Warning: Spoiler-ridden blog post; scroll down to start
Cryptic crosswords can be a bit harder to solve than American crosswords, especially if you're not really sure how they work.
I hope that this blog can be used both as a way to help people solve cryptics if they want a hint without just revealing answering, and also a way for aspiring setters to dig into my constructions / reasons / thoughts. Please try to give the crossword a go before looking at any of the hints, but you'd only be cheating yourself otherwise :)
Putting these into comments would limit it to people that've solved the crossword, and is gated by a 280 character limit. Sadly I can't put a markdown table in and include spoilers, but I hope this is a good compromise :)
Definition: Premium Wordplay: Remove ‘p’ from Zipper (due to quietly), then anagram it (break it), to get prize. Comments: I don’t love the way I get the fodder to anagram, but like the definition
Definition: Judo expert Wordplay: Take the first letter of each of the fodder words 'Dueling anyone nearby' Comments: Here dan is a used to refer to someone that has achieved a dan (rank), which might throw people off; but is legit. I like this clue.
Definition: Rested Wordplay: Insertion of L (50) into sept Comments: I kinda hate this clue, but had writers block on how to make it good
Definition: Drink Wordplay: Hidden in wha(t ea)rly Comments: I love this clue. If you read ‘some’ as the hidden indicator; then it’s also a quasi-&lit with “Early” referring to Earl Grey tea.
Definition: Sunny Wordplay: This is a double definition Comments: This is fine, I don’t love the meanings; but the surface is nice and quite straightforward I feel
Definition: Poles Wordplay: Anagram of stops Comments: Not in love with this, as the surface is a bit ‘bleh’, but the clue does exactly what it needs to – so is fine.
Definition: Perfect Wordplay: Substitute ‘one’ to ‘i’ and ‘agreement’ to ‘deal’ Comments: I don’t love this. It’s quite a played out type of clue and my surface isn’t great. It works better if you think of agreement in a bridge sense (i.e. a conventional gadget), but it reads pretty poorly otherwise.
Definition: Shock Wordplay: First letter of (z)oo + (ap)e with last letter removed (clipped) Comments: I think this is close to being really good, but is just fine. The surface seems a little off.
Definition: Record Wordplay: Triple definition, key being the enter key on the keyboard Comments: I don’t love this, trying to make it a triple might have just confused things. Should have left it as a double (e.g. undertake record or w/e)
Definition: Sign Wordplay: ’o’ (Love) and el (The in Spanish) all written backwards (up). This gives Leo, which is a sign of the Zodiac. Comments: I like having ‘hidden’ instructions; like here sign up is quite easy to read as 1 idea; and needing to split it into two for the cryptic parsing is ‘nice’. I don’t love how I chose the letters, but still can’t see much better.