Sharing the Fun (Part 2)
By Lunqui Bop (Lunch Boy and Quip)Combining talents to write Enigma puzzles offers yet another way to have fun and develop friendships in the NPL. Why not just write your own flats? Well, for one thing, you might doubt your ability to present the material to its best advantage. For another, you might notice that combining your nom with another is amusing or interesting in itself (more about that in a second).
Collaborations can take many forms, of course, but the most common method occurs when one Krewe member discovers a base (wordplay) for a flat and another contributes the verse. The usual protocol is that the base goes to the versifier, the result comes back for approval or more give-and-take, and eventually a completed flat goes to the Editor for Enigma consideration.
When people collaborate on a puzzle, a combined byline (combinom) readily or fancifully identifies both authors. The general guideline for combinoms is that the first part of the base-finder’s nom is attached to the last part of the versifier’s nom. For instance, if Wabbit contributes a base and Mangie writes a verse, the byline might be WABBIE or WANGIE. Quip and Panache have combined as QUICHE; Ulk and Joker, as ULKER.
The guideline is flexible and often bent with an eye to aesthetics. For instance, LUNKHEAD is the combinom Lunch Boy and QED use. (The Lun from “Lunch Boy” followed by “QED” - or, at least, the sound “QED” would make if you pronounced it as a single word instead of its individual letters). Munro and Lunch Boy have collaborated as MUNCH ROY; Meki and Mr. Tex as TEX-MEX.
To complete the byline, the authors’ cities are similarly combined. The first part of the base-finder’s city precedes the last part of the verse-writer’s city and each author’s state abbreviation contributes one letter (with appropriate accommodations for international collaborations).
The individual contributors to a combiflat (the NPL term for a flat written by more than one author) are listed in the puzzle notes in the front of The Enigma.