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This topic contains 10 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Gonzo 1 week, 5 days ago.

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    Hi all,
    Here’s my September puzzle. Solvable in-browser on my blog. Answers will go up on my blog next Sunday. Hope you enjoy…



    Thanks Void, got to it eventually (the weekend being busy crossword-wise always).


    Not too taxing, I liked 24, 1d, 7, 17, and 11 particularly.
    I learnt that a peck is a lot (it doesn’t sound like it) and that ‘finality’ can mean ‘that which is final’.
    Some niggles though:
    That is not a solver-friendly grid, when I was left with 13d and 15 unsolved, three blanks at the beginning of the word…
    13ac you have used the US spelling, with no crosser to confirm.
    20 as a clue for RESISTOR, it would work well, but for the unit?
    22 NA for Namibian? I think not.
    5 ‘fillings’ for an arbitrary number of letters seems unfair.
    6d needs a definition by example indicator, as other Edmunds are available.
    13d how many letters is ‘origins’? Wouldn’t Thor Heyerdaal (sp?) have been just as good?
    19 is RANG as an abbreviation of boomerang something the solver can check? ‘Short ginger climber’?

    Sorry if I have got the wrong end of the stick (or boomerang) anywhere. Not one of your best, but we know you can do better.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Gonzo. Reason: Afterthoughts


    Hi Void,

    This was fun, I solved it on the day of release but have been away. I’ll echo Gonzo’s favourites, although ‘Roller’ for Rolls Royce was new to me (my fault). I also liked 10 (although I wasn’t sure about NA either), 22 and 3d – though I would have thought ‘playing Ovid’ could only mean one thing in a Void puzzle. 🙂

    I’m not sure about ‘fillings’, either, but I didn’t have a problem with ‘origins’. I’m never quite sure where I stand on names needing definitions by example. Part of me thinks that if ‘fish’ can be used to produce any one of the potential solution particles COD, DAB, GAR, EEL, etc, then ‘Lear’ is fine to signpost any of several ‘Lears’. Actually I think part of it is that the person Edward Lear was equally an Ed *and* a Lear, so the words seem more like direct synonyms (in the uberparticular context of referring to Edward Lear!) – I’m not sure conventions about examples and subcategories etc necessarily need apply.

    Thanks Void



    Hi gents,

    (Missed these – I must’ve forgotten to tick the “notify” box.)

    Thanks as ever, for the solves and feedback.

    “Not too taxing”. Fair enough, don’t mind that. “Fun” – Good!
    Glad you liked 17 and 11, Gonzo, as they were ones I had to wrangle into shape for a while. Roller might be an age thing, Chameleon. I think I associate it with The Sweeney, Minder, and similar programs.
    Sorry about the grid, G, it just turned out like that, after a bit of a fight. I’ve tried to avoid double-unches, and they weren’t at the start or end of words. But I see how in that situation they can turn into triple-unches. I’ll try harder to avoid them.
    13a Aaargh! I hate it when a US spelling slips in, and even more when I fail to spot it. Ugh. I’ve corrected the online version now. Sorry.
    20 I admit it wasn’t the best clue, and was my last one in. I could have chosen different words for 20 & 21, I suppose.
    22 Wait, I checked that: “.na” is definitely the TLD for Namibia. Hmmm… ah, it’s going to be a non-dictionary abbreviation, isn’t it? Yep, it should be NAM. Damn.
    5 …because it’s a *different* number of letters in each word? They were at least the centre-group of letters in each word. Double-clueing a centre indicator for two adjacent words feels like it might be overkill. Hmmm. Do you think it’s “unfair”?
    6d (Passing over “Edmund”…) I was quite pleased that the solver might be lead to other Lears (King, jet, Louise…). I know DBE indicators are required for *answer* definitions, I wasn’t sure about for clue-element ones. Looking back at some of my other puzzles, I see I’ve used DBE-for-element before (July 21a, Apr 31a), but I’ve also *not* used DBE-for-element before (July 28a, May 7d, April 26a). In the latter cases, I got no comment about it, so… not sure what to think here.
    13d Thor H would have worked, true, or any similar name. I guess if you parsed “end my”, then the numeration will tell you how many letters are needed. I was hoping that was fair. No?
    19 I was surprised that Orang was in the dictionary on its own. Didn’t really like using it, but it was a grid-filler. I was using “short” as an abbreviation indicator, but looking again now, maybe it needed to be more specific: “Kylie’s tail..” or something, perhaps. Again, I’ve heard “ ‘rang” used, but to your point – it’s not a dictionary word, so damn, no. Sorry.

    Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow. Onwards and upwards…




    Hi Void,
    thanks for the detailed response. Hope you won’t mind if I continue the discussion.
    If you are not trying to fit a theme or Nina in (did I miss one?), why not use a standard grid copied from a book or the dailies? It’s not much more restrictive than having to be symmetrical. Or are you working from clued words to grid, rather than letting the grid dictate the words?
    20 OLM is a word with potential, and no more obscure for the general solver I’d suggest.
    22 Even NAM is a stretch for Namibian.
    5 Yes, my feeling is that ‘filling’ or ‘content’ means the word minus the outer two letters, whilst ‘middle’, ‘essence’ or ‘centre’ the centre 1 or 2 letters.
    6 I’m feeling less dogmatic about this now. Is Ed a Lear or is Lear an Ed? Are there more Lears than Eds? I do think it is good form to treat DBE wordplay the same as DBE definitions though.
    19 ‘Short’ or ‘brief’, if not used to indicate a known abbreviation, to me means ‘all but the last letter’. ‘Tail’ would mean the last letter. You need ‘just over the last 44%’ 😉

    I recently got edited by a setter of some repute, so I’m passing on the fastidiousness 🙂



    Hi Gonzo,
    Sure, natter away!
    No theme here. I usually have ~2-4 clued answers that are my starting point, and I build the grid up from them. I enjoy the process of creating a grid. I currently have 2 on the go, which are both free of double-unches. So far, I’ve never gone looking for preset blank grids. Maybe I’ll have a hunt.
    22 Ah, I see the distinction you’re making now. How do you feel about “American” for “US”, which a solver can’t throw a brick without hitting? I guess it comes down to common usage: We might hear a phrase such as “…the US economy…”, but we’d hear the equivalent of “…the Namibian economy…”, and not “…the NAM economy…”. So, I accept the clarification, and concede the point.
    5 OK. And if I want to clue more than 2 letters in the middle of a word, I should use some variant of “uncovered”?
    6 One to ponder then, perhaps depending on how any particular clue “feels”. I suppose that’s why I sometimes have and sometimes haven’t done it. I wouldn’t really want to end up with a puzzle chock full of maybes, perhaps, mights and could bes… 🙂
    19 Heh, okay. I’ll try to work out exactly what that adjective would be…

    Ah, rigour’s good, cheers.

    Oh, and Chameleon, I meant to say, so far, I’ve referenced Ovid 3 times, and Void once.

    Ciao, V.



    Trio central to Iolanthe’s in charge of Shakespearian pageant (5)



    🙂 That’s a GAS*.

    *non-dictionary abbreviation.



    Are you intentionally accumulating Ovids then?

    Abyss from Ovid’s Metamorphoses (4) nearly went in that Rookie. I decided a plural nounal anagram indicator doesn’t really convince, especially if only one letter’s being moved anyway.



    Two were in one of my early crosswords, with one referencing the other answer. The latest one just happened to fall out of the anagram. I did recently read Ted Hughes’ Tales From Ovid.



    I have a puzzle up at Alberich’s site (hope the admins here don’t mind me plugging, it is non-profit).

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