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Unexpected DOWN

edited October 2007 in Black Ink
Look at the last across clue (119a) in today's Boston Globe Puzzle ( and you'll see a stray DOWN at the end of it. I mentioned previous occurrences of this to the MacXWord developer and he said that it was really there in the puzzle file. Why not special-case this recurring error? If the last across clue ends with DOWN, just pretend it's not there.


  • It's an interesting question - should Black Ink take on the role of interpreting puzzle content - possibly (even if a longshot) to the detriment of the puzzle?

    Now, you could say I should just match it exactly ... but what if for some reason the last clue did end in DOWN? It seems like the occurrence of this mistake has a low enough impact on users (and it's easy enough to figure out), that it's preferable to stick to interpreting the puzzle literally, in case the last clue is something"OPPOSITE OF DOWN" ... we don't want the clue list to read "OPPOSITE OF "
  • It would be very strange for DOWN to appear legitimately in ALL CAPS, considering that clues are generally written in MiXeD cAsE. So you wouldn't do it even if there were other words in the clue, those words were conventionally capitalized, and DOWN was ALL CAPS? I think it's pretty safe.

    Surely :-) you have a database of all available puzzles that you can scan for the frequency of this error and the counter-situation. It's an obvious candidate for a statistical argument.
  • I agree that it's extremely unlikely. Partly I just don't see the problem as statistically frequent enough to warrant me jumping through hoops to avoid it :)

    Unfortunately I don't have any significant database of puzzles in general. It might be a good idea for me to start collecting them but in general I just hold on to interesting ones - ones with multiple characters, odd dimensions, unusual characters, etc.

    Anyway can't you just ask the producers of the puzzle to stop messing up the dang format? How often does this happen anyway?

  • "How often does this happen anyway?"

    Probably less than 1 in 100, maybe more than 1 in 1000. Enough that I've seen it several times. So it's rare but annoying.
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