I receive more puzzles than I can use in the NTSPP series, so I have decided to publish some of them here.
Before a puzzle is published it is usually sent, in the first instance, to a test solver who checks that each clue is sound and fair to the solver. Then it is sent to the crossword editor who has the final say on which clues will or will not be published and negotiates any changes with the setter. All of these tasks involve a considerable amount of work.
These puzzles from rookie setters are presented as originally received. You are invited to adopt the role of test solver and to provide feedback. Which clues did you like, which you didn’t like and which are flawed? In the latter two cases please explain your reasons. To a new setter feedback is of paramount importance – without it they are working in a vacuum.
Initially only one puzzle a week will be offered – each Monday Comments will not be allowed on the puzzles themselves – instead there will be a post associated with each puzzle where you can say whatever you like (within reason).
Before submitting a puzzle to be considered for publication in this series, please write to me using the Contact page. All puzzles submitted should be from setters who have not previously had puzzles published in the national press, the MPP series or the NTSPP series, and the puzzle itself should not have been published elsewhere (with the exception of specialist sites and the setter’s own website).
Update 01 January 2018
Since setting up Rookie Corner nearly four years ago it has become the first choice for new setters seeking a place to publish their puzzles. The main reasons for this are the excellent criticism that is available through the comments and the superb review by Prolixic, our resident guru. The quality of the puzzles submitted often rivals that available on the back pages of national newspapers, indeed several of our Rookies have gone on to provide puzzles for those national newspapers. BD
Prolixic has prepared a document entitled “A brief guide to the construction of cryptic crossword clues” which can be downloaded, in pdf format, by clicking below.
Created 14 April 2014
Updated 17 February 2020