In the example clues below, the links will take you to explanations of our beginner series. The smuggler’s name often refers to an interview with them, in case you want to get to know them better.
News in clues
There is a special indignity in being part of a clue when most solvers hadn’t heard from you until you appeared in terrible stories elsewhere in the newspaper. So this is the case for the former boss of the post, Paula Vennells, in a clue from Vlad:
25a Maybe Post Office really apologizing (and Vennells) – IT is at fault from the start (7)
[ definition: what Wiley Post is an example of ][ wordplay: anagram (âat faultâ) of initial letters of (âfrom the startâ) OFFICE REALLY APOLOGISING AND VENNELLS with IT (âITâ) ][ anagram of ORAAVIT ]
So this is AVIATOR and as with all Saturday Guardian puzzles, there is an annotated solution if you have one but don’t know why.
Other times you appear in a clue when many solvers may have already made up their minds about you. So it’s with Martin Bashir in a Tramp clue:
1a / 8d / 6d The broadcast had Martin Bashir tested: has watching show this once? (7.8.4)
[ definition: something once shown by a watch ][ wordplay: anagram of (âbroadcastâ) DIDTESTMARTINBASHIR ]
As usual with Tramp, the theme is explored elsewhere in the puzzle and if, like me, you’re interested in things like the Wilson government’s experience with BRITISH STANDARD TIME, I highly recommend you. About the weather, the latest book by former Royal Observatory Timekeeping Curator, Greenwich, David Rooney.
By the way, stunned by the innovation of the last fortnight of putting the definition before the pun in the above explanations, I belatedly answer a forgotten question about why we used “ac” for âThroughâ but simply âdâ for âdownâ by sliding into another big change in a way that may go unnoticed. Have you noticed
Less facetious, readers Tony Collman and, implicitly, Ousgg to suggest that we could remove the bold and italics in the indices themselves. Would that encourage more diligent analysis?
Paul is outside. Literally: yesterday he started a weeklong UK city tour where he visits parks and thanks the solvers who participated in his Zooms and crossword folks in general. âI have filled in a grid,â he tells me, and of course âparticipants can help create a crossword on the history of the tourâ. There is a list of amazingly accurate cities and locations on Paul’s website.
After last week’s exhortation to try the weekend puzzles, a reminder that their clues are solvable. Here’s one from Piccadilly in the Sunday Telegraph’s Enigmatic variations:
32a Affected material (4)
[ double definition ]
Of course, once you have FELT, you must encode it before you type, and after determining what the code is; for now, while it’s always a pleasure to feel, the words come from different places, and you might have already had a felt filter. The word was used for a felt hat, and for a hat of anything, which perhaps explains the accuracy of this 1550s law:
I’d like to imagine it was the same person behind that endless mantra-like phrase and the fringe gloss saying, effectively, “Basically, about who can make hats, buddy.” “
After that, will we have something faster for our next challenge? Often now made from red felt, it shares its name with the Moroccan town where purple berries turned red dye: reader, how would you know FEZ?
Thank you for your hints for the bindings made by VELCRO. If I had known that the makers of this stuff had made a scary video in trying to control how I use the word, I would have chosen a different coat rack; thanks to Newlalandes for the link and for the bold answer: “Be united by opposing intellectual property, by getting rid of stupid, flexible and petty rules.” “
Fittingly, VELCRO lends itself to clues that join two words, such as “Fastening section of level crossing” by Faiton77 and “Easy fix for clever mount brackets” by Catarella and to clues involving tangles, such as “Tangled patch of wild clover “from Artemiswolf.
The finalists are “The distraught lover heading to the board – a way to achieve closure?” and âEngrossed in high level crossword puzzles, it’s easy to get hookedâ by Montano and I hope you tell me if the sentiment has clouded me by naming Newlaplandes âDeveloping and growing, essentially, around a small community – good for staying together “since he prompted a response from Albery regarding our “beautiful, friendly and informative community”.
From Kludos to Newlaplandes: Please leave the entries for this fortnight’s competition below – and your choices from the large format cryptics.
8d The crossed bears keep the fools ax man (7)
[ definition: guitarist (âaxemanâ) ][ wordplay: X (âcrossâ) under (âbearsâ in down clue) anagram of HINDER ][ X under HENDRI ]
Jimi HENDRIX’s Purple Haze is one of the many songs recorded by Toyah and Robert Fripp of King Crimson for those who like to have fun.
This is the last of our collaborative playlist Healing music recorded in 2020-21 to accompany a resolution or even listen; recommendations welcome. Be careful.
Alan Connor’s The Shipping Forecast Puzzle Book, which is partly but not primarily cryptic, can be ordered from the Guardian Bookstore.