First post on these forums can't believe it actually as I always end up browsing them... anyway...
Sorry to bounce a 4yo thread but it still has relevance.
I am actually doing exactly what is described in this thread but I have one further question and that is:
Do I then have to restart cron after making the change to have it take effect?
My guess is that since you are still using the actual crontab command, not just directly editing the cron file, then no, as I imagine it still runs the install / restart itself, as if you have just run a crontab -e?
Is this correct?
"crontab -e username" edits the live crontab and notifies cron of the change. There is no need to restart cron.
The technique suggested by "Just Ice" can be improved by copying the crontab twice to different names. You then have the original crontab saved if something goes wrong and a baseline file to "diff" against.