Cryptic crossword #1
My first cryptic!
I am indebted to Thore Husfeldt for introducing me to cryptic crosswords in the first place. To my knowledge, this puzzle tradition is fairly unknown outside the English-speaking part of the world. This is presumably because the English language lends itself particularly well to the kind of wordplay employed in cryptic clues. And so, growing up in Sweden, I never quite understood why some characters in translated English works of fiction were so obsessed with crosswords. Now I know.
Enjoy, and beware of spoilers in the comments!
The clues in a cryptic crossword appear to be English phrases. However, don't let that fool you: The so called surface of a clue is only for show, and is unrelated to the word you are looking for. Instead, you must figure out a way to decipher the clue according to an established set of rules, in such a way that the correct answer is implied in two different ways.
Posted Friday 20-Feb-2015 11:06
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Sun 1-Mar-2015 23:40
Thu 5-Mar-2015 20:26
Particular favourites include 7A, 21A, 3D, 6D, 9D, 19D.
I disagree on the pronunciation of 14A.
Here’s what I’m unable to complete:
9A: I know the answer: “Our rice eaten by messenger.”
But I don’t understand what “modern” does.
15D: I don’t understand the wordplay for the last three letters.
4D: I know the answer: “Able to express four different cup sizes, Spooner to express disapproval of boobs.”
But I don’t understand your word play at all.
11D: I don’t get it.
Sat 7-Mar-2015 21:43
For 9A, the following tells you where to look: Plot variable follows error in setter's domain. (10)
For 11D, I will provide a hint in ROT-13: Guvf vf abg gur uvag.
For 15A (not 15D, right?), it's listed on Wiktionary as an obsolete word with Old English roots.
Finally, I will concede that 4D is not a very good clue. This was the original idea that sparked the creation of the crossword, and I couldn't bear to part with it. In hindsight, I apologise for the self-indulgence. Here's how it works (spoiler alert!): Note, first, that the clue asks for the "successor of" the spoonerism. There is an established expression (perhaps esoteric), for which the spoonerism encodes the first half, and the answer is the second half. The fodder peddler targets grazing livestock. The split (a stock market term) should be rephrased somewhat fancifully.
Sun 8-Mar-2015 16:43
(Very clever hint, by the way.)
Sun 8-Mar-2015 16:50
15A: Fair enough.
4D: I still don’t understand what you’re trying to do. (I assume that the answer is TWO BITS.)
Sun 8-Mar-2015 21:53
Yes, it's my own idea. You make a valid point, and I was actually considering something along those lines (with Tiber or Rubicon), but couldn't come up with a good surface reading.
Sun 8-Mar-2015 21:58
A modern is a monospaced font, such as Courier. (Confusingly, this is one of two different meanings of "modern" in typesetting.)
Mon 9-Mar-2015 08:53
TWO BITS: Maybe I can make SHARE CUT fit, but HAYVE? HAIF? — I think there are too many levels of indirection in that clue.
Mon 9-Mar-2015 21:16
Yes, it's clear by now that the clue has too many layers. Lesson learnt for next time!
Sun 5-Apr-2015 22:02