In the comments, you’ll find the solutions to the crossword I made recently.
Feel free to criticise, praise or ignore.
1. only mistaken musiic title = sole mistaken sic ms = solecisms = its they’re
6. a core trait of Dublin Guinness = a core trait of Dublin Guinness drinkers = bling = ostentatious style
9. the blind Cartesian sum at home asking why = blind I am (cogito ergo sum) nest y = amnesty = pardon
10. nitrogen reduction scheme = no nitrogen plan = no n plan = non-plan = extraordinary
11. electricity target diminished public transport = e x diminished tram = extra = supplementary
11. energy target diminished public transport = e x diminished tram = extra = supplementary
12. man to make model = guy forge t = Guy Forget = tennis player
13. alternative vow on the phone = toy (type the word vow on your phone and it could be toy) = He-man figure
14. capsicums are cooked to perfection without salt = americas cups without S = America’s cup = prize
16. lacerating first lashes = half-sisters = sis doubled
18. first person to needle long-gone = I to needle BC = bic = writer
19. museum point to low-grade Cola = MOMA n D pop = mom and pop = LA folks
21. 00 = 0 void = ovoid = 0
23. a form of relief inside meal container south of the border = bas inside taco = tabasco = sauce
24. wizard’s home reversed acid’s distorting = oz reversed diacs = zodiacs = celestial bands (7)
25. concise = pithy
26. issue profanity on short notice at visitors short of breath = fuck you on short notice tourists short of breath = FU tourists – O = futurists = forward-looking fans
1. speak clearly = spake = what was once spoken
2. weakened spirit dwells within stolen hymns thinned = G and T dwells within lenhy = lengthy = of over 1000 pages
3. mended limbs = cast aways = castaways = Gilligan and the Skipper
4. Saints kick twenty behinds = Saints kick twenty = sky = heavens
5. full moon = sunnyside up = cooked eggs in style (9, 2)
6. forbid Simpson rerun = ban OJ rerun = Banjo = poet
7. positive in rap on first private light = ill o gi c = illogic = nonsense
7. positive in rap on first private ton = ill o gi 100 = illogic = nonsense
8. nihilistic generation usually friendless = gen 0 typically – ally = genotypic = hereditary
12. Travolta aversion = Grease proof = greaseproof = immune to buttering up? (11)
13. a hot run around waiting on Tim = toha waiting on mit up = to ham it up = to overdo things
15. statistical knavery by the German = ABS con der = absconder = Biggs
17. timbale beat = lame bit = ho-hum section
18. delayed Sam’s tumultuous life story = delayed mass bio = biomass = organic material
20. no laidback shack = na sty = brutish
22. abridged Springfield sitcom in the first instance = abridged Dusty s = dusts = cleans up
24. Zidane a couple before time = zi t = zit = spot
13 across is the new kind of clue that RC suggested. I quite like it as a clue type and would like to see more of it.
And I also just realised that 25 across has another feasible answer which doesn’t fit in with the rest of the clues: TERSE.
I lacked explanations for several of my answers. And still do, despite AS’s solutions above. Here we go with queries/whinges:
1A: The bit I didn’t get (and still don’t get) is why “musiic” => SIC. Is it a modern music term, or something to do with the Latin “sic”?
9A: Very clever. And very difficult – I think I got this one out on about day 10!
10A: I worked out this one from the wordplay. But the answer isn’t a word I’m familiar with. I couldn’t find it in my Shorter Oxford Dictionary, and when I googled I came up with this gem: “NonPlan is a simple regressive, propositional planner designed mainly to demonstrate what planning scenarios, and their solutions, may look like in a formalism allowing nondeterministic context-dependent operators and arbitrarily incomplete initial state”!!! What were you saying, AS, a few weeks ago about recondite, abstruse answers?
11A: Electricity = e? I don’t like abbreviations of this sort. I know a lot of abbreviations are standard in crosswords, and it’s hard to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable. I tend to draw the line pretty close to the acceptable end, whereas Chambers (and UK crosswords) draw it at the other end of the spectrum.
13A: YUK!!!! Words cannot describe my revulsion! You say you’d like to see more of this type of clue, but I say please desist! Also, I didn’t like toy = He-man figure. A toy-boy is a younger partner of a much older woman, whereas a he-man is a strong virile man with surely no overtones of having a much older partner?
14A: I thought this was a pretty good clue aprt from the unnecessary “to perfection”, and one of those abbreviations I don’t like (salt=s). (I would accept salt=na, but not s. I suppose you’ll flaunt your newly purchased copy of Chambers at me!)
19A: MoMA was unknown to me and I had to google to confirm.
21A: I had OZONE for this, and I reckon it’s a pretty good &lit clue!
000 = OZONE (i.e. a zone for zeros or O’s) = O3 (three oxygen atoms)
Pretty neat, I thought. Pity it was wrong!
23A Why “south of the border”? This seems an unnecessary Americanism to me, or am I missing something?
24A: Pretty good clue. Was it coincidence that “wizard’s home” could have been OZ (first two letters) or ID (next two letters)?
25A: I couldn’t (and still can’t) see why this clue is cryptic? Where’s the wordplay? Surely the fact that the definition is “concise” doesn’t mean you can just omit the wordplay.
26A: I couldn’t (and still can’t) see why “breath” = O.
I’ll do the down clues another day.
Sorry for making it so hard, although I hope it was sufficiently enjoyable.
As for your queries, here are my responses:
1A: not sure if you’re aware, but when a newspaper or some such quotes someone who has made a spelling or grammatical mistake, a “sic” is usually added to say it’s not a misprint but is what the quoted person actually said or wrote, as in “He wrote on his blog: ‘I love musiic (sic)’”. Hence, “musiic” is a “sic” instance (and I used the word “musiic” to make it easier to get the “sic” reference)
10A: you probably wouldn’t find non-plan in a proper dictionary because it’s bureaucratic jargon, the kind you’d find in policy statements. I just searched for non-plan on Google, though, and found lots of examples of its use (but not the regressive propositional planner!)
11A: that one would have been better as energy = e. My mistake (and something I’ll fix right now).
13A: I quite like the clue type, although clearly that’s just a subjective thing. In terms of he-man figure, I was alluding to the he-man doll you can get and which I enjoyed as a kid. I wasn’t thinking toy boys at all.
14A: the “to perfection” was added to put people on the wrong track, although I think “cooked to perfection” is a reasonable anagram indicator even if it is wordier. I figured salt = s is OK because of salt and pepper shakers.
21A: Goddamn, ozone is a good one and something I wish I had thought of. You need to include that in a crossword you make.
23A: “South of the border” is one of the ways people from the USA refer to Mexico or something Mexican (and is also a way some people from NSW refer to Victoria or Melbourne). I added it to make TACO easier to work out.
24A: I didn’t think of the Wizard of Id at all. Pure luck how that worked out.
25A: I was thinking that the lack of wordplay is the wordplay, much like the famous non-clue whose answer was CLUELESS.
26A: I was thinking that when you’re short of breath, you’re lacking oxygen. So TOURISTS lacking oxygen are TURISTS.
1A: I found the sic part of this clue very confusing and unsatisfactory for a number of reasons:
a) To expect the solver to infer the word “sic” from a deliberate misspelling is IMO too big a stretch. I agree a deliberate misspelling may/should be followed by a “sic”, but this association doesn’t mean the misspelling and the “sic” are synonyms. It’s like saying a concert performance is the same as the applause that follows.
b) Using “musiic” as your “sic” instance actually made it more confusing (for me)! Because the letters s,i,and c were present, it looked like a play on the letters in “musiic”.
c) There were already two “sic” instances earlier in the clue, namely “its” and “they’re” which formed the definition of SOLECISMS.
Re 14A (to perfection) and 23A (south of the border) – something I read in Wikipedia seems to me a good general principle:
A good cryptic clue contains three elements:
- a precise definition
- a fair subsidiary indication
- nothing else
26A: Yes, I’m OK with this now. A little while after writing my last post, I realised that “short of breath” and “lacking oxygen” were pretty much the same thing.
1A: yep, you’re right, but I just liked that SIC backwards is in SOLECISMS too much.
On 23A, I thought “south of the border” was reasonable and a decent way to refer to Mexico.
On 14A, yep, you’re right — adding “to perfection” is an inelegant way to make the clue more difficult.
1A: I sympathise. Once spotted, the backwards “sic” in solecisms would be hard to resist.
23A: I wouldn’t have complained had we been in America.
Now for the down clues.
1D: The “what was once spoken” bit was pretty good. But the first bit, “speak clearly”, was terrible! For three reasons. Firstly, the anagram was too easy. Secondly, the anagram indicator was poor IMO. And lastly, you gave the answer away with the very first word of the clue. OK it was the present tense when the required answer was the (archaic) past tense, but that’s still a no-no, surely? In fact, this clue was so easy, it was difficult! I kept thinking it couldn’t possibly be “spake”!
2D: This was very tough. Took me ages. But my only real quibble is that “of over 1000 pages” is a bit tenuous for the direct def, esp when the cryptic part is so tough.
3D: mended limbs = cast aways? Casts away? Either way, it’s iffy. But the direct def is easy. Or at least it would have been, had I been familiar with “Gilligan’s Island”!
4D: Absolutely brilliant!!
6D: Not sure about this use of “rerun”. Doesn’t it mean to run again rather than backwards? But this clue was pretty easy, despite the misleading non-reference to your favourite sitcom.
7D: This one took me ages. I only got it after getting Americas Cup. And I still don’t understand the cryptic part, apart from “GI”.
8D: I’d never heard of this word, but managed to work it out after several days! One quibble: “gen 0″ for “nihilistic generation”? This is your invention, isn’t it? Google was no help.
13D: I like it! “Tim” = MIT UP.
17D: Nice one. Only quibble is “lame bit” is not in common parlance, is it?
20D: Isn’t it spelt “nah”?
22D: Good one. This is the only one I didn’t get. And it was because I got OZONE for 21A. Come to think of it that’s two I didn’t get! And I should have got this one because Dusty S was in my time – the 60′s.
First up, thanks for the comments. It’s always good to get feedback, and even DA himself praised this blog for the same reason.
Now, my responses:
1D: yep, easy, although I was hoping that the flow of the clue would have made spotting the definition a bit more difficult.
2D: yep, super difficult all round, especially when the strange letter distribution of LENGTHY makes guessing the answer from cross clues equally difficult, but I liked the surface reading.
3D: that pesky plural is a bit like mother-in-laws and mothers-in-law — I still prefer mother-in-laws just because it’s more natural to say.
6D: I reckon rerun is fine when you consider that redo, for instance, usually means to do something again in a different or better way.
7D: rappers often use “ill” as a synonym for “good”. I figure if slang from the olden days can trip people up, so should slang from the current day. Once you know that, the rest is easy: on first = o, light = c.
8D: Gen 0 is one of those cryptic constructions that I invented to get a good surface reading.
13D: you do have a fondness for the cryptic part in the solution.
17D: LAME BIT I think is a common slang expression amongst the youth, although it is bordering on just two words coming together for no reason, a bit like LOST CAT in the DA crossword a few weeks ago.
20D: I think an informal no is written a few ways, one of which is NA (or NUH, NUP, NUM and probably a few others).
22D: I thought this one, while not the hardest, was the most deceptive. “In the first instance” was unnecessarily wordy, but I thought I hid the reference to Dusty S pretty well.
7D: Hmmm. But maybe current day slang should not be employed until the generation using it start doing cryptic crosswords. Maybe wait another 20 years? Don’t respond to this last idea – I’m only half serious!
Anyway, back to the clue: if you’d said “good in rap” that might have been gettable. But first we have to get from “positive” to “good” and then to “ill”. (Positive is not always good… think HIV).
on first = O: good one, well disguised.
light=C? Whoa! Surely C=speed of light!?
17D: Yes. It reminded me of the LOST CAT a few weeks ago.
22D: Yes, I omitted to give you the credit you deserved for this one. Once again, your misleading reference to the Simpsons threw me off the track entirely. If I’d not botched 21A (ovoid/ozone) I would have got this one.
7D: I hang my head in shame. How foolish! And to think I still remember fondly the thrill in Year 11 physics with Mr Sitnai of being taught what E = mc^2 actually meant and why atomic bombs happen. Now fixed in crossword.
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