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Re: [announce] Invented Languages magazine

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Saturday, May 31, 2008, 12:04
On Sat, 31 May 2008 02:06:54 -0400, ROGER MILLS wrote:
>David Peterson wrote: >> >>Call it blasphemy, but I am more impressed by someone who >>can put together a functional, New York Times-style crossword >>puzzle than by someone who creates a language. I have tried, >>on occasion, to produce a crossword puzzle. Not in a conlang, >>or a second language, mind you, but in English--my home court, >>as it were. > >A friend and I tried on several occasions (we also used to race to see who >could finish the Sunday NYT puzzle fastest :-))) and could only at best make >one corner or so. Very discouraging,
Yeah, making one is a few magnitudes more of a puzzle than solving one. Especially if wishing to avoid common "cop-out" words. I've tried too - usually I get about 80% done before one edge comes to a complete halt. (Perhaps Finnish is an easier language to work with than English, even despite the on average longer words, due to a smaller number of graphemes in use.)
>though somehow we avoided the >"11-letter word ending in -ec" problem...:-) (But there's IIRC "malbec" a >grape variety, and how about "Spanish brandy distiller" ans. Domecq)
A search on for "?????????ec" produces two results, both geographical locations in Mexico… Just one letter short is "megaparsec", and so obviously using a longer SI prefix, eg. "femtoparsec" (30.86 meters) would work. Allowing further letters by "?????????ec*", there's 81 results, including "chimneypiece", "transdialect", "countercheck" and "sphincterectomy". :)
>Next step-- a London Times type puzzle, with cryptic clues. Ouch. The >Harvard Alum. Magazine used to have a very challenging puzzle of that type, >which usually took me a week or 10 days to solve, if ever-- but it was >discontinued years ago.
Tried those too, both solving (with good success & fun) and making (less so)… John Vertical