Home Forums Your puzzles A puzzle by Harold

This topic contains 7 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Harold 7 months ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #577


    Hello. I do hope you enjoy this puzzle, and should welcome constructive comments. It is the third one I have compiled. The first was published recently in the Rookie Corner of Big Dave’s Crossword Blog website, and the second has been submitted for publication in the near future.




    Excellent puzzle, with technically sound and inventive cluing for the most part, if some quite difficult vocabulary. I didn’t quite manage to complete it, giving up with 1dn and 10ac still unanswered.

    In 8ac, I didn’t really understand what the words “and absorbed” do. Is it something to do with the break at the apostrophe?

    10ac I see what your thinking was here, but I’m not sure the clue quite works. Sour grapes maybe?

    13ac was not a word I knew, although I do know its spoonerism, which I was tempted to enter despite its not fitting the definition. Later, however, a wordsearch gave me the right answer.

    11ac was clever and took me quite a while, but I think that technically (as I’ve just recently seen pointed out to another amateur setter), ‘en’ is the name of the space, while the dash that can occupy that space is an ‘en-dash’.

    18ac Great clue, with a novel twist on an old crossword standard (‘model’ for T)

    In 20ac, I don’t quite understand the parsing, which seems to lead to Z-AXES (reversal of ‘sex’ + ‘A-Z’), though the definition is singular. Is this a mistake or was I supposed to translate ‘sex’ from the Latin? Having just checked the dictionary, if you are referring to the prefix ‘sex-‘, I think that needs to be indicated in some way. I think it might have been better to use the plural answer with ‘lines’ as the definition. I do really like the fact that both the wordplay element and the answer have a dash at the same point.

    23. I have come across that name of breed before, and I’ve certainly seen quite a few examples, but it didn’t come to mind and I ended up wordsearching on ‘****MUTE’ to get it. It’s good that your clue made it clear which of the alternative spellings was needed.

    28. ‘Manx’ was clever. Again, I didn’t know that word though I recognised its meaning when it was returned from wordsearch.

    32. Didn’t recognise the name of the play, but that didn’t matter. Nice clue.

    1dn I felt sure this was an A (“airhead”) in a synonym for ‘romance’, leading to the surname of a famous Kirsty (but not famous enough for me to get). Oh well, you can’t win ’em all! I’d like to think I would have tumbled it if I’d got 10ac, but maybe not.

    3dn Another word I’m not really familiar with, though I think I’ve seen it without knowing what it meant. I built it from the wordplay ok though, so no complaint.

    4dn Very clever. I like it.

    7dn Spent a long time thinking this was an anagram, but not entirely sure what of, and what was the indicator and what the def. Then when I thought of hell= Dis, it still took me a long time to come up with the answer.

    14 Another unheard-of word! I think some will say the cryptic grammar doesn’t works (oops! talk about irony!), because you need ‘finds’, not ‘find’ for the cryptic meaning (the letter ‘I’ finds …).

    15 Excellent clue!

    17. A very cryptic definition which I don’t think I would have got if I hadn’t listened to a certain ‘important’ broadcast on R4 Sunday. Good clear wordplay though, so maybe …

    Thanks very much for the challenge, Harold. I look forward to seeing more from you.

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by  Whynot. Reason: Noting error of "works" re 14dn


    I’m so glad you found this an enjoyable challenge, Whynot. As I said, I think it is a little on the hard side, but there is something hidden in the grid which is intended to give a little bit of assistance. I attach a document containing a brief explanation of some of the clues you mention.



    Doh! Thanks, Harold. After your hint I looked at the filled grid and of course spotted your nina (Grr!). In fact, when I first downloaded the puzzle and saw the grid, I made a mental note to look out for something like that but (as usual) completely forgot about it when solving. It surely would have been a great help with the two I didn’t get, although I still think something like “Cutting off snakes’ tails results in legal sanction” would be better cryptic grammar. Btw, those orders went out in 2014(?), so perhaps some indication of their non-extant nature should have been given? Having said that, I only found that out the other day myself, so it wouldn’t have helped solve it.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t got software to read .docx files. Can you please post again with a pdf as I feel sure some of my qualms will be eased by reading your explanations.

    Thanks again, Harold for a puzzle that was even better than I thought!

    (Btw, I forgot to say what a corker 22a was!)



    I hope my attempt at converting the docx file to the pdf attached here has worked properly. Thanks for alerting me to the fact that the orders in 10A are a thing of the past. I wasn’t aware of that. As it happens, I think the clue would work OK if it were restricted to just the first two words, and I did consider doing just that, but the snakes were too tempting (and the surface is intended to be a bit of a joke). It is good to get your feedback, Whynot, thanks.



    Yes, thanks, Harold, that worked fine.

    8a Ah! Of course! I took it as god + anagram of “‘s acre”
    20a Haven’t noticed that before, though I always do the Guardian Prize. Some setters on than Guardian are a lot more relaxed about that sort of thing than elsewhere.
    1d Yes, I understood it when I saw the answer, thanks.
    14d Yes, that works.

    Thanks again, and have a great Christmas and new year. I notice you had a puzzle up on Rookie Corner a couple of weeks ago too, a place I’ve neglected a bit of late. Having done this one, I will go back to that at some point. I also have one in the pipeline there, so look out for it.



    Oh! And I liked the snakes once I understood them. It was the ‘for’ that seemed dubious



    Cheers! And a Merry Christmas and happy New year to you too. I shall certainly look out for you on the Rookie Corner. I think you will probably find the one of mine that appeared there a couple of weeks ago to be quite a lot easier.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.