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!

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Cryptic crossword #1

Getting started

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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Anonymous
Sun 1-Mar-2015 23:40
Well done, and in a foreign language too - very tricky. Will attempt it during the week.
Anonymous
Thu 5-Mar-2015 20:26
Very impressive—some great clueing indeed. Well done!

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.
lft
Linus Åkesson
Sat 7-Mar-2015 21:43
Thank you for the nice feedback!

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.
Anonymous
Sun 8-Mar-2015 16:43
11D: Aha! I hadn’t seen that construction before. Very nice. (Maybe such an unusual wordplay ought to have a straight definition, such as “Tiber, say, seen from Caesarean arena.”) Is that your own idea?

(Very clever hint, by the way.)
Anonymous
Sun 8-Mar-2015 16:50
9A: I don’t understand your cryptic hint either.

15A: Fair enough.

4D: I still don’t understand what you’re trying to do. (I assume that the answer is TWO BITS.)
lft
Linus Åkesson
Sun 8-Mar-2015 21:53
11D: Aha! I hadn’t seen that construction before. Very nice. (Maybe such an unusual wordplay ought to have a straight definition, such as “Tiber, say, seen from Caesarean arena.”) Is that your own idea?

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.

(Very clever hint, by the way.)

Thank you!
lft
Linus Åkesson
Sun 8-Mar-2015 21:58
9A: I don’t understand your cryptic hint either.

A modern is a monospaced font, such as Courier. (Confusingly, this is one of two different meanings of "modern" in typesetting.)

4D: I still don’t understand what you’re trying to do. (I assume that the answer is TWO BITS.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shave_and_a_Haircut
Anonymous
Mon 9-Mar-2015 08:53
COURIER: Hm… I suspected something typographical, but only know of “modern” typefaces in the form of Didot. Bodoni. etc. (Or Computer Modern, for that sake.) I did actually check on the web if anybody uses modern = monospaced, but couldn’t find it used like that.

TWO BITS: Maybe I can make SHARE CUT fit, but HAYVE? HAIF? — I think there are too many levels of indirection in that clue.
lft
Linus Åkesson
Mon 9-Mar-2015 21:16
Hay vendor, share cut.

Yes, it's clear by now that the clue has too many layers. Lesson learnt for next time!
Anonymous
Sun 5-Apr-2015 22:02
Cryptic crosswords are also very popular in the Netherlands. I'll try to solve this one but I never tried one in English before.