Puzzle #30 – Cryptic #1

If you’re unfamiliar with cryptic crosswords, read today’s post before solving. Or not.

I'm feeling a little hawkish.

As I teased last week, today’s puzzle is a cryptic crossword! Here’s a nice little primer on cryptics for the completely new cryptic solver. Don’t worry – I’ve tried to make this puzzle as accessible as possible, so please give this one a shot even if it’s your first one. If you’ve done a few cryptics before, I bet you’ll knock this one out of the park. (The “moderate” level on this puzzle presumes some familiarity with cryptics.)

This is the first cryptic I’ve ever written. I have to give special thanks to Doug Peterson, who test-solved this puzzle and gave me some great advice on revising a fair share of the clues to conform to proper cryptic standards (and keep the puzzle fair). (The usual test-solving monkeys of course had their say, too.) And here’s a hint, as you’ve been kind enough to read all the way down here. If you get stuck, try checking for anagrams. I love anagrams, and this puzzle has a slew of ‘em.

Stumped by a clue even after looking at the solution? Drop me a note in the comments section and I’ll help you out. (That means spoilers, folks!)

Back to American crosswords next week. See you then!

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13 Responses to Puzzle #30 – Cryptic #1

  1. e.a. says:

    you found my weakness

  2. Norm says:

    Cute. I’m more used to “in” being a direction rather than part of the answer, but this was enjoyable. I got 27A, because what else could it be, but I don’t see how it derives from the clue.

  3. Abby says:

    Being a voracious cryptic solver, I’m not your target, but I thought it was OK. Most annoying cryptic clues for me are hidden words (should be easy, but I swear they’re not) and jokey clues that aren’t really cryptic. You avoided the latter and only had one of the former, which is about right, I think.

    Too many anagrams, though I guess that helps people get a foothold. Not much crypticese (or whatever that should be called). Would’ve liked 21A to be less ambiguous (surface of “retro fabric” is stronger than “dug retro”, right?) but that’s acceptable.

    Don’t know if you read 225, but you can search the site and see how words have been clued in the past, which is enlightening, I think.

  4. Norm says:

    Now that I look at the puzzle again, I really think 29A should have been clued as “Rugby player TJ on TV” !!!

  5. Karen says:

    Thanks for the easy cryptic! I occasionally do a cryptic crossword, but usually can’t finish them in one day. This one fell in less than an hour, so I thought it was just right for me. :)

  6. Lisa from Queens says:

    Just adding to the thank-yous for a cryptic that I was actually able to finish for once, but was still fun and entertaining! 1-across made me laugh out loud.

  7. Vega says:

    You had me at “Hey!”

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