A novel word puzzle for Christmas - with a safe link

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Graham Smith

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Dec 27, 2020, 1:35:29 PM12/27/20
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I’m not sure anyone has looked at this puzzle, because of the need to click on a link that cannot be trusted 100%. So I have moved the pdf file to my Google Drive and made it accessible to all. Take 2:

I call it Dictato. This is a link to the puzzle - it is a pdf file on my Google Drive.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jmmxNMxYJIAwBKGI23O2dU8V1qWGHh50/view?usp=sharing

If you have a go at the puzzle, please let me know. I am keen to know what people think of it.

I’ll post the solution in the new year.

Thank you.

gerson

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Dec 28, 2020, 7:05:13 PM12/28/20
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"Graham Smith" wrote in message news:f00d6e2b-d07a-44af...@googlegroups.com...
Spoilers


10




9




8




7




6




5




4




3




2




1



holly

hostage
hurrahs
hurts
hush
instead

ivy


gerson

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Dec 28, 2020, 10:23:26 PM12/28/20
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"gerson" wrote in message news:SN6dnQfau9wq73fC...@giganews.com...



"Graham Smith" wrote in message news:f00d6e2b-d07a-44af...@googlegroups.com...

I’m not sure anyone has looked at this puzzle, because of the need to click on a link that cannot be trusted 100%. So I have moved
the pdf file to my Google Drive and made it accessible to all. Take 2:

I call it Dictato. This is a link to the puzzle - it is a pdf file on my Google Drive.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jmmxNMxYJIAwBKGI23O2dU8V1qWGHh50/view?usp=sharing

If you have a go at the puzzle, please let me know. I am keen to know what people think of it.

I’ll post the solution in the new year.

Thank you.

> > > >

Spoilers

> > > > >

oops I got it wrong, the second word doesn't fit

Graham Smith

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Dec 29, 2020, 6:23:34 AM12/29/20
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It is a little tricky!

leflynn

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Dec 29, 2020, 10:53:44 AM12/29/20
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The word "imAm" works in place of huSh. It has almost twice as many Google hits as hush.
And, strangely, I find "hurray" defined as "an utterance of the word “hurrah.”
Also, the pattern for the step where you have huRTS is given as xxxYY, so hunTS would be correct but huRTS is not. Perhaps you intended to have xxYYY for this step.

L. Flynn

Graham Smith

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Dec 29, 2020, 12:39:18 PM12/29/20
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I have double-checked the puzzle and I am confident it is correct.

Between you, you are around halfway to the solution.

leflynn

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Dec 29, 2020, 3:45:33 PM12/29/20
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Solution to a longer puzzle... Y = {S,T,A,R} , x <> {s,t,a,r}
One possible solution to the original puzzle is given by
1.2, 2.2, 3.3, 4.3, and 5.

holly
xxYYYxx hoARSen 1.1
xxxYYxY hoiSTeR 2.1
xxYYYxx hoSTAge 1.2
xxxYY hunTS or hulAS 3.1
xxYx huRl 4.1
xxYYYx huRRAh
xxYYY huRTS
xxYx huSh 4.2
xxxYY hydRA 3.2
xxxYYxY hydRAnT 2.2
xxxYY ideAS or iceRS 3.3
xxYx imAm 4.3
xxYYxYx inSTeAd 5
ivy

L. Flynn


Graham Smith

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Dec 29, 2020, 5:02:53 PM12/29/20
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Yes, the solution is hoSTAge, hydRAnT, ideAS, imAm, inSTeAd. I don’t regard iceRS as commonplace.

Marks out of ten, anybody?

leflynn

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Dec 30, 2020, 11:35:12 AM12/30/20
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I bet there are more people employed as icers in the US than are imams. I was on Zoom with one the other day. A quick search finds four open positions for icers at bakeries within 10 miles of my house. I guess I do too many crossword puzzles:
http://www.acrossndown.com/crosswords/answers/ICER
If a puzzle has multiple solutions that depend on which words are considered common, it might be politic to say, "the solution I had in mind" or "a solution with common words".
L. Flynn


Graham Smith

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Dec 30, 2020, 4:24:50 PM12/30/20
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My apologies. I am guilty of not taking a global view. I am in the UK and in my 60+ years I have never come across the term ‘icer’. Over here the equivalent is ‘cake decorator’. I feel it is key to the puzzle that there is a single solution. So I will have to be more careful in future - this is the puzzle’s first outing on the internet.

My main goal is to get the puzzle published in a newspaper. In this scenario, there will be professional people, better placed than me, to judge what is commonplace.

leflynn

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Jan 1, 2021, 4:29:41 PM1/1/21
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Graham,
If you want to have a version for the general public, I would look for cases where there were fewer false leads. I consider HULAS, HUNTS, HURT and HUSH to be complicating words that fit one of the patterns but are not part of the intended solution.
L. Flynn

leflynn

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Jan 1, 2021, 9:59:39 PM1/1/21
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That should be HURL not HURT...

Graham Smith

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Jan 2, 2021, 6:49:37 AM1/2/21
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It is possible to compose easy Dictato puzzles and hard ones. Obviously, for this group of enthusiasts, I’ve done one that is at the hard end of the spectrum. You are right: easier ones would be more suitable for the casual puzzler.

Thank you for your comments.
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