— by Loquacious (Feb2007)
In the last year or so, I have talked to quite a few members (both new and old) who are under the misconception that there are restrictive rules about sending in kudos and bangs for the Enigma puzzles. In fact, enough people have said (a) “Oh, I thought I had to solve a puzzle in order to give it kudos”; or (b) “Oh, I thought I had to send in a list of solutions in order to send in kudos”; or (c) “What’s kudos?” that I think it is time to talk about the real rules for them. [If you’re in the (c) group, see the glossary in the Guide]
Rule One: You do not have to solve a puzzle to find it worthy of gratitude and admiration. Kudos is given because you find a puzzle particularly pleasing, even if you have not solved it. A puzzle can get kudos because someone just starting out does well, or a verse is clever even though the base is not a barn-burner, or . . . well, for whatever reason you want. I have given my bang to a puzzle that drove me nuts and that I never solved, but when I saw the answer I was floored. In other words, kudos is given for any reason you want to say thank you.
Rule Two: You do not have to submit a list of solutions to our solutions editor, Pebbles, in order to send in kudos and bangs to her. You do not have to earn the right to give kudos. Anyone can say “well done!”
Rule Three: Neither kudos nor bangs are rated by anyone but you. If you liked a puzzle because it amused you, or because you could solve it and that made you happy, then give it your thumbs-up. This is the only external reward composers get for the time and effort put into constructing a puzzle. A bang (!) is an extra-special reward given to that one puzzle for the month that pleased you in some way special only to you. It does not have to be the hardest puzzle or the longest puzzle or the shortest puzzle. A bang goes to your favorite puzzle.
Rule Four: Be generous with your kudos, and do select one puzzle that gets your bang. [It’s good form to award a bang, even if there is only one kudos on your list.—Ed.] As a lightweight contributor and composer, I cannot tell you how thrilling and pleasing it is to me when someone is kind enough to tell me they liked my efforts. For the heavy hitters who spend many, many hours constructing those amazingly brilliant flats, forms, crypts, extras, and cryptics, I can only imagine how much they appreciate being told how great they are (because they are). But as one of the lighter contributors, I can also tell you that the kudos I’ve received have encouraged me that I’m not unworthy and that I should keep contributing.
Rule Five: Send your kudos to the solutions editor as soon as you can after solutions are due (or even before if you are finished with that issue). Sax asked for more puzzles in almost every issue. I think that if more people sent more kudos, we would have more composers and more puzzles. If I’m on the right track here, perhaps Crax will not have to send out this plea again. As one of our members said to me when I asked him if I should say something about this, “It’s all we get.” It’s good manners, too.
— by Wampahoofus (Mar2007)