Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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Note from the setter

Thank you to those above and those who wrote complimentary notes to me (forwarded to me by John Green), and writers on LWO about my Listener puzzle. Apologies to those who found it unfair. I sympathize, since there have been Listener puzzles in the past that I have thought unfair, very few and far between, I hasten to add.
I thought I would share my thought processes when constructing this puzzle. Many puzzles use messages from clues to indicate what to highlight in the grid. My thought was to create a puzzle that did the opposite - use highlighting to get something from the clues. I had thought that when the message was derived that it would be apparent that the highlighted cells would have to involve numbers. Otherwise, how could one use these cells on the other clues? "Easy for him to say!" I hear some of you cry, I know, because I didn't have the task of looking for them, but test-solvers and Listener vetters did not express that as a problem. So, maybe I used the wrong test-solvers.
Why use the space as a character? Two reasons really. 1) ROCKET MAN has only nine letters, and 2) space was part of the theme. In fact, in my original preamble, I had written, "...using a broad definition of character, especially in the context of the theme." as a way of pointing to a space-themed puzzle. But, the Listener vetters thought that was more confusing than enlightening and took it out. Their judgment on the puzzle was one "of average difficulty."
I am happy that it gave enjoyment to a portion of you, and chagrined that it produced so much frustration in others.



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