SMH cryptic 22,083 by NS


Now, I'll admit to finishing a whole NS before as someone asked me to work through one with them once. They had been told NS is the easiest crossword of the week - let's see...

Posted by Pussy Cat

What is it with these awful grids? So many missing initials, only 26 clues (ripped off!) and a design where the top and bottom halves are linked by just two letters: almost two separate crosswords.

ACROSS

8) MAKE THE BEST OF IT: (mistake,both feet)* : "slip" isn't good enough as an anagram indicator

9) ADHESIVE: ad,hes,ive : stray "been" mucks it up

10) EMERGE: --e,merge : ("the end")

11) AGLEAM: ag,l,--e,am : ("the last") why "was"? 

12) TAPESTRY: t--,apes,-t-r-y : ("the first")

13) ISSUING: is,suing : it doesn't have unnecessary words, it reads well, it's good!

15,22) POPPING CREASE : (gpo,crane,pipes)* : just a silly construction

19) SOMBRERO: (more,bros)* : surely there's a better way to do this?

24) DEFEAT: de,feat : reads well

25) REDEFINE: (dine,free)* : doesn't read well

26) REPLACEMENT COST: (complete,rest,can)*

DOWN

1) BANDAGES: band,ages : the definition ("dressing", singular) isn't correct here.

2) SEVERE: sever,--e : ("the end") when I see something like this, I can't help wonder about the effort put in. "...end of (any word ending with 'e')" surely is miles better and more correct than repeating something that has already been used?

3) CHAIRMAN: (c------,man)<>hair : "top cover" = HAIR - I like it, however, MAN is the same in definition and wordplay

4) OBJECTS: same thing twice

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SMH cryptic 22,082 by DP

Well, after yesterday's experience with DH, today's must surely be better. I'm looking for some deft touches.

Posted by Pussy Cat

Grid looks good...

ACROSS

1) ATTACKS : at,tacks : stray "to" spoils it a little

5) CAST OUT : cast,out : same words repeated

9) REMIT : timer< : seen this word clued this way many, many times before. Why the "?"

10) UP THE POLE : same thing twice : how can a flag get/be in trouble? A quick look in Macquarie gives the definition "completely wrong" which at least would have read ok

11) SET APART : same thing twice (a pattern is emerging)

12) HANDLE : hand,le : are HAND and HANDLE related?

14) ELBOW GREASE : bowel*,grease : clue paints a rather intimate picture

15) PEA : --pea-- : loose hidden indicator

16) POE : poe-

17) BROAD-MINDED : broad,minded : same thing twice, however, I think BROAD (as defined here) should be on a Fairfax naughty list. Macquarie has it as offensive.

19) USABLE : us,able

21) MAN TO MAN : (man,man)<>to : again, just building the wordplay from the base components

24) DESPERADO : (road,speed)* : wayward "by" spoiling the clue

25) ALTER : later*

26) DEPOSIT : depot<>(is<) : are DEPOT and DEPOSIT related?

27) RESERVE : same thing twice

DOWN

1) ACRES : scare* : child's play

2) TIMETABLE : time,table : same thing twice, no disguise

3) CATS PAW : cats,paw : same thing twice, although "Tom" doesn't define CAT

4) SQUARE ROOT : (equators,or)* : nonsense surface

5) CITY : ci----ty 

6) SEEPAGE : see,page

7) OVOID : o,void : silly surface

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SMH cryptic 22,081 by DH

Another first, a DH hot off the press. What gems will I find? Will I like the compiler's style? Will this crossword move me? Let's see... 

Posted by Pussy Cat

Not a good start: a grid that is usually reserved for alphabetical jigsaws

ACROSS

8) SLAPDASH : slap,dash : while the clue reads ok, it is just sticking the prime components of the answer together

9) AMMINE : ma<,mine : oh dear, a clue that is grammatically incorrect with a definition that is wrong. Oh, and why the "?"

10) AVOCET : (to,cave)* : another "?" with seemingly no purpose

11) DOBERMAN : do,ber-man : defining a surname with a first name - what to you call that? 

12) ARMAGNAC : (magna,car)* : what does it mean?

14) DALASI : lad<,as,i : another grammatical error - any form of like except "like" would work, but of course the clue wouldn't work. Solution? Try another way... Oh, and how does Irish equal I? 

16) SERE : ---se re-------

18) SHAD : sh,ad : meh

19) A-FRAME : (mae,far)* : note the use of "out" to indicate an anagram (1)

21) MASSENET : sams*,e,net : I fail to see the link between "(at) bar" and "net". Someone enlighten me

23) SWAN SONG : swanson,g---- : Gloria Swanson, star of silent movies and early talkies. Surely that's too old for this crossword? Gateshead? Really? No-one still uses that

26) HAGGIS : hag,gis : no real thought gone into this one

27) APIECE : a,pie,ce : exactly how you'd expect this compiler to do it

28) BOOTLESS : same thing repeated : surface is meaningless; this clue is embarrassing

DOWN

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SMH cryptic 22,080 by LR

Filling in for Zinzan while he travels the country. This is my first LR solve, so I'll be judging it based on the crosswords I'm used to.

Posted by Pussy Cat

ACROSS

6) KNIGHT : k---,night : well, "A bit of chess" really doesn't equate to a piece or part of chess and "to kickstart" doesn't equal "k".

8) LOLLIPOP : (lol,pop)<>li : Not sure LOL can mean "funny".

9) DELECTABLE : coulD ELECT A BLEeding : is the "heart" of something a variable piece? Full points though for attempting a long hidden clue.

10) ZIPS : Double definition of sorts : errant "to" and I can't find a reference that says that "zip" and "zip code" are equivalent, in fact, I doubt that it would be as "zip" stands for Z(one) I(mprovement) P(rogram)

11) GLAD : g---,lad

12) ENDANGERED : end,angered

14) DROP IN : dr,o,pin

15) FRIDGE : f-----r,i-------d,g----e : stray "to" again and ordinary surface

18) BAKING SODA : (soaking,bad)* : classic case of trying to make the surface work by using an anagram indicator that doesn't do the job. "stain"? Nope.

20) BABY : ba--,b-y : is "ejected LOL" the same as "with LOL ejected"?

22) GNAT : -----g,-n,---a,--t: look at any word, does it have a bottom?

23) PROFICIENT : (nice,profit)*

24) KNICKERS : sounds like "nickers" : shouldn't it be "reported" or "report of"?

25) GIFTED : gi,ft,e------d

DOWN

1) UNSEAL : un,sea,----l

2) AGREED TO : ato<>greed : "Tax Office" equating to ATO is bad form (Gov Dept might have been better) and I think reversing the container would have been better.

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SMH 22079 - DS

Last one before I'm gone for a week. DS does like the anagram inside a word type clue. I think there were quite a few today.

ACROSS
1) BACCHUS : (bush)*<>a,CC : 'plots' ?
5) SLIPPER : ddef : mule is a shoe.
9) KARMA : hm(calmer)
10) GREGORIAN : (or,a,ginger)* : 'group' ? DS must've already done the Chappell brothers clue . . .
11) NEMESIS : (seems,in)* : nice, succinct clue.
12) PAYROLL : Sp(ray,poll)
13) MAKE ENDS MEET : ddef-ish
18) PLATFORM SHOE : platform,shoe
21) TOTALLY : to,tally
23) HOTLINE : (the,lion)* : 'share' ?
24) POTENTIAL : (at,top,line)*
25) MAPLE : (-mpale-)*
26) SAMOYED : (dose,may)*
27) YANKEES : yank,see< : not sure of the clock/see connection.

DOWN
1) BIKINI : bi-,kin,I : nice enough.
2) CHROME : --ch,Rome
3) HEADSCARF : (hard,faces)*
4) SIGNS : s---(gin)*s---
5) SWEEPINGS : S(weeping)S : haven't seen this sense of 'litter'.
6) IRONY : iron,-----y : 'the' gets in the way.
7) PRISONER : (in,prose)*,R
8) RINGLETS : (sterling)*
14) EARLY BIRD : E(library)*d
15) SPORTSMAN : sp(storm)*an
16) EPITAPHS : (shape)*<>pit
17) FACTOTUM : fact,(out)*,m----- : an interesting word.
19) SIMPLE : -elp mis-- <
20) REBELS : ---sle ber---- <
22) LANKY : l,an,k------y
23) HOLLY : ho(L)ly

Pretty much okay. A few soft anagrinds amid the many versions of anagram used. It didn't take that long to complete but it didn't come too easily.

Next Saturday may be my next post.



SMH 22078 - DA

Nothing of a theme today except for a few long answers. The spread of answers in a DA is always good. He doesn't avoid the unusual words (though unusual clues are sometimes needed) and likes to use contemporary usages.

ACROSS
1) HONIARA : -a-,-rain-,-o-,-h- < : interesting start.
5) WIT'S END : wi(set)*nd : mildly amusing as anyone who played pool when young will attest . . .
9) ALBUM : a,LB,-u-,M---- : the pioneering setter in Fairfax papers 40 years ago was LB (Lindsey Browne ?). He definitely pioneered for DA but many others maybe not so. I wasn't long into cryptics then but I remember strangely worded answers. Much like Araucaria was widely adored but I often found his puzzles a chore.
10) OMELETTES : ---sette lemo- <
11) DUBROVNIK : dub,r--k<>(vino)*
12) AMIGO : -a-m-i-,go
13) ERASE : era,s------e
15) THURSDAYS : (rash,study)* : the anagrind and the definition are both below standard.
18) SEX APPEAL : axes<,p,peal
20) SHEER : hm(shear
21) GOLEM : g------,(me,lo)<
22,6dn) WET BEHIND THE EARS : I suppose if you say 'I didn't come down with the last rain' (or similar), you're saying you're experienced. So saying that you were born in the recent showers is saying you are NOT experienced. And you'd also be wet.
24,27) FLAT-EARTH SOCIETY : (hey,its,total,farce)*
25,5dn) TRAIN WRECK : Sp(reign,trek)
26) STYMIED : (my,diets)* : I thought 'hindered' was a better anagrind than 'impact'.
27) see 24ac

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SMH 22077 - NS

Unbelievably my morning paper was wet ! I've had to revert to iPad to do today's NS. It still wasn't the best NS ever. There were some quite ordinary clues. I stopped the clock at 5m37s.

ACROSS
1) A DECENT INTERVAL : (Ned,ventilate,car)* : a silly anagram for an invented answer. Not a good start.
9) ANTS : (Stan)*
10) MOTORISING : (omit,O-rings)* : three anagrams to start.
11) COHERE : Co,her,e--------
12) KINDLING : kind,ling
13) ESPOUSING : E,S,PO,using
15) HENS : he'(N)s
16) ETCH : -e,-t,-c,-h
17) DOGMATIST : dog mat,is,t-----
21) CAMELLIA : came,L,L,I,A----
22) ATONIC : a,tonic
24) JUST IN TIME : just,in,(item)*
25) TOIL : t--,oil
26) DEPARTMENT STORE : (Pedros,treatment)*

DOWN
2) DINGOES : din,goes
3) CASTE : cas(t--)e
4) NUMBERS : ddef
5) IS TAKEN FOR A RIDE : (OK,read,fine,arts,I)*
6) TYRANT : t-------y,rant
7) RESILIENT : (I,reenlist)*
8) AWNINGS : a,w(n--)ings
14) ORCHESTRA : or,C------,he's,tra---- : a very, very common crossword answer.
16) ERASURE : era,sure
18) MEANEST : mean,(set)*
19) SHINIER : shin,i.e.,r--
20) PLANET : plane,t-
23) OCTET : sdef : a non-cryptic definition. Bit silly.

A few loose clues with a few useless words. Thursday is rather worthwhile but it still could be pretty good if NS really tried.



SMH 22076 - DP

When answers like DEAD LETTER, ENNUI and DEPRESSED appear, I feel it.

ACROSS
1) DEPRESSED : de(press)ed : just a '?' would've made it okay.
6) PICKS : ddef : no need for 'ones'.
9) APRON : -a-p-r -o-n-
10) MINT SAUCE : mint,sauce
11) LAYS IT ON THICK : ddef-ish
13) THING : ---th in g---
15) WELL-TO-DO : (towel,old)*
18) EYELINER : ddef-ish : so, make-up spots a cruise ship, eh ? . . .
19) SEDAN : (Andes)*
21) FLAT OF THE HAND : ddef-ish : a clue from the days when smacking was okay.
24) BLACK JACK : ddef
25) OCTET : o-c- t-e-t
26) TURIN : tur(I)n
27) RARE EARTH : rare,Earth : barely cryptic clue, maybe not even so.

DOWN
1) DEAD LETTER : dead,letter : no noun in the definition.
2) PARTY LINE : (interplay)*
3) ENNUI : ----en nui-----
4) SAMSON : Sam's,on : really ? Sam Newman is but an accidental blip north of the border. A bit of awareness please, DP.
5) DINETTES : (ten,diets)*
6) PASTILLES : hm(past,ills) : what a crap clue. No one says 'past ills', they say "American 'past' (short 'a' sound), eels".
7) CHUCK : ddef : something was hurled . . .
8) SHED : ddef : see the effort there ? No, me neither.
12) GOING DUTCH : going,Dutch : yaaaawwn.
14) GRIMALKIN : (milk,grain)* : 'enjoys' does what ?
16) OLD MASTER : sdef : nothing cryptic here, just use of different words.
17) DEBONAIR : deb,on air
20) STOKER : ddef : Bram did.
21) FLAIR : Fl,air : a talent for atmosphere ?
22) ERODE : -ero de-----
23) ABUT : tuba<

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SMH 22075 - DH

I'm back in for this week. So I do DH this morning. I thought there were one or two sound clues somewhere. I'll have to keep an eye out as I go through them. Could I be right ?

ACROSS
5) RORT : ---ror t----
7) BREAK OF DAY : ddef-ish : seemed okay even with first names involved.
9) ASSUME : (amuses)*
10) REDISCOVER : red,is,cover
11) DERIVE : d(ER)ive
12) CRUSADERS : (sure,cards)*
16) TREBLE : -------- ---tre ble-- — : too many words.
17) COATI : Co,at,I-------- : somehere new ?!
18) VARESE : va(re)se : a glass container about in a city ? . . .
19) SHONKIEST : (honest,ski)*
23) DIVERS : ddef : an old word meaning 'various'.
24) INS AND OUTS : in,sand,outs
26) VIGORO : VI,go,R,O
27) NATIVE BEAR : native,bear : the 'native' in the wordplay and the definition are largely the same.
28) BYES : b---,yes

DOWN
1) T-BAR : T,bar : pfft.
2) VENDOR : (do,Vern)* : again, basic grammar is ignored.
3) UKASES : u(sake)*s
4) AFFORD : inits
5) RESURGENCE : re,surge,n,CE
6) REMOVALIST : (--mirals,vote)*
8) YARDSTICK : dray<,stick
12) CAPABILITY : cap,ability : England's greatest gardener, from the 18th century, brought to you by DH — gee-zus. I'd heard the name . . . from a puzzle a LONG time ago.
13) UNGENEROUS : (no,guru,seen)*
14) ACCESSION : (case,coins)*
15) ERATO : e-----,(taro)*
20) NIACIN : in<,AC,in : 'trendy' again.
21) INDEED : in,deed : not 'trendy' ?
22) SAUTES : sausages,set< : yikes.
25) SERF : ----f res---- <

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SMH 22074 - LR

A bit of a weak theme here. I always see Yoko Ono when I hear Imagine. I found that all the other 'random' words in the grid, just distracted me. And 'I hope' and 'You'll' are not very significant to the song. It probably would've worked better had there been NO rubric and solvers discovered, or suspected, it themselves.

ACROSS
1) SHARING : sh,a,ring
5) SOMEDAY : s(demo<)ay
9) YOKO ONO : yo-k,O,O,---n---,O : hard work to get there.
10) RONDEAU : Ron,DEA,U : is 'over' = 'placed next to' ? Probs not.
11) POSSESSIONS : ddef-ish : sort of . . .
12) ILL : 'ill : ie hill.
13) ABRUPTLY : (blurt,pay)*
16) LIVING : Liv,in,g---- : good until the stupid idea of a nickname being . . . Being.
19) ENMESH : -------en me sh--
20) PITTANCE : Pitt,-ance-
22) WIN : wine/s without E
23) BROTHERHOOD : broth,ER,hood
26) RESPOND : re,s-----,pond
27) RAM RAID : ram,-------r,aid
29) DREAMER : Dr,e----,AM,ER
30) IMAGINE : I,Ma,gin,E : is E=empty officially ? Or only in fuel gauges ?

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