There has been some feedback on last week’s post about whether or not the presence of a pseudonym affects solvers’ comments.
I should have added that I was aware of the selection effect – if setter X turns up and you hate his/her guts, then you’re unlikely to solve the puzzle in the first place and also unlikely to comment if you did. The exchange:
“What didn’t you like?”
“Didn’t solve it”
carries little heft. Of course, I cannot rule out the chance that there may be ranks of Russian hackers and/or bots waiting to post AI-generated comments, but on balance the fact that you’re getting comments at all means that they’re probably more or less well-disposed towards you.
There again, my last EV didn’t get any comments, except from me. Sniff…
There was also a remark from one of the editors about my schadenfreude at seeing bloggers’ critical comments directed at an editorial intervention. This was to the effect that solvers don’t get to see the original clue. I thought about this for a while and realised I’d noticed on occasion that a requested amendment had been made and not incorporated, so solvers did see the original. But what to take from that? A forgetful editor? A replacement worse than the original? But sometimes the replacement is merely my acceding to the editor’s suggestion – and it doesn’t appear. Change of heart? Change of deadline?
Editors, of course, are paid to tolerate grumbles such as these. And of course the London crew of editors gather on occasion to swap horror stories about us setters. Not much of that conversation goes up on a website, I bet.
Meanwhile, the Valentine’s Day Telegraph Toughie will be mine, and would otherwise have occurred before my regular update next weekend. And today’s weather (intermittent torrents failing to disperse a mugginess you can almost chew – but apparently the big tropical cyclone is next weekend) has allowed to finally put a test run of a widget I’ve been sat on for months. I will refine this over the coming weeks, but let’s just see how the dummy run looks.