
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27th September 2010, 16:07
It's not really that I want the miserable book token. I just want to see my name (real name) printed as a winner!
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27th September 2010, 16:11
Earlier this year I won the DT consolation prize. A couple of weeks later I won the DT pen! The first sniff of a prize after 20 odd years of sending the crosswords in! I'm after the Times pen now. It may be some time.
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27th September 2010, 16:12

In that case, you could write to the Times and ask them to publish the names of all correct solvers on a corner of their website (not just winners). They would probably need permission from each solver and it would be rather labour intensive - unless done automatically from web-based crossword entries.

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27th September 2010, 17:19
I wonder too how many people send in correct solutions to crosswords. The figures for the Guardian monthly Genius puzzle are given in the editor'a monthly newsletter, and it's usually around 200 - 300, if that's anything to go by. I must say that I always feel rather peeved to see the answers given away so easily when I've sweated for a while over a particular puzzle, and personally I prefer to give a further clue rather than the answer. In some ways it's best not to look!
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27th September 2010, 17:30
Thanks for all these thoughts. Just a final word from me: I wasn't suggesting any sort of ban; just that it should be considered against etiquette ("Bad form", as we used to say) to seek or give answers to active competition crosswords, so that users of the site would refrain from doing so. Perhaps some will do so as a result of this thread.
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