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23,422 - Misfield?

Solving time : 7m 48s

If yesterday’s compiler had endured some mouldy molluscs (MARINE ORGANISM LOATHSOME; MEDIOCRE MOLLUSC), perhaps today’s was a 4d apologising to a 17d for finding an easy chance 10d?

11I ROAM (rev) – one of those words that always gets the same cryptic treatment, which can lead to felicitous clues. Not really here, for me
12SKY + BLUE – Last one for me today, though only because I left it as SKY--- with intent to return when I had more checking
13AIM in RENT – this word is normally done this way too, but here the clue reads (and deceives) beautifully
16MAKES ENDS MEET, 2 defs – not really sure I get this, or maybe the definitions are just that of the common phrase and that of its original non-metaphorical meaning. In which case I don’t like it much
20CA + E KILT (rev) – For ‘item checked over’ to give a reversal of ‘kilt’ is so outrageous it’s utterly brilliant. Please don’t think I mean that all outrages are brilliant, but this one strikes me as totally fair and totally devious
23B(ounce) + NINE (rev) – for some reason, crossword solvers are always expected to know that a baseball team contains nine; I wonder if the same setters know how many make up an ice hockey, basketball or volleyball team?
24SO + LIT + AIRE – given two checked letters, I filled in TOLERANCE based on the definition, but always with a hunch that there was a fair chance it was wrong. The real meaning of ‘patience’ was therefore a considerable irritant!
25(c)ENSURE – Peculiarly, while I thought that (p)ENCHANT yesterday was hackneyed, I think that this is a good spot by the compiler. Double standards, perhaps. I very much liked the wording of the clue, employing two very familiar meanings of ‘kick off’

1MOLES + T(unnel) – the phrasing of the clue and the definition elevate this
4BUTTERFINGERS, cryptic def – No excuse for not getting this instantly with B-T to start. A slip
6IMP in LING – ‘Ling’ is one of those words that you only meet in crosswords. I have very occasionally come across it as a heather, but never in real life as a fish
7DOO(r) + NESBIT – Very nice clue, picking up on E Nesbit, children’s author
8KE(nt) in SHIFTY – despite being sure that the definition was something being worded cleverly, I couldn’t figure it out until I tumbled on SHIFTY. The triple common meaning of ‘capital’ was what was holding me up, I suppose. Very nice clue
14IN + K + STANDS – I admire the clue for being a real problem for me. During solving I eventually assumed it was a cryptic definition (!), but now might be tempted to quibble that ‘stands’ has almost the same meaning in wordplay and definition which is not ideal
15CAB in A MILE – I don’t see how ‘the distance’ can be justified as A MILE; the precision between definite and indefinite articles in clues is normally important
19E + L in PISTE – L is indeed a right-angle, but I think it’s a definition of ‘L’ that is being used rather than a description. An important distinction, otherwise I could be ‘straight line’ or J ‘hook’ etc
22TWIN + (entendr)E – subtle use of ‘double entendre’


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 17th, 2006 01:40 pm (UTC)
8 dn
8 down was the last one I got, in fact unforgiveably I gave up on it after half an hour's brain wrenching and rang through for the answer. I do think it's an absolutely brilliant definition, and am so annoyed with myself for not a)getting it and b)persevering until I did.
Thought you might be amused at just what ridiculous garden paths a novice solver can send himself down...
I knew that "half of Kent" was going to be KE or NT. I decided that the first word was SAINT, making "capital" = AI. I also decided that the definition was "one pressed", ie a saint who was martyred by having rocks put on top of him (like that character in The Crucible). So I was looking for a four letter word S-E- meaning "not to be trusted". Hopeless. Every single assumption I was working on was wrong, even down to which half of KENT to use.
Sometimes the setter doesn't have to do much to deceive the solver (this solver anyway) - just wind me up and watch me go.
Peter F
Oct. 17th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC)

I agree there were some gems today - 1d, 8d and 20a being my favourites.

I agree that 'gets together' could be better for MAKES ENDS MEET. 24a - is 'runner' not a bit weak for AIRE?

For 15d I think the 'a' in the clue corresponds to the 'A' in the answer rather than 'the' meaning 'a'.

Angus Walker
Oct. 17th, 2006 02:04 pm (UTC)
garden paths
My garden path in this puzzle was 10D for which I settled on "hard to stomach" -- bad the bottom right impossible. It's only when I saw your "solitaire" did I backtrack.

That was hard to swallow.
Oct. 17th, 2006 02:05 pm (UTC)
garden paths
My garden path in this puzzle was 10D for which I settled on "hard to stomach" -- made the bottom right impossible. It's only when I saw your "solitaire" did I backtrack.

That was hard to swallow.
Oct. 18th, 2006 02:13 am (UTC)
Found you!
This is acctuary. Sorry I was so dense in the e-mail. I'll post the proper link in my blog.
Oct. 22nd, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
(Peter back from hols):

I parsed this as A,MI(CAB)LE, with "the distance" = "mile".
Nov. 28th, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, but "cryptic clue" doesn't help me. How do you get "butterfingers" from "A slipping slip"? A butterfingers is a person, not an slip.
Nov. 28th, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Butterfingers
In the right context, a slip is a person - one of the fielders in cricket standing near the wicket-keeper. Their main task is to take catches when the batsman strikes the ball with the edge of the bat. And just to cover all the bases (mixing my metaphors), "butterfingers" is often used to describe someone who can't catch a ball.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )