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A rather traversable cryptic

◆◆ · By n0hk · Published 6 days ago

♠ Another crossword with a bridge theme, because I'm as predictable as ever. ♠
♡ Thanks for showing some interest in it, and a special thanks to Skaldskaparmal for the test solve. They've helped me develop as a setter by pointing out bloopers, and doing so in a way that's aspirational. ♡
Quite a few clues here are written to evoke a 'bridge-y' idea, which (at times) means that I've elected to use a harder charade or indicator than I normally would. That being said, you don't need to know much about bridge to parse any of the cryptic clues here.
Please note
I have also included a glossary in the comments of this grid, to explain some of the bridge-isms in the clues. These terms are each denoted with a superscript character, which can be completely ignored while solving the grid.
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  • n0hk constructor · 6 days ago
    ⁿ Reversing is a way to show an unusually strong hand in the auction by bidding suits in an inconvenient order.
    ᵒ If someone has a long spade suit (say), they’ll have fewer cards in the other suits. In bridge this concept is frequently referred to as vacant spaces.
    ᵖ Tournaments in bridge are often referred to by the scope of the event, e.g. sectional, regional, provincial, national...
    𐞥 A particular sequence of bad decisions during the auction, which results in defending a doubled contract which makes.
    ʳ When leading a long suit, most players adopt a style of leading 2nds & 4ths or 3rds & 5ths to convey their holding in the suit. (e.g. 2nd from bad suits, 4th from good suits)
    ˢ During the auction, some people choose to exchange lots of information in order to be confident they’re bidding a contract they can make. Others prefer to leave the opponents (& their partner) in the dark by taking a wild stab at what they can make – which is called ‘shooting (a contract)’.
    • n0hk constructor · 6 days ago
      Woo! You’ve gotten through the grid – hopefully you enjoyed it. As mentioned, I’ve elaborated on some of the terminology used – and also have included a link to a more complete glossary because character limits. ᵃ During bridge’s cardplay, one player puts their hand face-up on the table and their partner chooses the cards they play each turn. The player(‘s hand) is called the dummy, while the declarer is the one who chooses the cards. ᵇ Kit is a top American bridge / backgammon player. ᶜ Preempting = taking up lots of levels of the bidding quickly, punter = an average player, people sometimes use their opponents tempo to help determine who has particular cards. ᵈ Squeezes are a tactic to try win additional tricks, which frequently need one to lose but one of their losing cards early on. ᵉ If someone has a really good hand for what they’ve shown, then it’s said to be a rock. ᶠ Doubling and redoubling are ways to raise the stakes of contracts in bridge. ‘Sending it back’ is a colloquialism for redoubling. ᵍ The player who wins a trick in bridge gets to play first to the next one. The card they lead to the new trick is one they’re said to have returned. ʰ A ‘top’ in bridge is a the best result attained on that deal by anyone who played it. ⁱ To ‘egg’ someone is to give them a zero – which means you’ve done something very good on the board. Here discarding (jettisoning) an ace is quite an unusual play, and if successful is likely to get a decent result. ʲ A clash squeeze is a rare type of squeeze. ᵏ Grand is short for grand-slam, which is when a side claims they’ll win all 13 tricks on one deal. For completenesses sake, an ‘active’ lead is one where a defender has tried to set up a trick for their side; while a ‘passive’ lead would be one where they attempt to not give a trick away. ˡ ‘Doubler’ refers to the defender who chose to double the contract being played ᵐ Covering a card is when a player plays a higher card than the person before them, typically to try win a trick.
      1AEdison knocked back gin cocktail instead of working after refashioning cradle to be where one can find a dummy?ᵃ (9, 4)
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      Across
      1. 1A
        Edison knocked back gin cocktail instead of working after refashioning cradle to be where one can find a dummy?ᵃ (9, 4)
      2. 9A
        Establish spades before losing the lead to Kitᵇ (3-2)
      3. 10A
        One who benefits from acting first cleared out punter's queen, grasping unusual tempoᶜ (9)
      4. 11A
        Interrupting viola composition with loudly playing back Madonna intermittently is ineffective (2, 2, 5)
      5. 12A
        Further proposition flustered bride (5)
      6. 13A
        Squeeze out East's last two after—essentially—ceding one loser to begin withᵈ (6)
      7. 15A
        Encroaching brief face-to-face round filled with onset of nervous energy (8)
      8. 18A
        Side competition involves supporter holding rockᵉ sending it backᶠ? (4, 4)
      9. 19A
        Got chick to strip revealing impressive 'architecture' (6)
      10. 22A
        Alcohol's essential to alleviate thy losses (5)
      11. 24A
        Drink during timeout, possibly concerned with monstrous man harbouring jack being returnedᵍ (9)
      12. 26A
        I was extricated from malfunctioning multi-curie network (9)
      13. 27A
        Groups partnership embraces topʰ eluded by victor (5)
      14. 28A
        Card play techniques unite regular snots and high fliers in getting into nicer systems on occasion (5-8)
      Down
      1. 1D
        Jettison ace to eggⁱ opposition (7)
      2. 2D
        Interrupt tortured auction, scoring a zero (3, 2)
      3. 3D
        Bonny's clash squeezedʲ by Brad after active lead to grandᵏ (9)
      4. 4D
        Operating cool parafoil adeptly while on vacation (2, 4)
      5. 5D
        Men & girls shot film (8)
      6. 6D
        From Niger, I'm zigzagging northward to a Turkish port (5)
      7. 7D
        Organise hearts strangely (concealing king) to circumvent bullies seen intermittently (9)
      8. 8D
        Fringe couples of British gentry welcomed 501's comeback as the king of card games (6)
      9. 14D
        Western style of dress (9)
      10. 16D
        Steering clear of diva at sea with canoe (9)
      11. 17D
        Focus of doublerˡ following hesitation's about 50/50 given a coverᵐ (9)
      12. 18D
        Formulated idea of line after somewhat eschewing the odds and reversingⁿ (6)
      13. 20D
        Vacant spacesᵒ feature in almost unconventional strategy to make games (7)
      14. 21D
        Those coming first in regionalᵖ had one mistake, Biltcliffing𐞥 in diamonds (6)
      15. 23D
        Initially leading 3rds & 5thsʳ in briscola and whist is valid (5)
      16. 25D
        Aggressively shootingˢ slams elicits scoring tops and bottoms (5)
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