Let me start with my bugbear: ellipses.
In DA’s book, Puzzled, he mentioned that comfort with ellipses was a sign of cryptic mastery. I’m more than willing to concede that I am no cryptic master, but I think the inconsistent way ellipses are used is simply unfair.
This week, it was 7 and 8 across that were connected by ellipses, which ordinarily has no effect on how one interprets the clue, but on this occasion 8 across required the last word of 7 across, brothers, to make sense.
If such a reading were standard or if it was marked, I’d have no problem with it, but it’s the inconsistency — mostly you don’t need to worry about ellipses, sometimes you do — that annoys me.
Am I the only one howling at the moon?
Other controversial points:
- I wouldn’t like pink = red or orange = yellow, and I reckon brown = maroon is just as weak;
- I’m OK with rose referring to the wine — is the general consensus that that was crossing the line, though?
- blind as an anagram indicator — can anyone justify that?
- service as an anagram indicator: jnrj didn’t like it, but I find it acceptable.
So, your thoughts?