Obviously elegance is in the eye of the beholder, but to my eye there is a huge difference between anagramming theme answers/parts of theme answers vs deriving a series of letters from the theme answers which must then be anagrammed to get the meta answer.CPJohnson wrote: ↑Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:36 amAnagramming has been required a few times in the past. One example is the 4-26-19 puzzle; there are others. I'll mention a few others later if no one else has done it by the time I get back.It's 5:30 am, and I'm leaving to go get in line for my Covid vaccine.C=64 wrote: ↑Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:33 am From what I've seen (which isn't comprehensive and others can chime in), the constructors always take care to arrange the letters in order somehow: top to bottom, left to right, in a spiral if that fits the theme... Whenever a solver says they randomly anagrammed some letters to get the meta answer, they're missing something or doing it wrong.
I don't particularly like anagrams and wouldn't mind if neither was used. But I can acknowledge the former as a reasonable meta mechanism. The latter just feels sloppy and careless, as if the creator couldn't be bothered to arrange things properly. I have seen it on occasion, but never that I recall (I'm never sure enough to say absolutely never) in a WSJ meta.