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    Hi there,

    My latest crossword has a slight twist, affecting 4 clues. It’s the first time I’ve used undefined clues, so I’d be interested to hear whether they work or not.


    1. chameleon-5-4.pdf


    Thanks Chameleon, that was fun.
    I actually noted the feature of the grid whilst drawing it, but then forgot about it when solving the puzzle, only to go looking again on completion. Doh!
    Ticks against 3,10,12,18 and 19. Re 18 I have a blind spot against the WotR being a civil war, since I think that requires the foot soldiers having a stake in the outcome rather than being pressed men in a factional war amongst the ruling elite. But Wikipedia disagrees with me.
    13 has rather a clunky surface
    14 the cryptic reading doesn’t quite work as ‘bella’ means simply ‘beautiful’ anything
    21 ‘recalled’ would be better I think

    Good work.



    Hi Gonzo. Thanks for your kind words. I’m interested to know you draw the grids out.

    I’m glad you liked 18 as I thought that was quite a neat one. I wasn’t sure about how appropriate “civil war” was either, but I went with Wikipedia too. Believe it not I had “Very mad scientist” at the beginning of 19 for almost the entire cluing process until phrase I eventually used dropped on my head like a brick. Agree on the clunkiness of 13 – I was just aiming for a straightforward if inelegant gimme of a clue there, I think – and on “recalled” in 21. Re: 14, Google suggested bella’s an Italian noun roughly corresponding to “belle of the ball” etc., as well as an adjective, so I went with it. I’d assumed the answer was etymologically connected to bella anyway and would have clued it differently if so, but it turns out it’s a variant of Elizabeth which I think is Hebrew.

    Thanks again



    Yes I had a memory of ‘que bella’ which does translate as ‘what a beauty’, so objection withdrawn. Google doesn’t suggest it as a translation from English though, preferring ‘Che bellezza’. Quirk of the database no doubt.



    I started this one on my hols, and got a good way in, despite initially thinking “ah, a gimmick, I don’t like those”. Just come back to it after a long break, and finished off all but two: 4 & 11. Given that 11 is a key clue, that’s annoying. Not certain I’ve got 22 right, but I think it’s one of the 4 undefined ones, which share a common factor.

    Right then, quite a lot of clues I liked in this one:
    5 was funny and clever, 12 (danced around that for ages before facepalming), 15 was fun, 19 was pleasing, 17 funny, 18 was nice, but took me waaaaaaaaay too long.

    6 I wonder if you know the derivation of “Spitalfields”?
    24 missing a plural indicator, I think?

    My favourite Chameleon so far.

    [Now to read the comments above….]

    Oh my gosh, like Gonzo, I also saw that grid feature, and then forgot about it until right now. D’oh!
    Right then, put me out of my misery on 4,11,22 please!

    Wait… hang on…. AAARGH just got 11… missed the indicator word. (So, therefore… ignore my Spitalfields comment.) And that gives me 4 too. (Missed the indicator again!) Okay, 4’s good too. 🙂

    So, just 22 I’m not certain of. I’ve got a homophoney answer, but I’m not sure about “essence”.

    Right, jobs for the day: finish off my June puzzle, and have a crack at Gonzo’s latest.




    Thanks Void, glad you liked it. I was hoping 24 was fine because “fruit” can be singular as well as a plural? I suppose I should finally post the full solution for this one, so you can check 22 down.

    And I’ll look forward to your next puzzle!




    Thanks, my 22 was right, but I should have been worrying about The, not Essence. 🙂
    I think I was mixing up my surface and definition readings, so looking again, yes, fruit is fine. Ciao!

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