koshatnik: Not only a shadow group but practically a whole grid full of shadows. Like Orlando I was convinced there was a money group as well as the wedding anniversaries. This is the good kind of fiendish - thank you! (2 weeks, 3 days ago)
Mister Tom: Fair enough. I can see what you mean though: 13909 paradoxically requires you to obsess about Cricket to be an interesting grid. ( If you weren't tempted by any of Wood Root Bell Flower and Broad it falls apart rather fast.)
and yes, silk is an an anniversary gift. (And yes, I had to look that one up.) (2 weeks, 3 days ago)
JamesD: I think of this style as the "shadow group" more than a simple density of red herrings - and the nice thing you've done here is to preserve the shadows right down to the last eight. It's certainly something you'll sometimes see on Only Connect, particularly from the quarter finals onward, but here you've done very well in picking a category that (my personal experience) we know to exist but we're not very clear on. Is there a silk anniversary?
I tried 13909 on your recommendation, but feel you've missed the target there that you hit so splendidly here.
The key there is to look for the way into your grid. Opening this one, it would make little sense to try to use "Silver" to crack it, as that could go so many ways: silver medal, the silver screen, Ag, anagram of sliver/livers, Long John Silver, the Lone Ranger's horse, Sylva, da Silva, Nate Silver...
In 13909, I didn't even see your cricket shadow group, because each of the words could also fit into so many other categories that I skipped over them. Sure, "Pad" could be cricket, but it could equally be a launchpad or a touchpad or a footpad or an iPad or a million other things. It doesn't look like a way in, while "Tiptoe" and "Catholic" do. By the time a user gets to be pondering a cricket connection, it's already broken.
Contrast that with this one - the shadow group members look like an easy way in, with not too many potential connections, but that's leading the user ever further astray. (2 weeks, 3 days ago)
Mister To: *blushes* pleased people enjoyed it. IMO good grids can differ: the odd obscurity is ok as a "knowledge bonus" especially if it allows a group to be simply identified- and the show itself is fond of the odd unguessable trivia group (last series walls had the Octonauts and I'm a celebrity winners in!) But I too tend to prioritise herring density for walls, and anniversary gifts just kept giving :-)
If you liked this, 13909 is of similar ilk. (2 weeks, 3 days ago)
JamesD: Absolutely agree, fantastic grid. In addition to the comments already made by my esteemed colleagues, I'd just like to highlight how this is a challenging and interesting grid precisely because it doesn't rely on any obscure or questionable facts. That makes it much more fair, and much more fun.
I very rarely rate 5 stars for quality, just so I can pull it out for this kind of thing. (2 weeks, 4 days ago)
Andy P: Agree with below comments, I was convinced wedding gifts would be a connection here, but I guess that was a deliberate decoy theme running through the grid. Very clever. I scored 5/10 personally. (2 weeks, 4 days ago)
Caz231231: Fantastic grid, really enjoyed it. (2 weeks, 4 days ago)
Orlando: Lost among the fish again. Kept looking for wedding anniversaries and money-related terms. Liked the "back" link. (2 weeks, 4 days ago)