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Raider
(@raider)
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Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 27
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If a clue is posed as a question but doesn't contain any foul play, is it okay to close with a question mark? It feels grammatically incorrect to omit one, but on the other hand, it feels unfair to mark it as unfair when it's not unfair... so to speak.


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Laccaria
(@laccaria)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 10
 

I think that's a contentious point: some will say yes, some say no.  I'm not sure what Ximenes' view is.

Many setters use a "?" to indicate a definition-by-example (DBE), when some sort of indicator is obligatory by Ximmy standards.

Looking through my most recent offering on here (no.68), I see that in 10a/1a and 27a the ? is to indicate a DBE.  But in 18a and 5d it's more about the surface.


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Raider
(@raider)
Member Admin
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 27
Topic starter  

@laccaria - thanks that's useful. It's cropped up a couple of times and I've opted to rewrite the clue each time due to uncertainty. Sounds like there's a reasonable argument for both so it's fair game either way.


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Conto
 Conto
(@Conto)
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Joined: 3 months ago
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I personally think it’s fine to use a question mark just for the surface reading. 


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Cormac
(@cormac)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 2
 

I think a question mark is fine if there's any reason at all for it. It's not your fault if the solver misinterprets! 😀 

I read Ximenes's book, and I do remember he advised against a self-congratulatory "?" or "!" - I do see quite a lot of those in the national press.


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