An AS Cryptic from Jakarta

I haven’t attempted a cryptic since leaving Melbourne, but I have created one.

Here it is:

AS cryptic crossword special


1. Chris Judd befuddled men in a strange trance (9)

6. Pace is discontinued contempt before a monocle (5)

9. Psycho stabber went nutty escaping Brazil (5)

10. Twisted Leopard author prefers fusionable over fissionable material as a light cover (9)

11. The nasty red who sings about honeymoons coming to an end? (3, 5, 3)

12. Numerical abbreviation in bar (3)

13. He will love your ice-breaking conversation (5)

14. Male odd retreat meets chariot racer on the waterways of an Amerindian tribe (4, 5)

16. Navel content to watch poor grades as the progenitors of fabric (4, 5)

18. I object to sitcom shoe sellers’ cereals (5)

20. Treasonous Nixon cops the first, second and third part of the end point (3)

21. Not koalas, skippy, a defunct uniform from Queensland (5, 6)

24. AA’s twelve finished as one avoids the puddle (5, 4)

25. Seventh from the front left a frightening utterance (5)

26. Third baseman donkey-like with attitude (5)

27. Scottish Johns born on the banks of a river are Africans (9)


1. 125 – 2.718 sits in the middle measure (5)

2. Sick as a waterless hole in the ground? (3, 4)

3. Take a load off solid fungi where one finds redbacks? (9)

4. “Terrible” the French said of the director (5)

5. Larry, his brother Larry and his other brother Larry identify rumps heard to be boneless (9)

6. Ramshackle stories of an inventor (5)

7. More brawn that is ensconced in tamer misgivings (7)

8. Implications of manifest singles (9)

13. Shall bits lost, when uncovered, be present as a stench? (9)

14. An Arabic sea snake, a Jewish butter and a German win an actor (3, 6)

15. A German resident to hammer out murder number around a returned pig (9)

17. Post-prandial couch dwellers shortened card players (7)

19. Singing Divinyl broke her sound lease or a tall jug (7)

21. Dolly goes broke on a fork in the road (5)

22. Young family member between September and November went without a knight (5)

23. Of fat hatless searches (5)

5 thoughts on “An AS Cryptic from Jakarta

  1. Am I the only one to have tried this? Not quite up to DA’s standard so don’t give up your day job, just yet, AS! Several clues were tortured or dodgy, but I did like 1D (125 – 2.718). And I suppose just to create a crossword of any sort is quite an accomplishment. Note re 7D clue – correct spelling is ensconced, I believe.

    Only one I couldn’t get was 11A: it’s not THE CRUEL SEA, is it? Why?

    I couldn’t fully explain 6A (discontinued contempt = TEMP?), 14A (male odd retreat = LAKE?), 25A (seventh = G ROW?), and 14D (Huh?).

  2. Yep, 11A is THE CRUEL SEA, with the = the, nasty = cruel and red = sea (the red sea) and their famous song was the honeymoon is over.

    6A: discontinued contempt is contempt without cont, although that refers to the first three letters and the last letter of the word, which gives temp.

    14A: Male odd retreat means take the odd letters from the word male and make them go backwards in alphabetical order, which gives lake.

    25A: Yep, seventh from the front = g row.

    14D: Written Arabic and Hebrew reads from right to left, so sea snake = eel and butter = ram (a DA special), then from right to left that’s lee mar.

    German win is win with a German accent, which is vin.

    I think you might be the only person to have given it a go. Thanks for giving it a crack, and don’t worry, I’m under no illusions about my abilities.

    I made another one quite a few months ago now. I think that one had a couple of funny clues, although it had quite a few more tortured ones as well. Anyway, if you want to have a crack at that one, it’s at

    On the earlier crossword, there was a slight mistake on 28 across. On this crossword, though, I don’t see a mistake: ensconced is spelt ensconced. Well, it is now — thanks for the tip off!

  3. 11A: I was hung up on the novel by Nicholas Monsarrat (not that I’ve read it). I didn’t know about the Aussie rock band – I should have googled it earlier.

    6A: I don’t like the use of discontinued to indicate the removal of “cont”. Surely that should be “dis-cont-ed” (pity it’s not a real word), not “discontinued”. And it’s especially ugly when the “cont” being removed is not the first 4 letters, but the first 3 letters and the last one.

    14A: Pshaw! This is certainly a novel way of using “retreat”. I hope DA’s not reading this!

    25A: My mistake. I wrote down the clues manually (I don’t have a printer) and omitted the word “front”. Silly me!

    14D: I knew Arabic was right to left. Didn’t know about Hebrew though. I thought it might be “eel”, “ram”, and “vin”. I’d accept this clue better if it were an across clue. For it to work as a down clue, wouldn’t Arabic and Hebrew have to read from bottom to top? And “German win” = “vin” sounds a bit Basil Fawltyish. How about French wine? Too easy, maybe.

  4. 11A: The Cruel Sea were making the rounds when I was in high school. They’re forever etched into my musical memory.

    6A: cont is a standard abbreviation for continued, so discontinued I thought was a good way of removing those letters.

    I also deliberately used contempt so as to confuse. Sure, it’s a little ugly, but I figured that the natural tendency, when seeing the letters of cont lined up all in a row like that, is to extract those first four letters from contempt even though that is not the only option.

    14A: I was inspired by the reasoning behind the computer name HAL in 2001, although no one is entirely sure if the story is entirely true.

    25A: Does that mean you wrote out the crossword grid on paper as well?

    14D: I never consider the direction of the clue in the grid to matter. If you do think it matters, doesn’t that also make instructions like back, retreat, front etc. problematic? Or are those kinds of instructions only ever used on across clues and I haven’t noticed the whole time?

    And with the vin, I just wanted to be clever by using a cryptic instruction not before used. What should happen is that after years of practice the master begins to experiment. On this occasion, the neophyte jumped the gun, although I thought it was alright, and I like Basil Fawlty.

  5. 6A: You have made out a persuasive case in support of your clue. I feel a bit better about it now. (I’ve always used contd or cont’d as an abbreviation, but I see cont is acceptable).

    14A: Ah yes, IBM. I didn’t like that film at the time – I didn’t understand it – I saw it again on SBS a few months ago – I thought that a few decades of accumulation of life’s wisdom might help me to appreciate it more – but I was wrong!

    25A: Yes it does! Bit that was the easy bit. The worst part is writing out the clues (but at least I only had to write out those clues I hadn’t already solved in my head).

    14D: You make a good point about back, retreat, front etc. Like you, I’ll be paying special attention in future to these indicators to see how/whether they are applied to down clues. A quick survey (a couple of crosswords) suggests that words like up and on are used for down clues. I suppose if you think about Arabic being from right to left then it’s inappropriate for a down clue, but if you think of it as being in the reverse order, then it’s OK. I suppose we really need to know how an Arabic word would be written vertically. I suspect it would be top to bottom, in which case my objection would still stand………..I think……………my brain is starting to hurt!

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