Crossword roundup: old ‘new’ things | Crosswords


In the sample clues below, the links take you to explainers from our beginners series. The setter’s name often links to an interview with him or her, in case you feel like getting to know these people better.

The news in clues

And they’re still coming, those clues that remind us of illicit bacchanals. Here’s Eccles

18a Lied about hosting party, getting funds to fight case (5,3)
[ wordplay: jumble (“about”) of LIED, containing (“hosting”) synonym for “party” ]
[ LEID containing GALA ]
[ definition: funds to fight case ]

… with a clue for LEGAL AID, and while we can all see where the wordplay comes in Bradman’s clue …

9a Man responsible for stink, reverse of gentleman (5)
[ wordplay: abbrev indicating “stink” + backwards (“reverse of”) synonym for “gentleman” ]
[ BO + backwards SIR ]
[ definition: see below ]

… for BORIS, is the definition the first couple of words, or does it extend for you? Add in Filbert’s one across …

1a High-flyer in Tory party close to donor (6)
[ wordplay: abbrev for “Tory” + synonym for “party” + last letter of (“close to”) DONOR ]
[ CON + DO + R ]
[ definititon: high-flier ]

… for CONDOR and it might feel so end-of-days that you fancy a nice themed puzzle marking an anniversary as a change of tone. In that case, you’re directed to Qaos’s midweek diversion (at least, I presume it marks an anniversary).

Latter patter

Here’s an amusing clue from the two-person setting team Eclogue in Enigmatic Variations, which I understand is to happily remain in the Sunday Telegraph’s print edition

32a Name coarse person scruff (4)
[ wordplay: abbrev for “name” + synonym for “coarse person” ]
[ N + APE ]
[ definition: scruff ]

… where the “scruff” turns out to be your neck’s: the NAPE. The puzzle also included a reference to the RONEO, an office duplicating machine now a memory so distant as to make the NEO part of its name delightfully incongruous.

I’m a big fan in general of names that announce, “here is the brand new thing”, with total disregard for the way that time has a habit of continuing into the future. The thing doesn’t have to be ancient, such as Oxford University’s New College (1379) or Newcastle (the castle in question is from 1080): I was a little sad, in the early 1980s, when coinage dropped its (to me preposterous) NEW PENCE and it’s pleasing to see so much “modern jazz” apparently in the public domain.

I hope you have other examples; in the meantime, it’s about time we had a short challenge. Reader, how would you clue NEW?

Cluing competition

Thanks for your clues for ANTICOAGULANT. It will take a while for me to forget Wellywearer2’s “Bloody setter!? Take this!” but the audacity award must go to Nestingmachine for the baroque “Starting a new therapy inhibiting clogging of arteries. Gets used like aspirin – ‘nature’s thinner’”.

The runners-up are Montano’s plausible bluff, “Therapy turning into a cult (anag)”, and JasCanis’s startling “Best way to pop your clogs?”; the winner is Moobius’s evocative “Aunt joins conga tail, dancing to become thinner.”

Kludos to Moobius. Please leave entries for this fortnight’s competition – as well as your non-print finds and picks from the broadsheet cryptics – in the comments, below.

Clue of the Fortnight

If you’re tempted by the Observer’s Azed, we’ve just had a “plain” (no funny business) puzzle with this deceptive clue …

20d It’s a newly built bordering road – it’s more spacious than it looks (6)
[ wordplay: jumble (“newly-built”) of ITSA, containing (“bordering”) abbrev for “road” ]
[ TAIS containing RD ]
[ definition: it’s more spacious than it looks ]

… for TARDIS. Geronimo, as the 11th Doctor might put it.

Find a collection of explainers, interviews and other helpful bits and bobs at alanconnor.com

The Shipping Forecast Puzzle Book by Alan Connor, which is partly but not predominantly cryptic, can be ordered from the Guardian Bookshop

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