May 28, 2013

Guardian Cryptic Grids since 2007 (Part 2)

In part one we looked at the grids themselves and what makes them popular.

We can also look at how how many times each compiler used each grid, which I’ve published as a CSV file.

It’s a bit of a slog staring at the spreadsheet, but you can see that nearly all the compilers have their favourite grids. Rufus is the obvious example. Of his 262 puzzles, 195 (74%) are from seven grids. Rufus has said himself in this Crossword Unclued interview, he has a set of grids that he finds suits his style — those allowing to fill in the words that are suitable to clue. (I won’t say “easy”, that’s an insult to his subtle genius).

Here are the seven grids:

grid 02 grid 03 grid 04 grid 05 grid 06 grid 10 grid 12

The last grid is particularly a Rufus grid. It’s been used 42 times by all compilers. Rufus alone has used it 32 times. In fact, the Rufus puzzles skew the most popular grid statistics quite a lot. Taking out these grids from the calculations makes nearly all of them drop out of the top twenty.

Araucaria’s spread of grids is much more wide. Other than grid 1 with 10 uses, no other grid is in double figures. A true virtuoso!

However, the true hero of the grids has to be Gordius. Here’s the number of times he’s used the first 50 grids:

3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 3, 5, 3, 2, 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 2, 3, 2, 4, 3, 2, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 3, 3, 2, 3, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 1, 3, 2, 3, 3, 2, 3, 2…”

To keep up this level of distribution shows real dedication, and a dedication that has probably gone completely unnoticed. Hats off, David Moseley!