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Old 07-13-2018, 09:49 AM
Super Silver Haze Super Silver Haze is offline
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Default SSH Crosswords Rejected By The NYT

Recently I seem to have gained the ability to make normal, newspaper-style crosswords. Since the New York Times accepts crosswords from outside contributors, I've decided to try to get published in the NYT. Apparently they get 75 to 100 crossword submissions per week. I think mine are fine, but there's nothing exceptional about them that would make them stand out in such a crowded field. So I expect what will happen is I keep sending them, keep getting rejected, possibly get better at making them, and at some point (I'm thinking somewhere around the 5th to 10th crossword), Will Shortz starts recognizing my name and thinks "Let's finally give this guy a shot."

Until that happens, I will be putting my rejected crosswords in this thread. It'll probably be at the rate of about 1 per month.

I'll be mailing out my first submission today, so stay tuned for my first rejection letter and first rejected crossword!

July 13/18: Submitted crossword #1 to the New York Times - ***REJECTED***
76 words, 42 black squares, avg word length 4.82, missing JQXZ

August 13/18: Submitted crossword #2 to the L.A. Times - ***REJECTED***
74 words, 42 black squares, avg word length 4.95, missing JQXZ

September 13/18: Submitted crossword #3 to the Wall Street Journal - ***REJECTED***
78 words, 40 black squares, avg word length 4.74, missing JQZ

October 13/18: Submitted crossword #4 to the L.A. Times - pending
76 words, 36 black squares, avg word length 4.97, missing FQ

November 13/18: Submitted crossword #2 to the Wall Street Journal - pending
74 words, 42 black squares, avg word length 4.95, missing JQXZ
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Last edited by Super Silver Haze; Yesterday at 07:36 PM..
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:54 AM
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:00 AM
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Neat. I've always wondered how it gets decided where the blank/filled in/inactive boxes go.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:01 AM
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What level of crossword are we talking? (I'm hoping for an early week level over here)
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:09 AM
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I have a crossword rejected by the NYT to share as well, it's at home in Excel. I was also the first person (I think) to get a normal crossword - not one of those deformed Tom Toce creations - ( hi Tom ) in Contingencies several years ago...
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Silver Haze View Post
So I expect what will happen is I keep sending them, keep getting rejected, possibly get better at making them, and at some point (I'm thinking somewhere around the 5th to 10th crossword), Will Shortz starts recognizing my name and thinks "Let's finally give this guy a shot."
The guy who sent my email reject wasn't Will Shortz but some other dude who evidently pre-screens everything. So after ten rejects chances are Will STILL won't know who you are.
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:14 AM
Super Silver Haze Super Silver Haze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormalDan View Post
What level of crossword are we talking? (I'm hoping for an early week level over here)
I'm trying to make this first one on the difficult side. I could maybe scale it back a little before posting it here.

More than anything, the difficulty depends on the clues (imo), and Shortz has said in interviews that he typically makes some sort of edit to about half the clues in a crossword, so ultimately the difficulty level is going to be out of my hands.
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2018 RPS BIGGEST LOSER
Spoiler:
Aaaaaaaah!/Academy Of Muses/Age of Shadows/Among The Living/Brigsby Bear/Chained For Life/The Challenge/The Field Guide to Evil/Hacksaw Ridge/Housewife/The Innocents/It/Journeyman/Mohawk/My Happy Family/Nostalgia/The Party/Paul Verhoeven's Tricked/Piercing/Profile/Puzzle/Share/Silence/State Like Sleep
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Old 07-13-2018, 10:15 AM
Super Silver Haze Super Silver Haze is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klaymen View Post
The guy who sent my email reject wasn't Will Shortz but some other dude who evidently pre-screens everything. So after ten rejects chances are Will STILL won't know who you are.
Discouraging but informative!

And I'd love to see your rejected crossword.
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2018 RPS BIGGEST LOSER
Spoiler:
Aaaaaaaah!/Academy Of Muses/Age of Shadows/Among The Living/Brigsby Bear/Chained For Life/The Challenge/The Field Guide to Evil/Hacksaw Ridge/Housewife/The Innocents/It/Journeyman/Mohawk/My Happy Family/Nostalgia/The Party/Paul Verhoeven's Tricked/Piercing/Profile/Puzzle/Share/Silence/State Like Sleep
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Silver Haze View Post
I'm trying to make this first one on the difficult side. I could maybe scale it back a little before posting it here.

More than anything, the difficulty depends on the clues (imo), and Shortz has said in interviews that he typically makes some sort of edit to about half the clues in a crossword, so ultimately the difficulty level is going to be out of my hands.
I'd like to see whatever your favorite version is.
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:12 AM
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