Derek Harrison's Crossword Message Board

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Re(2): All in all

I have looked back at past puzzles I have tried, which include over 50 for which I submitted incorrect solutions. In many of these I made a transcription error, and in
many more I solved a clue incorrectly or missed part of the theme. But 99.5% of the puzzles, including those where I gave up and did not submit, share two properties:

(a) The official solution, when it appears, is clearly correct;
(b) If I sent in a different solution, three weeks later I can see that my solution is clearly inferior to the official one.

In a sample of over 800 puzzles I can only find four which don't have both these properties, and two of these still satisfy the first. Sadly 4422 fails both. (The only other one was 3623 Times by Mr. Lemon. I checked back on the website and I see that the archive starts at 3627. Is there any plan to extend it?)

My error rate is such that getting an all-correct year is only a remote possibility. (This year, before 4422, I had failed on at least three.) But I fear that puzzles like this will discourage me (and probably many others) from putting in the effort to try for it. That would damage the prospects of the Listener continuing at all.



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