In the first tutorial module, we will compile a conventional US puzzle with a simple theme and definition-only clues. The general principles of crossword construction using Sympathy are covered here and it is worth going through the steps of this example, even if you only want to construct the more specialized puzzle types covered later in the tutorial.
The first stage in creating any thematic puzzle is to find a suitable idea and think of possible thematic answers. The idea we will work on here involves flowers that include the name of a girl, for which Flower Girls could be the title. In a typical 15x15 US puzzle, the thematic answers form the backbone of the puzzle and are often full-width or slightly shorter. In preparation for work on the puzzle, we could prepare a list of potential long answers, for example (with the lengths in brackets):
black-eyed Susan (14)
dog-tooth violet (14)
French marigold (14)
Queen Anne's lace (14)
California poppy (15)
evening primrose (15)
lily of the valley (15)
Michaelmas daisy (15)
It looks as though we've got enough potential answers to make a puzzle from, but for flexibility it might be better to use a grid with some answers shortened to 14 letters. In the next step, we will select a stock grid to use a starting point for the creation of the puzzle.
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Last updated: $Date: 2010/04/10 16:58:54 $
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