While the three of us were together over the New Year's holiday, Colum had the idea to create a glossary that might be of use to those new to this blog. And since we are people of action, we present it to you now. It will be subject to revision, but at least this is a start. If, in the course of your reading, you come across acronyms or words that you do not know, please feel free to comment to let us know, and we will update the glossary accordingly.
For more basic terms like "Fill," "Theme," "Constructor," etc., please consult "How to Solve the New York Times Crossword Puzzle" on the New York Times site.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND EXPRESSIONS USED ON THIS BLOG
C/AP = Clue/Answer Pair
We're a little Acronym-happy here at HAFDTNYTCPFCA. This one's just shorthand for taking a clue and answer together.
DNF = Did Not Finish
This is used to admit defeat - that there was at least one square that could not be filled in correctly before giving up. Sometimes we use this tag even if, after discovering the correct answer, we realize it is something we should probably have gotten, or that makes sense now that we think of it in a different way. Other times, even if we really didn't know an answer but it's just one square (or two), we'll use FWOE or FWTE. It's a judgement call, and we don't judge - use whatever you feel is appropriate.
FIC = False Imperative Clue
This is our acronym for clues like "Wait here!" for "RESTAURANT," or "Listen here!" for "EAR."
This tag has a few different levels of severity, and can be used differently by different people. It signals an error that results in not getting the "Congratulations" message immediately upon filling in all the letters. Sometimes the "Error" is just a typo or an honest mistake that probably would have been caught before handing in the puzzle if solving on paper, and sometimes it's a real mistake.
FWTE = Finished with Two Errors
As above, only for two incorrect squares. Any more than this, and it usually changes to a DNF.HAFDTNYTCPFCA = Horace and Frances Discuss the New York Times Crossword Puzzle Featuring Colum Amory
The official acronym for the official name of this blog. It rolls off the tongue.
KITWO MOMENT = Confusion caused by the mis-parsing of an answer.
Once, when all three of us were solving a puzzle together, and the answer to "Peak on the Pakistani-Chinese border" turned out to be KTWO. For some reason, even though each of us knew of the mountain's existence, we did not, perhaps, know exactly where it was, so it didn't come immediately to mind, and for a minute or so we all were saying "Kitwo?! What the hell is kitwo?!?"
KOFCA = Known Only From Crossword Answers
Often seen as KOFCA-esque. These are words we think are chiefly known from their use in crosswords. It all depends, of course, but many solvers might know words like "etui," "ogee," and baseball's ALOU family from crosswords. KOFCA-esque words differ from "crosswordese," in that "crosswordese" is used (by us anyway) for well-known words that appear frequently, like "Oreo," and "Erie."
Pinwheel Theme = A theme with material in both the Across and Down answers.
QMC / Non QMC = Question Mark Clue / Non Question Mark Clue
Sometimes particularly clever or tricky clues end with a question mark, sometimes they don't. Sometimes we feel it's necessary, sometimes we think it gives too much away.Revealer = The Clue/Entry pair that explains the theme
The Turn = The Thursday, Friday, and Saturday puzzles taken together as a group
The week of puzzles can be divided into three groups: The "early week" puzzles, all relatively easy, each with a theme; the Sunday puzzle, unique due to its larger size; and "The Turn," or the three "end-of-week" puzzles. Thursday often has a special trick, and Friday and Saturday usually contain the cleverest clues and the most interesting entries. This last group is our favorite, so we gave it a name.
ToC = Tricky or Clever
Used as shorthand for the category we like to call "Tricky or Clever" clues.