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Mini cryptic #4

· By n0hk · Published about 1 year ago

Warning: Spoiler-ridden blog post; scroll down to start

I’ve been slow in making crosswords here, as I’ve been focusing on slowly progressing a themed 15x15 that’s been rattling around in my head for the last few weeks. But I felt like putting another grid up, so here we are.
This crossword has a few ‘slightly more challenging’ clues, so I’ve included a way to get hints without just revealing the answer; and also talked about the construction in case anyone’s interested.
I hope you enjoy this :)

Clue explanations

Clue: 1A
Definition: indiscriminately send messages Wordplay: SS (Nazi) around (held) map (plan) backups (up). Comments: Quite a dense clue, but I’m happy with what it does.

Clue: 5A
Definition: Layer Wordplay: Answer hidden (holds) in ‘(he n)ever’ Comments: Layer for chicken is pretty commonplace, but I kinda like the simplicity of it.

Clue: 6A
Definition: Body part Wordplay: Anagram argon Comments: I don’t really like this clue, but it does what it needs to. These small grids are quite constricted on words allowed, really

Clue: 8A
Definition: Border Wordplay: Double-definition: Break off = stop, border = edge Comments: Sure, this seems inoffensive but not especially clever.

Clue: 9A
Definition: Sweets Wordplay: anagram (spoiling) of start Comments: I don’t like that tarts can be sweet or savoury, but I like the ‘starts spoiling’ for an anagram indicator.

Clue: 1D
Definition: To express themselves loudly Wordplay: St (Saint) around (to accept) H (hot), O (love), U (initially unable). Comments: Not in love with this, for a while it was ‘way’ instead of saint; but that seemed harder and worse for surface. It’s a delicate charades clue, and I’m not very good at them.

Clue: 2D
Definition: By means of Wordplay: Alternate letters of (p)o(e)t(r)y. Comments: The ellipsis construction is another new one to me, I couldn’t find a great surface for this clue; but it could just about piggyback off the last surface.

Clue: 3D
Definition: Inflame Wordplay: Stove -> Range, move ‘r’ from strat to end Comments: Not a perfect surface, but I’m blaming the grid constraints and will call it serviceable. I like the wordplay

Clue: 4D
Definition: Propels Wordplay: Dissent - it (wanting it) anagramed (badly) Comments: I like this clue, even if it initially had ‘pays out’ (spends) as the definition instead of ‘propels’.

Clue: 7D
Definition: worker Wordplay: Backwards hidden (look up) in earned(t na)tive Comments: This clue seems fine to me.

Good luck!

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  • Mike D 6:05 · about 1 year ago
    Awesome! Thank you for the explanations - that helps a lot even for ones that I got! The only one I missed was TARTS
    9A TARTSSweets start spoiling (5)
    - seems obvious in retrospect, though 😂. I think ANGER
    3D ANGERInflame stove top to bottom (5)
    was my favorite
    • BJ constructor · about 1 year ago
      🙌 Glad you found them valuable :)
      The 'fun' with solving cryptics is that the lexicon of possible wordplay is so dense that nearly every clue might seem impenetrable at first but obvious after you see the 'trick'.
    • JeffPrug 1:30 · about 1 year ago
      Setting up the clues as spoilers is great for cryptic beginners like me, I hope you make more like this!
      • BJ constructor · about 1 year ago
        Definitely will! Any way I can help flatten the learning cliff means that more people can access this superb puzzle format. At some point I'm planning to retrofit each published one with similar blogs.
        These can be slow because I have a hard time finding 5x5 grids I like
      • Jon 🤓2:30 · about 1 year ago
        1ANazi holds up plan to indiscriminately send messages (5)
        1. 1A
          Nazi holds up plan to indiscriminately send messages (5)
        2. 5A
          He never holds layer (3)
        3. 6A
          Argon damaged body part (5)
        4. 8A
          Break off border (3)
        5. 9A
          Sweets start spoiling (5)
        1. 1D
          Saint to accept hot love, initially unable to express themselves loudly... (5)
        2. 2D
          ... by means of alternative poetry (3)
        3. 3D
          Inflame stove top to bottom (5)
        4. 4D
          Propels dissent, wanting it badly (5)
        5. 7D
          Look up earnest native worker (3)