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#959550 - Sun Jan 06 2013 04:53 PM Crossword creation : Eligibility
moonraker2 Offline
Participant

Registered: Wed May 30 2012
Posts: 21
Loc: Wiltshire UK
I have been solving crosswords, both cryptic and GK for a number of years and consider myself well versed in the basic essentials of crossword compilation.
Having now solved a number of the FT crosswords I felt I would like to submit grids of my own for consideration, but was confronted with the following message ...

"Sorry, but you have not been marked by our editors as having enough experience at this time. To reduce the number of poor quality submissions we are only allowing crossword creation by our very best, proven authors. Eventually we may reduce this restriction.
If you'd really like to create crosswords, please create some quizzes first and become known by the editors as being a good quiz author".

At present I've solved 100 FT crosswords, and am convinced I would be able to provide an acceptable grid for consideration, and wonder if it would be possible for me to do so.
I have at present two quizzes on line one of which is "highest rated", but my main interest is crossword compilation which in my view requires a considerably different skill than quiz making.

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#959555 - Sun Jan 06 2013 06:11 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
Barbarini Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sat Sep 04 2010
Posts: 258
Loc: Alberta Canada
I was hoping for the same, moonraker. I'm at 450 now and have done them for years before I came to FT. Also, my playing habits on here would dictate that I might possibly have the skills and interest to give it a go. Sadly, that isn't the case. I hope that rule can be changed, at least on a individual basis.

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#959557 - Sun Jan 06 2013 06:20 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
gtho4 Online   FT-blank

Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 26 1999
Posts: 40207
Loc: Sydney oz downunder           
You need to build up a history of writing quizzes which go online with little or no editing.
See the thread at the top of this forum : Crossword FAQ.

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#959574 - Sun Jan 06 2013 08:20 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
Plodd Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Thu Nov 19 2009
Posts: 135
Loc: Hampshire England UK         
Moonraker is a member of my team and I know how much he enjoys playing crosswords outside of Fun Trivia, as well as playing our own player created crosswords.

There will always be people who will never be as proficient at quiz writing, or get the same level of enjoyment out of it as our many talented authors, but their skill at crosswords is exemplory.

I know that rules are rules, but I am concerned that we may be missing out on seeing some highly creative crosswords because of this.

Thanks for listening to my two pennies worth smilee

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#959577 - Sun Jan 06 2013 08:52 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
kaddarsgirl Offline
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Registered: Wed Jun 27 2012
Posts: 1450
Loc: Ohio USA
The problem with exceptions is that once one person gets one, everyone else is going to want one too, and there's no way to prove whether one is capable or not without seeing their writing ability (which is what the quizzes are for, I suppose). I have no doubt that what you say is true, but on the internet anyone can say anything, and there's nothing to stop someone else from lying through their teeth to get the same treatment. Personally, I would also love the ability to write crosswords, and I have played tons, several on the site, and a lot off it, but I think the fairest way to handle it is how it set up now. Once moonraker2 writes enough quizzes to get the power to write FT crosswords, there's nothing forcing him to write any more of them, and he can then spend the rest of is time creating amazing crosswords.


Edited by kaddarsgirl (Sun Jan 06 2013 09:18 PM)
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#959580 - Sun Jan 06 2013 09:02 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
kyleisalive Offline
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Registered: Mon Mar 07 2005
Posts: 5558
Loc: Toronto, Canada, eh!
The main reason the restriction is in place in the first place isn't to block potentially good crossword writers outright; it's to ensure we're working with people who are committed and willing to work on them (and they are certainly more difficult to craft than quizzes in majority opinion) and to ensure that those people are capable of working with both the editors and the correction system.

I've written some detailed correction notices for quizzes, but the ones I've written from crosswords are very comprehensive, not only because of the magnitude of possible problem spots, but because one change in the puzzle could knock the whole thing out of whack.

I completely think that some amazing crossword authors are out there and I'd love to see what they can make; at the same time I think that our system is a valid way to admit authors (if not a bit strict).
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#959590 - Sun Jan 06 2013 11:15 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: kyleisalive]
skunkee Offline
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Registered: Thu Oct 16 2003
Posts: 8852
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada  
I second what kyle said. There are few things as frustrating as spending time on a quiz or crossword, and writing a detailed Correction Note and then having the author walk away rather than make the changes.
Crosswords are more difficult to write and more difficult to edit. Before we can even look at the clues we have to make sure that the puzzle is structurally complete (not two or more separate puzzles) and that there are no missing clues or danglers.
I can only edit so many at a time because of the eye strain. So making sure that authors have a proven record of working with editors is important.
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#959592 - Mon Jan 07 2013 12:17 AM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: kaddarsgirl]
Barbarini Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sat Sep 04 2010
Posts: 258
Loc: Alberta Canada
Originally Posted By: kaddarsgirl
The problem with exceptions is that once one person gets one, everyone else is going to want one too, and there's no way to prove whether one is capable or not without seeing their writing ability (which is what the quizzes are for, I suppose). I have no doubt that what you say is true, but on the internet anyone can say anything, and there's nothing to stop someone else from lying through their teeth to get the same treatment.


kaddarsgirl, with all due respect, what has this got to do with the issue raised here? The proof is in the pudding and if a crossword writer submits a crossword worthy of being accepted, what difference would any of what you refer to make? We all accept that the rules are placed there for a reason - we're not daft. But there are many people like me who would sincerely love to write one but are excluded from the pleasure of doing so because we aren't prolific quizwriters. We're simply asking for a chance - one chance - to show our abilities and our commitment to see it through to completion. Your inference that anyone who requests an exception to the rules might not be who they say they are or mean everything they say is, frankly, ridiculous in this context.

Kyle and skunkee, thank you for your comments and the explanations. I completely understand and no one will die because I didn't get a chance to create a crossword, but I think it might be a wee bit of a shame that we're not able to offer our skills in that area.

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#959595 - Mon Jan 07 2013 02:58 AM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
moonraker2 Offline
Participant

Registered: Wed May 30 2012
Posts: 21
Loc: Wiltshire UK
It appears to me that the primary reason this ruling is in place is to reduce the level of cross-checking imposed on the Editors, which I can understand. I fully appreciate the time and effort that all of the Editors freely dedicate to FT, without which there would be no structure.

However I'm not able to accept that crosswords are more difficult to construct than quizzes, it's horses for courses, and to myself and no doubt Barbarini the task would be a labour of love.

Without wishing to be over critical of existing crosswords on line, I have to say that in many cases, (probably because the authors have hit a brickwall), the whole symmetry of the puzzle disappears and/or a meaningless acronym is used to overcome the problem.

A true cruciverbalist would never submit such an entry, and I simply ask to be allowed the opportunity to submit a grid for consideration, without having to submit another batch of quizzes which requires a totally different skill.

Thanks for 'listening' ............

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#959625 - Mon Jan 07 2013 10:13 AM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
agony Offline

Administrator

Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11496
Loc: Western Canada
We can't just open it to a few of you who probably would be good at it, though. It's an automated system, and is either restricted or non restricted. If we open the restrictions so that moonraker and Barbarini can submit, then anyone with their qualifications (that is, qualifications that the system can detect) could also submit.

If there were a way to set the system to detect intelligence and maturity on the part of the submitter, it wouldn't be a problem.*

As Kyle and skunkee have said, what we are really checking, with our restrictions, is the ability to understand and follow instructions, and to work with the editors. With crosswords, the common approach of new quiz authors - barely glance at guidelines, and do about half of what the editors request in the first rejection note - just won't do.


*Thinking about it, a way for computer systems to detect intelligence and maturity on the part of submitters would be a great improvement on the internet as a whole, wouldn't it? Comment sections on blogs and newspaper articles would look very different.

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#959634 - Mon Jan 07 2013 11:04 AM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
Plodd Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Thu Nov 19 2009
Posts: 135
Loc: Hampshire England UK         
I may be opening a can of worms here but what if there is a solution that would keep both the potential crossword creator and the crossword editors happy?

What if moonraker and Barbarini find themselves a sponsor who would be willing to become a middle man/woman. Someone who already has the facility to create crosswords and would be happy to spend time with them in creating their quiz. It could be someone in their team who is happy to contribute that little bit extra. Sending clues/answers can be done via a shared message thread on the main forum, only accessible to creator, sponsor and editor.

This would in no way undermine the role of an editor, but would cut out uneccessary time in sending out correction notices until the creator becomes proficient.

If after five successful quizzes are submitted using this method then full permissions coud be given to the crossword creator. Surely if the system is automated, a tweak can be put in place to suit our needs. If it means a complete rebuild then I can understand the reluctance for our current system to be changed because of time and money restrictions.

System changes are not impossible but through time can be built on a seed of an idea. I hope I have given you a seed of an idea.

Thanks for listening again smilee

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#959635 - Mon Jan 07 2013 11:14 AM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
Mariamir Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Wed Feb 29 2012
Posts: 4258
Loc: Ontario Canada
Interesting idea, although I guess it's not doable...any chance of us getting to do photo quizzes that way? laugh

Question, do you mean the first 5 (or however many crosswords) ultimately are credited to the sponsor?
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#959637 - Mon Jan 07 2013 11:23 AM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
Plodd Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Thu Nov 19 2009
Posts: 135
Loc: Hampshire England UK         
Yes, they would be credited to the sponsor which is a little unfair, but it is a means to an end if someone is really interested in creating crosswords.

Picture quizzes sound good, as does the Lucky Duck badge and a bar of chocolate wink

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#959643 - Mon Jan 07 2013 12:18 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
Jennings Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Nov 03 2009
Posts: 416
Loc: Surrey
England UK
I note that there are currently 1,965 crosswords online, with about 150 created in each of the last two years. In other words about 3 a week.

I realise that FT is primarily a quizzing site, but 3 a week doesn't seem many to me, and I wonder how many potentially good crossword compilers (but not so keen quiz creators), are prevented from doing so under the current restrictions of having to build up a good quiz creation profile.

I don't have a magic wand, but any method that could increase the number of crosswords whilst maintaining or even increasing their integrity, without putting pressure on the editors, seems worth trying.

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#959644 - Mon Jan 07 2013 12:24 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
kyleisalive Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Mon Mar 07 2005
Posts: 5558
Loc: Toronto, Canada, eh!
With both quizzes and crosswords we do not allow sponsorship or ghostwriting.

If the author who placed the work online were to leave the site (which we can't really know) then we wouldn't necessarily be able to fix it should it need corrections. Besides this it would open a can of worms with points and stats on the site. Technically, some authors would have more templates to their name than they've actually written.


Quote:
I don't have a magic wand, but any method that could increase the number of crosswords whilst maintaining or even increasing their integrity, without putting pressure on the editors, seems worth trying.


It's ultimately the calls of both the crossword editors and admins, and most importantly, Terry. As has been said, the restriction is built into the code of the site. Even if we wanted to say yes right now, none of the editors or admins could allow said authors to build a template unless Terry changed the site's coding.
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#959645 - Mon Jan 07 2013 12:25 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
salami_swami Online   sick
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Nov 01 2007
Posts: 8098
Loc: Colorado USA
As stated, crosswords are very difficult to create. It is difficult for even the top crossword authors to create multiple a week. A lot of us will only write one every several months. 3 a week is actually a good number, I think. I agree, more is always better...

But a few of the top crossword authors are no longer members, those able to write crosswords are unable to make very many too quickly, and they are difficult to edit and get online. So a low number is expected, methinks.


Edited by salami_swami (Mon Jan 07 2013 12:25 PM)
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#959650 - Mon Jan 07 2013 12:40 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
Plodd Offline
Forum Adept

Registered: Thu Nov 19 2009
Posts: 135
Loc: Hampshire England UK         
Thanks to everyone for listening and to the editors for their input. We would all love to wave a magic wand but in real life we do not always get what we ask for smile

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#959651 - Mon Jan 07 2013 12:46 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
kyleisalive Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Mon Mar 07 2005
Posts: 5558
Loc: Toronto, Canada, eh!
And thanks to everyone here for contributing. Sometimes, the best way to shape the site is with feedback like this that we can take into consideration. Knowing that people are very interested in writing crosswords is the first step to making changes. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but inevitably. Until Moonraker sent me a message and then posted here, I didn't know other authors wanted to try it either.

It'll probably please the other CW editors (and players) to see the interest. smile
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#959660 - Mon Jan 07 2013 03:23 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
moonraker2 Offline
Participant

Registered: Wed May 30 2012
Posts: 21
Loc: Wiltshire UK
I'm grateful to have been allowed the opportunity to air my views on the situation.

Whilst I would like to see a more immediate solution to my request I do now appreciate, to a certain extent, the reasons why it's not being granted.

I'll therefore take the recommended route in due course, and submit more quizzes in an aim to achieve my objective.

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#959661 - Mon Jan 07 2013 03:27 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
guitargoddess Offline


Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 33520
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
Just wanted to note too that it's not just required that you write a lot of quizzes, the "become known by the editors as being a good quiz author" is really the crux of it. There's no magic number of quizzes that is "enough". There are quiz creators who've authored over 100 quizzes who don't have the crossword ability.
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#959668 - Mon Jan 07 2013 04:23 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
moonraker2 Offline
Participant

Registered: Wed May 30 2012
Posts: 21
Loc: Wiltshire UK
I note what you say guitargoddess, which is precisely why I was careful to say in my previous post "in an aim to achieve my objective".

However, I cannot accept that a good quiz author is necessarily adept at crossword compilation nor vice-versa!

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#959869 - Tue Jan 08 2013 12:25 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
skunkee Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Thu Oct 16 2003
Posts: 8852
Loc: Burlington Ontario Canada  
moon-raker as we have said before, what we're largely interested in is the proven ability to follow guidelines and work co-operatively with editors. So the quizzes written don't have to knock anybody's socks off.
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#960982 - Mon Jan 14 2013 04:22 AM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
zippolover Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Fri Nov 16 2012
Posts: 5717
Loc: Norfolk UK
How about "Team Crosswords", the same as "Team Quizzes"?

That way those who are active members of a team, but non quiz writers could join in, but the results are published under an experienced member's name.
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#961041 - Mon Jan 14 2013 02:22 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
abechstein Offline
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Registered: Sun Apr 19 2009
Posts: 414
Loc: Athens Georgia USA            
That seems like an excellent idea...

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#961046 - Mon Jan 14 2013 03:04 PM Re: Crossword creation : Eligibility [Re: moonraker2]
guitargoddess Offline


Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 33520
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
I think that would be way more complicated than team quizzes and more complicated than individual crosswords. You really have to focus when making a crossword, watch carefully that you're not creating a word you didn't intend to and forget to give it a clue, watch closely that if you created a clue that referred to "The opposite of 2 Down" (for example), that when you continue creating clues, suddenly what was 2 Down is now 4 Down and your other clue makes no sense. A bunch of people all working on one crossword template, the left hand not necessarily realizing what the right is doing, or the left hand boxing the grid off and making things difficult for the right, seems to me that there would be a lot of starting over or re-doing going on, at best.

I've edited team quizzes where two different contributors asked the same question and nobody, not even the quiz 'manager' noticed, so as an editor I wouldn't hold a lot of hope that multiple people working on a crossword would all pay close attention to what's happening in the grid and the clues.
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