copyright for sudokus ?

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guenter

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Sep 13, 2005, 5:19:38 AM9/13/05
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I'm curious whether you can successfully claim copyright
for a particular set of sudokus, like those which appear
in books or newspapers or webpages, where the authors
sometimes claim copyright for them.

I mean, they can be generated by public domain computer
programs, hundredth per second, so this hardly qualifies
as "creative work" which is required to claim copyright
AFAIK.

Sudokus are also just combinatorical entities like QWH-instances
(quasigroup with holes, sudokus without the blocks-constraint),
which I think can't be copyright. Or can they ?
Can you successfully claim copyright for latin squares,
permutations, numbers then ?

What's the smallest known copyrighted number ?
Is there a list, which numbers are copyrighted ?
Is there a list, which sudokus are copyrighted ?

When I grab sudokus from the web or from books and put them into
a public database, can that be illegal in some countries ?


-Guenter.

Mike Williams

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Sep 13, 2005, 6:09:22 AM9/13/05
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It's possible for the "creative work" involved in the copyright to be
the selection process rather than the generation of the underlying
material.

I imagine that some automatically generated sudokus can be perceived to
be better than others. I also imagine that their quality might only be
assessable by having a human attempt to solve them.

If there were no value in the selection process, then you might just as
well run off hundreds of grids from a public domain program and put
those into your public database. If there is value in the selection
process, then the results of that selection can probably be copyright.

--
Mike Williams
Gentleman of Leisure

guenter

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Sep 14, 2005, 2:07:04 AM9/14/05
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>If there were no value in the selection process, then you might just as
>well run off hundreds of grids from a public domain program and put
>those into your public database. If there is value in the selection
>process, then the results of that selection can probably be copyright.

I didn't find this aspect of "value" mentioned in any copyright law.
How would you disprove it , when e.g. someone says randomn
numbers are of value for him and some were more valuable
than others ?

Patrick Hamlyn

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Sep 14, 2005, 3:12:57 AM9/14/05
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"guenter" <ste...@aol.com> wrote:

That's where expensive lawyers step in and takes enough money off both sides to
make it a moot point.
--
Patrick Hamlyn posting from Perth, Western Australia
Windsurfing capital of the Southern Hemisphere
Moderator: polyforms group (polyforms...@egroups.com)

jaap

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Sep 14, 2005, 5:08:43 AM9/14/05
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An example.

In the Netherlands there was a court case years ago, Rome versus Van
Dale. Van Dale is the best known Dutch dictionary (like Websters). Ruud
Rome used the dictionary as a source for a list of words in the Dutch
language, in order to make an electronic scrabble dictionary. In other
words, he used the word items only, not the definitions, and stripped
out all the words longer than 7 letters.

Eventually the highest court ruled that, because of the (human)
selection process for which words are used in the dictionary and which
words aren't (because they are too rarely used any more), the list of
words in a dictionary is itself under copyright.
Actually the highest court made a more general ruling that covered not
just word lists, but any kind of database, and kicked this particular
case back to the lower court to decide based on that principle.

In other countries there may have been similar cases.

Jaap

guenter

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Sep 14, 2005, 8:04:38 AM9/14/05
to
hi Jaap,

it was not so easy to find that case since you misspelled "Romme".
Here is, what I found about it, which might apply to sudokus:

>According to the Court a collection of words will only
>be protected by copyright "if it results from a selection
>process expressing the author's personal views".
>
>... in order for an object to qualify as a work of
>literature, science or art, "it is necessary for
>it to have an original and individual character
>bearing the personal imprint of its maker",

this is hardly the case for a selection of sudokus
generated at random by third party software.
It might however apply e.g. for a collection of random
numbers containing your birthday


But this is an old decision in a field of quickly changing laws
and it's specific to Dutch jurisdiction, not even European law.


Guenter.

jaapsch

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Sep 14, 2005, 10:11:35 AM9/14/05
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I am not a lawyer, all I say below may be totally wrong. It is also
somewhat off-topic to these groups.

guenter wrote:
> it was not so easy to find that case since you misspelled "Romme".

Doh! Sorry about that.

> >According to the Court a collection of words will only
> >be protected by copyright "if it results from a selection
> >process expressing the author's personal views".
> >
> >... in order for an object to qualify as a work of
> >literature, science or art, "it is necessary for
> >it to have an original and individual character
> >bearing the personal imprint of its maker",
>
> this is hardly the case for a selection of sudokus
> generated at random by third party software.

If a list of computer generated Sudoku's were tested by a real person,
who then removed the ones that were uninteresting, then that list is
highly likely to be copyrightable.

If that selection method were automated too, then it is a much greyer
area. That becomes a judgement call, something to be tested in a court.

I think it would still be copyrightable if the program was not public,
owned by the publisher of the sudokus. The only way someone else could
have the puzzles would be to take them from a published list, hence
infringement.

If the generating program were openly available to buy or download,
such a list of Sudoku's might not be copyrightable. However, it would
be hard to argue this in practice, since you would have to prove that
you could reproduce the exact same list with the program, and that
could be impossible without being able to set the random number seed
just right. And why would you want to copy such Sudoku's anyway if you
can use that program to make new ones? I think most courts would
therefore probably still consider this infringement.

The above may well apply even to single sudoku's. The reason being that
a Sudoku isn't like a single word from a dictionary. There are so many
billions of them that whenever you generate a new one, nobody will have
seen that particular one before.

On the one hand such abundance means it's likely to be considered
copyrightable since identical Sudoku's are virtually impossible without
copying, on the other hand it implies that each one is not particularly
special. And if it isn't particularly special, why would you copy it...


Remember however that copyright has exemptions. Fair use includes
things like having to copy something in order to comment on it
(including parody), or for educational purposes. When doing so, it is
customary to include a reference to the source, because otherwise you
may still be infringing - people might mistakenly think you were the
author of the material.

Because copyright is so strict, it can be an obstacle. Copyright
basically means that the original author is the only one who has the
right to copy the material. If you want to copy something beyond what
is considered fair use, you must get explicit permission from the
author. This can be very tricky, which is why many people now are
beginning to use the Creative Commons license scheme, which essentially
gives such permission in advance for most reasonable non-commercial
uses.

> But this is an old decision in a field of quickly changing laws
> and it's specific to Dutch jurisdiction, not even European law.

This is indeed only a Dutch law. However, I disagree it is a "a field
of quickly changing laws". The laws are always several years behind,
whatever country you are in, and international laws even more so.
Precedents are often applied to seemingly similar cases even if they
are fundamentally different due to the technology involved.

Jaap

Proginoskes

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Sep 14, 2005, 4:23:18 PM9/14/05
to

guenter wrote:
> I'm curious whether you can successfully claim copyright
> for a particular set of sudokus, like those which appear
> in books or newspapers or webpages, where the authors
> sometimes claim copyright for them.

Check out how crossword puzzles are handled. They, too, can be
generated by computer, so whatever applies to them SHOULD apply to
Sudoku. (I say "should" because I'm not a lawyer.)

--- Christopher Heckman, Member, Anti-Bar Association

Mark P

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Sep 14, 2005, 6:06:20 PM9/14/05
to
guenter wrote:
> I'm curious whether you can successfully claim copyright
> for a particular set of sudokus, like those which appear
> in books or newspapers or webpages, where the authors
> sometimes claim copyright for them.
>
> I mean, they can be generated by public domain computer
> programs, hundredth per second, so this hardly qualifies
> as "creative work" which is required to claim copyright
> AFAIK.

I don't think the fact that they can be produced by a program (which is
itself a creative work) precludes them from being creative works
themselves. Computers can generate lots of things which would
traditionally be deemed as creative works (English text, for example).

guenter

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Sep 15, 2005, 4:39:33 AM9/15/05
to
>I am not a lawyer, all I say below may be totally wrong.

you needn't be lawyer, this can be solved by logic alone !

>It is also somewhat off-topic to these groups.

I don't think it's off-topic.
I see a challenge for (math-) science with this copyright
for combinatorial entities.
Also important for puzzlers to know, what they may copy
or post here and what not.

>guenter wrote:
>> it was not so easy to find that case since you misspelled "Romme".
>
>Doh! Sorry about that.
>
>> >According to the Court a collection of words will only
>> >be protected by copyright "if it results from a selection
>> >process expressing the author's personal views".
>
>> >... in order for an object to qualify as a work of
>> >literature, science or art, "it is necessary for
>> >it to have an original and individual character
>> >bearing the personal imprint of its maker",
>
>> this is hardly the case for a selection of sudokus
>> generated at random by third party software.
>
>
>If a list of computer generated Sudoku's were tested by a real
person,
>who then removed the ones that were uninteresting, then that list is
>highly likely to be copyrightable.

how would he prove that ? in which countries do you consider this
"highly likely" ?
does the same apply to a list of random numbers ?
I think, the selection process should have some individual character
at least. Not just picking every 57th or each with a 3 in cell 42.

>If that selection method were automated too, then it is a much greyer

>area. That becomes a judgement call, something to be tested in a
court.

Wayne Gould e.g., a former judge and lawywer, who claims copyright
for the puzzles in Times said that he generates them completely at
random by his computer program.

>I think it would still be copyrightable if the program was not
public,
>owned by the publisher of the sudokus.

it can't matter who "owns" the program. Not the copyright for the
program is the issue here.

>The only way someone else could
>have the puzzles would be to take them from a published list, hence
>infringement.

.._if_ they were copyrighted in the first place.
The way how someone else gets the puzzles can't render their
generation process into creative work.

>If the generating program were openly available to buy or download,
>such a list of Sudoku's might not be copyrightable. However, it would

>be hard to argue this in practice, since you would have to prove that

>you could reproduce the exact same list with the program, and that
>could be impossible without being able to set the random number seed
>just right.

well, if I'm accused of copyright infringement, then I think
_they_ will have to prove it.

>And why would you want to copy such Sudoku's anyway if you
>can use that program to make new ones?

maybe just for doing some statistics ? Or using them for benchmarks
just because they are common etc.

>I think most courts would
>therefore probably still consider this infringement.

in NL ? despite :

>>According to the Court a collection of words will only
>>be protected by copyright "if it results from a selection
>>process expressing the author's personal views".
>
>>... in order for an object to qualify as a work of
>>literature, science or art, "it is necessary for
>>it to have an original and individual character
>>bearing the personal imprint of its maker",

so it's not important, what I use these sudokus for.


>The above may well apply even to single sudoku's. The reason being
that
>a Sudoku isn't like a single word from a dictionary. There are so
many
>billions of them that whenever you generate a new one, nobody will
have
>seen that particular one before.

unless, as you said someone used the same program or the same seed
or there is bug in the random number generator or you are searching for
special properties etc. But again, however large their number is,
it has nothing to do with whether their creation is creative work or
not.

>On the one hand such abundance means it's likely to be considered
>copyrightable since identical Sudoku's are virtually impossible
without
>copying, on the other hand it implies that each one is not
particularly
>special. And if it isn't particularly special, why would you copy
it...

prove of infringement is not my issue here.
Assume I confess having copied them, but I deny copyright because
of lacking personal imprint.

>Remember however that copyright has exemptions. Fair use includes
>things like having to copy something in order to comment on it
>(including parody), or for educational purposes.

suppose I put them on the web with a note: "for science and education
only".
Could it be illegal in EC ?

>When doing so, it is
>customary to include a reference to the source, because otherwise you

>may still be infringing - people might mistakenly think you were the
>author of the material.

which isn't illegal AFAIK. You may claim copyright even if you have
none.
You won't succeed to exercise it, though.

>Because copyright is so strict, it can be an obstacle. Copyright
>basically means that the original author is the only one who has the
>right to copy the material. If you want to copy something beyond what

>is considered fair use, you must get explicit permission from the
>author. This can be very tricky, which is why many people now are
>beginning to use the Creative Commons license scheme,

only 38 hits with google for that term. Not so common yet.

>which essentially
>gives such permission in advance for most reasonable non-commercial
>uses.

downloading copyrighted puzzles from the author in zipped format,
unpacking them, entering them into your application presumably
would already violate copyright - although the author might
want to allow it.

>> But this is an old decision in a field of quickly changing laws
>> and it's specific to Dutch jurisdiction, not even European law.
>
>
>This is indeed only a Dutch law. However, I disagree it is a "a field

>of quickly changing laws". The laws are always several years behind,
>whatever country you are in, and international laws even more so.
>Precedents are often applied to seemingly similar cases even if they
>are fundamentally different due to the technology involved.
>
>Jaap

thanks for your interest.


I had got that from here:

http://www.ivir.nl/publications/hugenholtz/PBHbk!.doc.

"Dutch copyright law has gone through a storm in the first half
of the present decade."
...
"The Dutch Copyright Act (DCA)4 is one of the oldest "living"
copyright laws in the world."


Guenter.

guenter

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Sep 15, 2005, 4:43:58 AM9/15/05
to

Proginoskes wrote:
>guenter wrote:
>> I'm curious whether you can successfully claim copyright
>> for a particular set of sudokus, like those which appear
>> in books or newspapers or webpages, where the authors
>> sometimes claim copyright for them.
>
>
>Check out how crossword puzzles are handled. They, too, can be
>generated by computer, so whatever applies to them SHOULD apply to
>Sudoku. (I say "should" because I'm not a lawyer.)

yes, thanks. Apparantly people are claiming for copyright on
crossword puzzles even more aggressively than for sudokus !

There could be some differences though:
Crossword puzzles only work in one language, while sudokus
are international. Sudokus are important for science too,
while crossword puzzles aren't.
Crossword puzzles depend on some man-made word-lists,
while sudokus are given by nature/math.
The words have a meaning, so there are special crossword puzzles
for old people, for religious people, .. Each newspaper
has their special audience.
Sudokus only vary in difficulty.

So you have more chances to include some individual touch
into creating or selecting crossword puzzles than with sudokus.

guenter

unread,
Sep 15, 2005, 4:47:45 AM9/15/05
to

Mark P wrote:
>
>I don't think the fact that they can be produced by a program (which
is
>itself a creative work)

.. but that work was done earlier and usually by someone else
and is clearly separated from the sudoku-generating process.

>precludes them from being creative works themselves.

so, where exactly do you find the creativity ?
selecting and downloading the program ?
getting it installed on your computer ?
typing in the command to spit the sudokus ?
sending them by email to a publisher ?

>Computers can generate lots of things which would
>traditionally be deemed as creative works (English text, for
example).

the computer is being creative or the person who happens to
sit in front of it and watches the generation process ?
Or the person who programmed it ?
Can you give an example then , of what you would consider
noncreative work, which someone might want to be copyrighted ?
I can't think of any ATM.

Willem

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Sep 15, 2005, 5:20:23 AM9/15/05
to
guenter wrote:
) so, where exactly do you find the creativity ?
) selecting and downloading the program ?
) getting it installed on your computer ?
) typing in the command to spit the sudokus ?
) sending them by email to a publisher ?

Selecting which sudokus to send to the publisher.


SaSW, Willem
--
Disclaimer: I am in no way responsible for any of the statements
made in the above text. For all I know I might be
drugged or something..
No I'm not paranoid. You all think I'm paranoid, don't you !
#EOT

jaapsch

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Sep 15, 2005, 9:36:14 AM9/15/05
to
guenter wrote:

> jaap wrote:
> >If a list of computer generated Sudoku's were tested by a real
> >person,
> >who then removed the ones that were uninteresting, then that list is
> >highly likely to be copyrightable.
>
> how would he prove that?

I don't know. Probably only by testifying it is so if it were to come
to a court.

> in which countries do you consider this "highly likely" ?

Any country that adheres to copyright laws (but again, let me just say
I am not a lawyer and have no court experiences at all).

> does the same apply to a list of random numbers ?

Not purely random numbers, no. If however a human has gone through
them, and selected them on some aesthetic criterion, then probably yes.

> I think, the selection process should have some individual character
> at least. Not just picking every 57th or each with a 3 in cell 42.

Indeed, it seems it must have some creative/authorial aspect to it.

> >If that selection method were automated too, then it is a much greyer
> >area. That becomes a judgement call, something to be tested in a
> >court.
>
> Wayne Gould e.g., a former judge and lawywer, who claims copyright
> for the puzzles in Times said that he generates them completely at
> random by his computer program.

If he doesn't filter out any of them, just blindly puts the next one
generated into the next issue, then I don't think it can be
copyrighted. At least, not as a puzzle in itself - an image of the
puzzle as it was printed in the newspaper probably is copyrighted due
to fonts/layout/design etc.

> >The only way someone else could
> >have the puzzles would be to take them from a published list, hence
> >infringement.
>
> .._if_ they were copyrighted in the first place.
> The way how someone else gets the puzzles can't render their
> generation process into creative work.

I agree that is how it should be, but I don't think that is how it
works in practice. Anything that is published automatically has
copyright (and since 1995 you don't even need to have an explicit
copyright message). Or rather, it is presumed to have copyright. It is
not the publisher/author who has to prove he has copyright, it is up to
the alleged infringer to prove it wasn't copyrightable.

Unfortunately there are no sanctions for claiming something is
copyrighted when it is not. I wish there were.

> >If the generating program were openly available to buy or download,
> >such a list of Sudoku's might not be copyrightable. However, it would
> >be hard to argue this in practice, since you would have to prove that
> >you could reproduce the exact same list with the program, and that
> >could be impossible without being able to set the random number seed
> >just right.
>
> well, if I'm accused of copyright infringement, then I think
> _they_ will have to prove it.

Yes, they will have to prove you copied the material from them, but
that part will be easy for them. It is easy to prove statistically that
sudoku's are unlikely to be exactly the same unless copying has taken
place. Your defense could be that you did not copy at all (e.g. "it
wasn't me" or "the program generated them"), but I doubt that would be
successful.

Assuming you did copy, you can argue that you were allowed to to so. In
that case arguing that it falls under the fair use provisions is I
think much easier than arguing that the copied stuff was
uncopyrightable. The material is presumed to be copyrighted unless
proven otherwise. It would be up to you to prove that it was
uncopyrightable. No doubt a good lawyer would try both defenses, as
they are not mutually exclusive.

I would actually like to see this tested by a court.

> >Remember however that copyright has exemptions. Fair use includes
> >things like having to copy something in order to comment on it
> >(including parody), or for educational purposes.
>
> suppose I put them on the web with a note: "for science and education
> only".
> Could it be illegal in EC ?

It depends. If you are profiting from it, or from some sources you are
copying a relatively large amount, it might be.

> >Because copyright is so strict, it can be an obstacle. Copyright
> >basically means that the original author is the only one who has the
> >right to copy the material. If you want to copy something beyond what
> >is considered fair use, you must get explicit permission from the
> >author. This can be very tricky, which is why many people now are
> >beginning to use the Creative Commons license scheme,
>
> only 38 hits with google for that term. Not so common yet.

I get 60 million hits for that phrase...

[snip]


> I had got that from here:
> http://www.ivir.nl/publications/hugenholtz/PBHbk!.doc.
> "Dutch copyright law has gone through a storm in the first half
> of the present decade."

Interesting link. Thanks,

Jaap

Arthur J. O'Dwyer

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Sep 15, 2005, 2:49:30 PM9/15/05
to

(SPOILER for today's NYT crossword follows, by the way.)

On Thu, 15 Sep 2005, guenter wrote:
> Proginoskes wrote:
> >guenter wrote:
> >> I'm curious whether you can successfully claim copyright

> >> for a particular set of sudokus [...]


> >
> > Check out how crossword puzzles are handled. They, too, can be
> > generated by computer, so whatever applies to them SHOULD apply to
> > Sudoku. (I say "should" because I'm not a lawyer.)
>
> yes, thanks. Apparantly people are claiming for copyright on
> crossword puzzles even more aggressively than for sudokus !
>
> There could be some differences though:
> Crossword puzzles only work in one language, while sudokus
> are international. Sudokus are important for science too,
> while crossword puzzles aren't.

Um... I beg your pardon? Since when are 9x9 magic squares "important
for science"? :D

> Crossword puzzles depend on some man-made word-lists,
> while sudokus are given by nature/math.
> The words have a meaning, so there are special crossword puzzles
> for old people, for religious people, .. Each newspaper
> has their special audience.

Right, but more importantly, if you look at any modern newspaper
crossword (and here I'm talking about American-style), you'll notice
that each one has what crossword designers call a "theme," which often
involves wordplay or puns. For example, the NYT crossword today has
the theme "Up", with theme entries ALL DRESSED, WHOOPING IT, JOHNNY JUMP,
and WHICH WAY IS. This sort of creativity is generally what crossword
designers recognize as copyrightable, and not the "fill" per se.
(The "fill" is the particular choice of short words to fill in the white
squares that aren't part of the longer theme entries. It can be generated
by computer these days, but IME usually isn't.)

> Sudokus only vary in difficulty.

More precisely: Sudokus only vary in which squares are given to start
with. Any solvable sudoku puzzle can be solved by logical deduction
(possibly involving backtracking), requiring no effort on the part of
the solver. This is why I'm not a sudoku fan, but it's also why I think
sudoku designs and crossword designs are fundamentally different.

> So you have more chances to include some individual touch
> into creating or selecting crossword puzzles than with sudokus.

Yep. In crosswording, it's generally accepted that themes and fills are
inviolate (in legal terms, "copyrightable"; but even in a world without
copyright, it would still be wrong to copy someone else's theme verbatim),
and grids (the particular arrangement of black and white squares) are not.
Some crossworders just keep a library of old grids to use for new puzzles,
rather than trying to make up a new grid every time.

And then of course you have the clues themselves. Good puns tend to get
stolen or reinvented on a regular basis ("Brief correspondence" or "Short
note" for LTR, for example), but that's accepted. In cryptic crosswords,
I'd expect the copying of individual clues would be viewed as shady.

In short: IMNSHO, crossword etiquette matches existing copyright law
fairly well --- the creative bits are inviolate, and the uncreative or
computer-generable bits aren't. And since sudoku puzzles have /no/
creative input, and are /completely/ computerizable, I'd say that
copying individual sudokus should be allowed.
Copying a whole set of sudokus that one person put together, though,
probably not. It's like copying Sports Illustrated's list of the top 50
athletes --- sure, you're allowed to write down the athletes' names, but
if you put down all the same ones the magazine did and then call it
"Bob's Top 50 List," that's considered plagiarism.

HTH,
-Arthur

Arthur J. O'Dwyer

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Sep 16, 2005, 2:41:14 PM9/16/05
to

[fup to rec.puzzles]

On Thu, 15 Sep 2005, Arthur J. O'Dwyer wrote:
>
> (SPOILER for today's NYT crossword follows, by the way.)

[...]

> Right, but more importantly, if you look at any modern newspaper crossword
> (and here I'm talking about American-style), you'll notice
> that each one has what crossword designers call a "theme," which often
> involves wordplay or puns. For example, the NYT crossword today has
> the theme "Up", with theme entries ALL DRESSED, WHOOPING IT, JOHNNY JUMP, and
> WHICH WAY IS.

For the record, I didn't even see the whole theme yesterday! The answer
today draws attention to the fact that above each of the theme answers in
the grid are the letters U and P, e.g.:

SIX MONTOYA OPP<--P
COTTON BANTU<--U
ROTO WHOOPINGIT
AZARIA UNSENT
JOHNNYJUMP ORGS

-Arthur,
likes crosswords

Rick Decker

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Sep 16, 2005, 3:41:22 PM9/16/05
to

Arthur J. O'Dwyer wrote:
>
> [fup to rec.puzzles]
> On Thu, 15 Sep 2005, Arthur J. O'Dwyer wrote:
>
>>
>> (SPOILER for today's NYT crossword follows, by the way.)
>
>
> [...]
>
>> Right, but more importantly, if you look at any modern newspaper
>> crossword (and here I'm talking about American-style), you'll notice
>> that each one has what crossword designers call a "theme," which often

Nitpicking: "each one?" While I wouldn't swear to it, my experience
is that the easier ones (NYT Monday, say) frequently don't have a
theme. *Takes a moment and solves today's (Friday)* Well, whaddya
know! Today's doesn't have a theme either.

Of course it might be that I'm just too dim to spot them.


Regards,

Rick

Arthur J. O'Dwyer

unread,
Sep 16, 2005, 5:12:08 PM9/16/05
to

On Fri, 16 Sep 2005, Rick Decker wrote:
> Arthur J. O'Dwyer wrote:
>>> Right, but more importantly, if you look at any modern newspaper
>>> crossword (and here I'm talking about American-style), you'll notice
>>> that each one has what crossword designers call a "theme," which often
>
> Nitpicking: "each one?" While I wouldn't swear to it, my experience
> is that the easier ones (NYT Monday, say) frequently don't have a
> theme. *Takes a moment and solves today's (Friday)* Well, whaddya
> know! Today's doesn't have a theme either.

Well, not "each one," no. But most of them. NYT Friday is an exception
to the rule, because as I'm sure you noticed, its grid is insanely open.
(It has 60 numbers, as opposed to a normal 72 to 76.) My basic argument
of "creativity" might even apply more to this kind of themeless, since
it has a lot more long fill entries that aren't found in any dictionary!

And then one of NYT or USA Today, within the past week, ran a
"themeless" themed puzzle with theme entries like WHOLLY THEMELESS and
JUST RANDOM WORDS. ;)

-Arthur

Mark P

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Sep 16, 2005, 8:40:59 PM9/16/05
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You are correct. The NYT standard limits the number of clues in the
crossword and the limit is lower for an unthemed 15x15 puzzle (72
instead of 78, maybe? I'm not sure of these numbers.)

S.C.Sprong

unread,
Sep 20, 2005, 10:20:28 AM9/20/05
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In rec.puzzles Arthur J. O'Dwyer <a...@nospam.andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:

[ logical puzzles vs language puzzles ]

>More precisely: Sudokus only vary in which squares are given to start
>with. Any solvable sudoku puzzle can be solved by logical deduction
>(possibly involving backtracking), requiring no effort on the part of
>the solver.

It turns out that logical deduction requires a lot of effort for the
average human solver, even with simple Sudoku puzzles.

>This is why I'm not a sudoku fan, but it's also why I think sudoku
>designs and crossword designs are fundamentally different.

I'm not exactly a fan of Sudoku puzzles but more of logical style puzzles
in general. Quite some time ago I discovered that I could solve most
crossword puzzles with a combination of wordlists, knowledge of language
patterns and simple cryptanalysis. In an instant they were boring.
Logical puzzles offered a refreshing alternative. As bonus, devising
solving algorithms and programming them is even more fun.

>In cryptic crosswords, I'd expect the copying of individual clues would
>be viewed as shady.

IMnsHO the most enjoyable cryptic crosswords are made by hand by one
individual. In time you learn how their mind works, which helps to solve
them (e.g. Jan Meulendijk cruptogrammen for the Dutchies in the group)
The most difficult ones are unpersonal. The most boring ones are generated
from a small set of simple puns.

>Copying a whole set of sudokus that one person put together, though,
>probably not. It's like copying Sports Illustrated's list of the top 50
>athletes --- sure, you're allowed to write down the athletes' names, but
>if you put down all the same ones the magazine did and then call it
>"Bob's Top 50 List," that's considered plagiarism.

I don't know. In the past people managed to claim copyright on coordinates
in fractals that iresulted in an especially nice image.

scs

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