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Gimmick cryptic’s comeback — decoding done well!

· By JWords · Published 2024-05-20T07:16:10.679Z

Constructor's Note
Hmm, something about these (otherwise standard cryptic) clues doesn’t seem to work, almost like there’s some sort of gimmick. You’ll have to change your approach before you can solve them! The circled letters describe how you must read: all words in each across clue; one word in each down clue.
My first Midi Contest entry! I really enjoy writing gimmicked cryptic clues, hopefully it’s not wildly unsolvable!
Nudge 1: The surface of the correct readings will not usually make grammatical sense, only cryptical sense.
Nudge 2: Rereadings do not involve adding, removing or changing any letters.
Across hint: look back at the across clues; are there common clueing phrases presented non-standardly?
Bigger across hint: no, really, look back at the across clues.
Down hint: these seem to mostly work, but there’s often a word that seems out of place. Focus on how you might transform that word so the clue makes total cryptical sense.
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  • nate 🤓7:14 · 2024-05-20T07:56:36.207Z
    Great puzzle, made for a super fun solve seeing how you cleverly hid the backward-ness in each clue! And having two different gimmicks made it all the better!
    • JWords constructor · 2024-05-20T18:20:54.612Z
      Thanks so much! I’m pretty proud of it considering I only had the weekend to put it together, mostly just glad it can be solved!
    • JWords constructor · 2024-05-20T07:16:10.679Z
      Read the title in the manner of the across clues for your final message of congratulations! I hope you had a good STAB and it didn’t drive you BATS!
      Gimmick explanation:
      Across clues were to be read IN REVERSE order, keeping all words otherwise the same.
      Down clues contained one word which was to have its letters reversed.
      Clue explanations:
      1A: (INTENT+WIRE)*
      7A: Acrostic: Ensealed Quartermaster Uranium In Put; def: “supply with”
      8A: LOSE(“Place last”) taking O (abbr. for over)
      9A: /I see/; homophone (“in lecture”) of I see (“expression of realisation”)
      10A: hidden in tuB EEL IN Entering; def: “direct route”
      11A: CHAIR* + (-ga)VE
      13A: PO (aabr. for Petty Officer) surrounding R (abbr. for rule); def: “in support”
      14A LAVA (“hot stuff”) containing “(eating”) R (“supper at last”)
      15A: double definition: “bar”; “used one’s mouth for words”
      16A: CONTENT (“satisfied”) containing (“keeping”) SIS (“sister”)
      1D: IN+[gr]E[ek] + VI (“six”) + TABLE (“put forward a discussion”)
      2D: TRY (“attempt”) contains (“spans”) U[tensi]L
      3D: RE (“on”) + PUBLICANS (“bar owners”)
      4D: IDLES BEST WE*; def: “gnus”)
      5D: IN MAO* (anagrind: “Edit”)
      6D: BEEN* + V[i]OLENT (“violent leaving out one”)
      12D: C[herry] (“tip of cherry”) + ARGO (“famous Greek vessel”
      13D: PE (“sports”) containing (“around”) R[o]O[m]S (“rooms, oddly”)
      • Arty 🤓25:07 · 2024-05-20T22:00:29.696Z
        I liked it. Clues pretty much worked for me. I read the hints, but I didn't think they helped me figure out the gimmick. Working out a couple answers before knowing the gimmick was key for me to figuring out the gimmick(s). I liked it when I saw how the downs started working! The down gimmick seemed to work better for me.
        • JWords constructor · 2024-05-20T23:01:21.506Z
          Thanks for solving and for the feedback! Yeah, I agree the hints are quite weak — I struggled finding the sweet spot of nudging someone to the Aha moment without giving the game away and spoiling it. Definitely open to suggestions!
          I think I’ve seen the across gimmick in a puzzle before, whereas the down gimmick I came up with myself (though I doubt it’s original), so it’s interesting you preferred the latter. My only regret is not getting STRESSED/DESSERTS into one of the downs.
        • kieranjboyd 🤓6:42 · 2024-05-20T22:19:17.230Z
          Extremely creative reversing in satisfaction giving (4)
          • JWords constructor · 2024-05-20T23:05:30.314Z
            Thank you for such a well crafted comment!
          Weave wire with changing intent (10)
          1. 1A
            Weave wire with changing intent (10)
          2. 7A
            Initially put in uranium quartermaster ensealed with supply (5)
          3. 8A
            Relaxed over taking last place (5)
          4. 9A
            Cold lecture in “Realisation of Expression” (3)
          5. 10A
            Route direct, partly, entering in eel tub (7)
          6. 11A
            Repository gave in half broken chair (7)
          7. 13A
            Support in rule surrounding Officer Petty (3)
          8. 14A
            Last at supper eating — stuff hot grub (5)
          9. 15A
            Words for mouth one’s used in bar (5)
          10. 16A
            Contradiction from free sister keeping satisfied (10)
          1. 1D
            In Greek (at the core), xis put forward a discussion that can’t be avoided (10)
          2. 2D
            Indeed, attempt snaps utensil’s ends (5)
          3. 3D
            No bar owners — they don’t support the monarchy (11)
          4. 4D
            ‘Idle’s Best’ — we badly sung! (11)
          5. 5D
            Tide in Mao’s girl’s name (5)
          6. 6D
            Been madly violent, leaving out Eno kindly (10)
          7. 12D
            Pit of cherry put on top of famous Greek vessel, or what it might have carried? (5)
          8. 13D
            Strops around rooms, oddly texts in plain English (5)