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    Hi all,
    Here’s my June puzzle. Answers via my blog.





    Hi, Void. Thanks for this. Lots of fun. Ticks included 10, 17 and 2. I really like clues that try to find ways of using the visual forms of letters beyond the same old standards (egg for O, etc), so 2’s use of fork was nice to see. I thought 21 was really clever, and I spent a while thinking it was DIVA (princess) + N (for night? as in going to bed?) so it was all the more satisfying when the actual parsing finally fell into place. I sensed that 3 was going to require one of those Avengers, but now I’m wondering whether someone could write one clue where a 60s-UK-Avengers reading and a Marvel reading would give the same answer. Thanks for teaching me a new type of shark and the French word in 18 down.

    A few quibbles: I don’t think 16 really works. I can see what you’re getting at, but I think it’d only really (sort of) work if the solution could also function as a verb meaning to operate such a table. I wondered whether “Such a table may be divided by a motion” might work, but obviously it doesn’t get the other meaning of “table” in which is a shame. In 6 I’m not sure that “core” really does what you want it to. I think “[word] core” works as “core of word” but I’m not sure “core [word]” necessarily works the same way. If anything I would read “core [word]” as an instruction to remove the middle or insides from the word, like coring an apple. With 25, I don’t think the solution fits tense-wise with “Aircraft aims” – but luckily it could just be “Aircraft aim” and surface and cryptic instructions both work fine. And finally I would personally tend to steer clear of clues like 7 as they mix a comedic tone with something serious, which won’t be to every solver’s taste (not that that bothers me when I write clues about drugs and toilets).

    I see 8 down is the god of darkness. Was that a Voidish cameo?

    Looking forward to the next trip to the void…



    Forgot to say I liked the celebrity cameo in 13!



    Hi Chameleon,
    Thanks for solving and feedback. Glad that you found it fun, and liked 17 (“But it was his *ninth*!”) and 2. Funny, you liked 21 & 10, but I wasn’t that fussed about either of them – perhaps because I had to work hard at 10. The French word was new to me too, in a way, as I only knew it with an e on the end before. I only knew 8 as a place name, not an entity, until your comment. (…and so, therefore, no to the cameo. I’ve only “featured” myself once in a clue, and that was quite blatant.) I originally had a hint towards which avenger it might be, but in the end, I thought “nah, let it be a trap”.
    16: Hmm, I thought the answer juuust about did work as a verb. But only just, and perhaps I was kidding myself because I liked the surface so much. Yeah, okay, fair comment.
    6: Ah. I suppose I’ve seen quite a few instances of an indicator word throwing forwards where it might be expected to throw back. But in this case, as you point out, the throw direction can switch depending on which meaning of the word you take. So, yes, you’re right. I’ll try to look out for that sort of thing more in future, thanks.
    25 I spent ages with pluralising and apostrophising aircraft, but I eventually thought that with aircraft as singular in the surface, and plural in the wordplay, it worked. Perhaps arguable, but I’ll concede that “aim” was the glaring better choice. D’oh. 🙂
    7 I wouldn’t include such a clue if I were submitting a puzzle to… well, anywhere, really. But for puzzles made mostly for my own purposes, then my dark sense of humour may show through. Obviously, I don’t approve of said aims… (Oh, just noticed I used “aims” in two clues. Oh well.)

    Cheers again, it’s always good to have food for thought.



    Hi Void,
    Good fun that, I liked for construction
    15 – How about ‘at Number 10 reshuffle’ (I’d drop the ‘briefly’, myself)?
    And for surface

    Favourite 24

    5 perhaps could do with something to narrow the field a bit
    13 general knowledge overload! Especially as we need to shorten Bradley first
    16 doesn’t work for me either – the answers is the leaf, or an adjective describing the table
    20 ‘Bay horse got up for a look’?
    22 your first-letter indicator would have the Ximeneans frothing at the mouth 🙂

    Thanks! (Oh, easy on the exclamation marks maybe?)



    Hi Gonzo,
    Thanks for the solve and the comments. Glad you had fun and picked out so many likes.
    15 That’s good. The briefly felt necessary at the time, but looking again, I suppose not.
    5 Yep, true. One of the clues I found most awkward, and after trying to get “air” in there, I mostly gave up.
    13 I was stuck with the answer to fill the grid, so you’re right on the cluing: Mr Pitt would’ve been better, p’raps. (Oh *NOW* he’s the first Brad to spring to mind. 🙂 )
    16 Okay, I admit the overstretch.
    20 That’s nice. I toyed with the nag for a bit, but didn’t get anywhere I liked.
    22 Ah well. It was a pretty big flag. So “They begin…” would’ve been okay?

    C!h!e!e!r!i!o! f!o!r! n!o!w! (ahem, noted)

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