The Copy Culture Cryptic Crossword

from the puzzlebox dept

I don’t know if we have any fans of cryptic crosswords in the Techdirt audience, but if so, this one’s for you. I’ve been putting this together slowly on and off over the past few months, and now it’s ready: the Copy Culture Cryptic. We’re posting it this week in lieu of the standard “favorites” post.

If you’re an expert at cryptics and a regular Techdirt reader, this should be a breeze. All the answers relate in some way or another to the worlds of the internet, media, intellectual property and technology in general. Be warned: there are a few acronyms and proper names of organizations, and some clues that are a little more on the playful side.

If you don’t know how to do cryptic crosswords, and thus the clues sound like they were written by Homsar or someone with expressive aphasia, now is as good a time as any to learn about these awesome puzzles (you’ll never go back to regular crosswords again).

Sadly, I haven’t yet found an easy way to create an interactive version, so you’ll have to use your imagination or download the printable PDF. And if anyone knows a good online crossword platform that doesn’t rely on a Java applet, let me know…

1. Kick start (4)
3. Right after six, America gets infection (5)
6. With acknowledgements, reveals modification (4)
8. Collaborated on and bragged about bad grade at bad church (12)
10. Software publishers initially bemoan slow adoption (3)
11. Television standard is oddly not a sect (4)
13. Terrible prefix and terrific prefix for the obsolete (4)
15. Note measurement for collection society (3)
16. Cultural commons remixed old iambic pun (6,6)
17. Activists cut short, shortly (4)
18. Amended drier amendment (5)
19. Bully sacrifices rights for a fee (4)
1. Join in bed, CENSORED (7)
2. The post-singularity internet? (3,3,2,4)
4. Breach in perimeter – deliberate, we heard (12)
5. Without fail, freely feeds 16D (4)
7. PAC is revising bad security bill (5)
9. Short albums earn points slowly at first (3)
12. Means “passage” (7)
14. Communication regulators, internally, hit undo (3)
15. Pursue eBay item and double down, almost (3,2)
16. Endlessly looks to 5D (4)

I’ll post the answers in a week or so, assuming nobody’s solved it by then!

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Comments on “The Copy Culture Cryptic Crossword”

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Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Free interactive crossword publishing

I looked at that one, and while the publishing service has relatively permissive terms (only stopping you from putting puzzles behind a paywall), the Across Lite software itself, for making the puzzles, has far more restrictive non-commercial terms:

You may use the Software on any computer for non-commercial purposes. You may not use the Software to derive commercial value for yourself or for any commercial organization or government agency without the prior written consent of LitSoft.

Considering this is a commercial website, it seems using it to make crosswords here would violate the TOS. I suspect they don’t really enforce that term, but nevertheless, it really put me off. “Non-commercial” terms are stupid and obsolete on the internet.

Of course, if there was considerable interest in this kind of thing, we’d totally consider a commercial license — but im pretty sure this has very niche appeal and is not something i’ll be doing too regularly.

Anonymous Coward says:


It’s a pretty sad week for TD this week, what you could not come up with anything for click bait.

you really need an Aaron Swartz article or something, how are you going to be able to go out for dinner this week ??

A very weak week on TD,

and now you admit, you cant even create a crossword, with the full power of the internet to support you… !!!!

I guess technology is just not your thing, but I am sure one day you will find out what you good at.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Masnick

It’s a pretty sad week for trolls this week, what you could not come up with even one logical statement for click bait.
You really need to piss all over the articles, how are your you going to earn your troll money to feed your family this week?
A very weak week for trolls,
And now you admit that you have literally nothing better to say than to go “You stupid” merely for someone trying to create a crossword puzzle.
I guess logic isn’t your thing (and more importantly, READING COMPREHENSION! Check the author of this article, quick hint, it ain’t Mike)

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Masnick

So tell me…where’s your crossword puzzle? Go on. Show us. I want to see the standard that everyone else must reach. Obviously, you must be a master puzzle creator.

Or more than likely, this. You’re the guy who sees people around him attempting things that require brain power. You know deep down inside that you can’t do it. This makes you angry. In your rage, you turn up and stomp all over everything. Were you the guy in high school smashing the nerd’s science projects?

The only thing accomplished by your comments here is revealing how stupid you are.

twilightfog says:

Re: Re: Re: Masnick

And what’s wrong with trying ? Its not like its a crossword puzzle site and we expect perfect crosswords over here.

You must be a big crossword enthusiast to go batshit crazy over a crossword puzzle post. Mike should be sorry (I guess he should take the blame for everything) to offend your delicate crossword senses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

because a lot of people here think that TD is designed to inform them and actually contains ‘facts’, when in fact what is posted here is posted with the sole intension of making money.

TD fills the small gap of being worth a read for it’s amusement value, and is not valuable enough to be worth copying..

but just like a book publisher, or a movie producer, it’s about getting the punters to watch, click or buy.

It’s intension is to make money, that takes preference over everything else, especially the truth.

As for quality, it being ‘commercial’ quality is disputable.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So what?

Most people here that you called dumb, actually don’t care that it is a commercial thing, Techdirt can make all the money they can is not like they are calling others criminals for sharing something, or want beyond the grave control over what they produce.

Did you receive any takedowns from the Techdirt people?
Legal threats perhaps? nasty correspondence calling you a thief?

No that is the province of the defenders of monopolies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Did I say I care ??

I don’t think so, I don’t care about TD probably just as much as you don’t !!!! where have I called someone ‘dumb’ ??

I think your confusing your ‘imagination’ with reality.

But if you want to refer to TD readers as ‘mostly’ dumb then I am not going to argue with you on that point.

Also, ‘dumb’ and not technically literate are not the same thing. And I do say the writers at TD are certainly not ‘technically literate’.

Sure, they might be smart at some things, (like flipping burgers), but not technology.

“I haven’t yet found an easy way to create an interactive version”

So it’s find or nothing, forget working it out yourself.. leave that to the technically literate.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

So basically, you’re a great person, you’re smart, you’ve seen through the lies, everyone else is dumb, this website makes money, it’s the devil’s whore, the Googlez is scanning your brain, no-one else on this site is technically literate besides you…and what was that bit about maybe providing evidence of how great you are?
I don’t care if Leigh can program an interactive version of this crossword or not. No one else does. I care if someone comes along, waves their tiny dick around and goes “Hur hur, you’re dumb!” merely for not knowing how to do one specific task.
If you’re so great and smart, why don’t you program the crossword? Put it up and then wonder why the fuck no-one even clicks on the link you’ll provide – it’ll be because you’re a colossal dick-hole who goes to great effort to make as many people as possible dislike him.

Anonymous Coward says:

Almost done?

Here’s what I’ve got (ROT-13’d to avoid anyone being unintentionally spoilered). Missing three letters, fairly confident in the rest. If there are any errors, someone who’s solved it (or its author) might want to point them out (use ROT-13 to avoid spoiling anyone else).

Some of the clues are quite clever, IMO.

##O B B G ######I V E N Y ##
##Y ####U N P X ##A #### ##
##B ####R ##V ####S #### ##
##P E B J Q F B H E P R Q ##
##X ####R ##C ####V ##C ####
##R ####O F N ####A G F P ##
##Q V A B ####O T ####U ##
####G ##S ####V ##R ####N ##
##C H O Y V P Q B Z N V A ##
##R ####V ####B ##R ####A ##
##R ####P ##N A B A ####R ##
##E V Q R E ######G B Y Y ##

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Almost done?

I most definitely would have to go with OVT for that. Not sure if I should list out the reasoning here but I figure its been long enough that only the truly interested might venture to this point. Note being money, bills, and collection societies certainly don’t deal for pennies.

This was pretty fun. Took me a bit to get the hang of the idea of Cryptic. Haven’t even dealt with crosswords for quite some time.

Thanks for this.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Almost done?

Nah, not quite ๐Ÿ™‚ There is another, sneakier usage of “note” in cryptic clues that lets it refer to one of 7 letters… hinthint

Measurement is pretty flexible, since there are many two-letter symbols that are types of measurements… hinthint

But really, the easiest way is to get 4d and 15d, at which point the answer should be obvious ๐Ÿ™‚

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Almost done?

Ok, so it was OZT. For some reason I had thought of that, but was thinking of them in just the terms of the old “buy 1 cd get 10 free and order some in the future” type deal music sellers. Didn’t realize they were a larger group these days (they may have been separate and just have same acronym).

I am going to admit that I used the above ROT13 to check my answers as I went along once I was confident. Not too bad though for my first cryptic. Again, thank you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Almost done?

OZT is part of the name of a record label, so far as I can recall, not a collection society.

It’s not on either Wikipedia’s list of collection societies or the list of all company tags ever appearing on Techdirt articles tagged with “collection society” or “collection societies”. (OZV is on both, though. But doesn’t fit 4D.)

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Almost done?

Hmm, yeah, that’s kinda fair — collection society was perhaps a bit imprecise. However, they’re not far off — long after they shuttered as a label, they carried on as OZT Rights Management, and where in charge of collecting licensing fees for all sorts of stuff in their catalogue (but i suppose not quite a “society” in the sense of groups like ASCAP)

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Almost done?

OZV was the first answer that came to my mind when I read through the clues initially. Like you said though, doesn’t fit 4D.

I also ended up searching the wikipedia list of collection groups. In the end I went with assuming it was OZT, and then just wikipedia-ed(?) OZT where I found what they are today. Figure it fits well enough (as Leigh just covered some of the thoughts behind it as well).

Anonymous Coward says:

Sadly, I haven’t yet found an easy way to create an interactive version, so you’ll have to use your imagination…

So typical of TD, either you ‘find’ something to copy off, or you don’t do it at all.

No concept of actually creating anything yourself !!!… no

If you cant find it and copy it, it just cant be done !!!

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Sigh. Do you even open your sad little eyes and read anything before shooting your sad little mouth off?

As I believe I have made perfectly clear, I will gladly (in fact eagerly) build a crossword platform if there is sufficient interest. But interactive web development takes time (not that i’d expect you to know that) and my job here at techdirt is not “crossword guy” so it wasn’t exactly my top priority when I had no idea how many people in our audience would be interested.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This is actually smart for a troll. The real star of the show is out_of_the_blue, or as I like to call him, hasn’t_got_a_clue.
This guy here, whoever he is, is at least staying consistent with his “I’m smart, ur dumb, hur hur”. It’s basic, compared to the true trolls.

Blue though, (sometimes bob) have admitted to rarely, if ever, reading the articles, then finding phrases that don’t actually mean anything and using those phrases to go ape-shit. They consistently call everyone a pirate apologist, and a thief, and continued doing this earlier in the week when I started posting photos of all the games and hardware I had bought. No, even after showing PS3 and DS games, I must have stolen half of it, I mean, it’s not like people actually pay for things, everyone’s a thief!
Blue also likes to complain that people “steal” his user-name (and like copyright infringement, it’s not theft, but he doesn’t let this little fact get in his way of a good rant) in order to parody him, and then complains when these other blue’s parody his writing style (I remember once seeing an exchange of “I’m the real blue!” “No, I am!” “No, I’m the real blue!” and despairing for humanity). Does Blue make a signed in account, something that is very easy? No.

Then you have bob. Bob’s a great man. He will take any position, no matter how moronic or downright evil it sounds, as long as it is a position directly opposite what Mike and the others write. He’s legendary for one article a while back, where e-book publishers wanted to raise the cost of e-books sold to libraries. He went on an insane rant, railing against LIBRARIES and calling them gatekeepers.

Lastly, you have average_joe. He does have a signed in account, but hasn’t used it since last December. There were times before then when he would post under Anonymous Coward, and then say it’s because he’s on his wife’s laptop. Okay, I’ve done something similar. We all have. However, in the four months since December he must have divorced her and gotten the laptop in the proceedings, because he’s continued to post but not on his account. Either that, or he forgot his account password and is too stupid to try and use the password reset tool that pretty much every website has.
Joe is a character. He frequently says he’s a law student, but will always take the position of “It’s the LAW!!!!”, as in, only the letter of the law matters, and not it’s spirit, intent or whether the law itself is damaging. Joe has a horrible aching man-crush on Mike Masnick because he has admitted, point blank, to stalking him through this website FOR YEARS and constantly sends demands for a semi-private-public date where he can demonstrate his oral sensitivity. I’ve gotta hand it to Joe, at least he’s faithful, because he constantly says in the public forum he doesn’t want anyone else butting in on his planned date (wait, didn’t I mention he said he has a wife? WTF?)

So there you have it. Our most frequent opponents, those who publicly praise copyright law as Holy Scripture that must never be challenged. And to this day, they still wonder why they’ve failed to convert anyone on this site to their weird, crazy cult.

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