New Cryptic Era

Hi All,

Last year my wife and I made our debut in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age with the publication of a cryptic and quick on the puzzles page. Our designation is “D&LS”. We  share the fourth and fifth (if there is one) Thursday of the month with another setter, RK, meaning it could be two months between crosswords.

I will endeavour to update this post with our next scheduled crossword once I have publishing confirmation.

 

Best

David & Linda Stickley

Posted in AFR Cryptic, The Stickler | 3 Comments

AFR Cryptic, Saturday 13/7/2024, Clue Hints

Did you have trouble working out last week’s crossword? Check out the worked solution here:
AFR Cryptic (6/7/2024) Worked Solution

(click on the clue number to see the hint)

Click on underlined text for explanation of terms.

Need more hints for these or other clues? Just leave a reply below.





















A question mark has been used to indicate "language abuse", that is, a word or words in a clue are used in a technically incorrect way, but the meaning can be still inferred.

Example: A indeed (?) could mean to insert A inside deed.

Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
A word or series of words that signify the turning around (across & down clues), or overturning (down clues only) of letters.

Examples: upset, reversed, retired, in withdrawal, over etc.

Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
A type of clue where the WHOLE clue defines the answer, and the WHOLE clue also is the wordplay (a mechanism to derive the answer through various cryptic devices). "&lit" is short for "and literally".

To qualify as an &lit, a clue must have no unused components either in the definition or the wordplay - it must be readable one way as a definition, and another as the wordplay.

The entire answer is the result of removing the first or last letter from part of the clue or its synonym. A truncation indicator will be present.
The clue has two parts, each one defining the answer without using cryptic devices. Ideally each definition should have no etymological relationship.
The answer is found by removing a letter, letters, or a word (either found directly in the clue or derived) from a word or words (or their synonyms). Subtractions involving synonyms must be done with contiguous letters, that is, a word will subtract directly unless specifically indicated. A subtraction indicator is present to initiate the action.
A pointer that signifies the placing of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents) on the INSIDE of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents).

Examples: held by, kept by, embraced by - anything that creates the image of being contained.

A word or series of words that signify the removal of a letter, letters, word or words (or their equivalents) from other parts of the clue (or their equivalents).

Examples: taken from, decreased by, less.

The answer is found by removing a letter, letters, or a word (either found directly in the clue or derived) from a word or words (or their synonyms). Subtractions involving synonyms must be done with contiguous letters, that is, a word will subtract directly unless specifically indicated. A subtraction indicator is present to initiate the action.
The answer is hidden among the words of the clue. No spare words should be present. A suitable hidden indicator will point to the buried text.

Examples: part of, associated with, types of.

The answer is found by butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
The entire answer is the result of removing the first or last letter from part of the clue or its synonym. A truncation indicator will be present.
The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
A type of clue that involves the mixing up of letters without the inclusion of a letter or letters. This clue will have an anagram indicator to signify jumbling and a subtraction indicator to signify the removal of a letter or letters.

A removed letter may be as seen in the clue, an abbreviation for a word in the clue, or the result of another cryptic device like taking the initial letter from a word. Removed letters may be a whole word as seen in a clue, the synonym of a word in the clue (if that synonym is contiguous within the anagram fodder), or the result of another cryptic device like taking the middle two letters from a word.

The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
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AFR Cryptic (6/7/2024) Solution

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 TOSSED SALAD
Oddest salsa transformed side dish (6,5) Anagram of ODDEST SALSA
9 SCARRED
Small vehicle, a light colour, is damaged? (7) S + CAR + RED
10 REVOLVE
Turn round churchman against misplaced love (7) REV + anagram of LOVE
11 RESONANT
Family member, one implicated in breach, is ringing (8) (SON + A) inside RENT
12 STRAIT
Station’s first quality channel (6) (S)tation + TRAIT
14 ROAM
A wandering New Zealander, before striking one, turned around (4) (MAOR)i reversed
15 DESECRATED
Small-time deserter, involved in exploit, is dishonoured? (10) (SEC + RAT) inside DEED
18 PHENOMENON
Carbolic acid mostly used by people in connection with sensation (10) (PHENO)l + MEN + ON
19 LAMP
Large electrical unit is light (4) L + AMP
22 SCREEN
Show actor’s backside in moving scene (6) acto(R) inside anagram of SCENE
24 JAPANESE
Father wearing jeans fashioned by East Asian people (8) PA inside anagram of JEANS + E
26 RANGOLI
Traditional Indian decoration called “blended oil” (7) RANG + anagram of OIL
27 IMPRINT
One associated with public relations invested in brand-new stamp (7) I + (PR inside MINT)
28 OVER THE ODDS
Public gathering around in shed ordered more than expected (4,3,4) OVERT + (DO reversed) inside anagram of SHED
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 TRANSLATE
Explain one entry removed from train schedule (9) TRAIN minus I + SLATE
2 SHRANK
She briefly addressed troop formation reduced in size (6) SH(e) + RANK
3 ENDANGERED
Threatened termination caused outrage (10) END + ANGERED
4 SURF
Swell fellow behind contracted firm (4) F after (SUR)e
5 LAVATORY
Put outside large tank or waste disposal unit (8) LAY outside (VAT + OR)
6 DELTA
Those employed by supermodel taking a deposit (5) supermoDEL TAking
7 USURER
American tourer not taking to moneylender (6) US + (TOURER minus TO)
8 DENTED
Biblical text in action made an impression (6) NT inside DEED
13 DECORATIVE
Pretty strange divorcee stealing a partner’s heart (10) Anagram of DIVORCEE outside [A + par(T)ner]
16 TRAGEDIES
Dramatic stories displayed great anger in relationships (9) RAGED inside TIES
17 LONESOME
Forlorn one’s kidnapped by mole in disguise (8) ONES inside anagram of MOLE
18 PASTRY
People primarily like to hear Danish, for example (6) (P)eople + AS + TRY
20 PLENTY
Medical specialist in Strand with a great deal (6) ENT inside PLY
21 CAPPED
Rights relinquished by rapper in recording may be covered (6) (r)APPE(r) inside CD
23 RUN TO
Reach round behind weed (3,2) O after RUNT
25 PINT
Quantity from tap in tankard? (4) taP IN Tankard

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AFR Cryptic, Saturday 6/7/2024, Clue Hints

Did you have trouble working out last week’s crossword? Check out the worked solution here:
AFR Cryptic (29/6/2024) Worked Solution

(click on the clue number to see the hint)

Click on underlined text for explanation of terms.

Need more hints for these or other clues? Just leave a reply below.



















The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
A question mark has been used to indicate "language abuse", that is, a word or words in a clue are used in a technically incorrect way, but the meaning can be still inferred.

Example: A indeed (?) could mean to insert A inside deed.

The answer is found by butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
A pointer that signifies the placing of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents) around the OUTSIDE of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents).

Examples: holding, keeping, embracing - anything that creates the image of containment.

Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
The answer is found by butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
A type of clue where the WHOLE clue defines the answer, and the WHOLE clue also is the wordplay (a mechanism to derive the answer through various cryptic devices). "&lit" is short for "and literally".

To qualify as an &lit, a clue must have no unused components either in the definition or the wordplay - it must be readable one way as a definition, and another as the wordplay.

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AFR Cryptic (29/6/2024) Solution

 

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 BOARD
Executive group should be drilled according to auditor (5) Sounds like BORED
4 ASK FOR IT
Invite trouble as “King and I” played in building with tight security (3,3,2) AS + K + (I inside FORT)
10 DEPARTURE LOUNGE
Upgrade “rule” not resolved by one finally leaving area of airport (9,6) Anagram of UPGRADE RULE NOT + on(E)
11 ATROCITY
Patrol ignoring boundaries connected with urban centre’s villainy (8) p)ATRO(l + CITY
12 SENORA
She’s Spanish and not embraced by marine (6) NOR inside SEA (adjective)
14 REGION
GIO probing large amount of money for landlord’s land (6) GIO inside (REN)t
15 LITERAL
A tier rebuilt in middle of hollow according to specifications (7) Anagram of A TIER inside ho(LL)ow
18 EMO
Participants in the modern style of rock music? (3) thE MOdern
19 HEBREWS
He makes tea for old people (7) HE + BREWS
21 STUMPY
Short and thick pen broken by sports official (6) STY outside UMP
24 SPOORS
Trails not very good in the centre of Tassie (6) POOR inside ta(SS)ie
26 DOWNPOUR
Private parking swamped by severe heavy rain (8) (OWN + P) inside DOUR
28 STORM-WATER DRAIN
Wet ramrod busted inside pressure pipe used for overflow (5-5,5) Anagram of WET RAMROD inside STRAIN
29 TATTOOER
Permanent marker redesigned to rotate (8) Anagram of TO ROTATE
30 SIEGE
Military blockade is set back, say, close to bridge (5) IS reversed + EG + bridg(E)
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 BADMAN
Academic in reformed band is crook (6) MA inside anagram of BAND
2 ASPERSE
Falsely accuse a soldier at the front essentially (7) A + (S)oldier + PER SE
3 DIRECTIVE
Sort of credit that is guarding against instruction (9) Anagram of CREDIT + (IE outside V)
5 STEW
A chunk picked out of rotten waste food (4) Anagram of WASTE minus A
6 FROZE
Australian nabbed by ref out of line didn’t move (5) OZ inside anagram of REF
7 RANCOUR
Supervised court, mostly with ill feeling (7) RAN + (COUR)t
8 TOENAILS
One crook inside tracks digital attachments? (8) Anagram of ONE inside TAILS
9 LUSTINESS
Minor, with a transfusion of units, rebuilt strength (9) LESS outside anagram of UNITS
13 BLOSSOMED
Developed flowers – almost lost some planted in bed (9) [(LOS)t + SOME] inside BED
16 TOURNEDOS
Beef study given backing in trip overseas (9) DEN reversed inside (TOUR + OS)
17 CHESS SET
He’s in weird sects with men that normally sit on board (5,3) HES inside anagram of SECTS
20 BLOW-OUT
Lavish entertainment not reaching a high level in contest (4-3) LOW inside BOUT
22 PROBATE
Investigation stalling at document that proves a will is genuine (7) PROBE outside AT
23 FRANCE
Country cafe ran poorly without assistance initially (6) Anagram of CAFE RAN minus (A)ssistance
25 ROMEO
Monroe, not Marilyn, ultimately confused lover (5) Anagram of MONROE minus (M)arilyn
27 FACE
Come up against fine champion (4) F + ACE

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AFR Cryptic, Saturday 29/6/2024, Clue Hints

Did you have trouble working out last week’s crossword? Check out the worked solution here:
AFR Cryptic (22/6/2024) Worked Solution

(click on the clue number to see the hint)

Click on underlined text for explanation of terms.

Need more hints for these or other clues? Just leave a reply below.




















The answer is found by using the sound of a word or phrase. Sounds-like indicators point the way.
A word or series of words that signify a mixing-up of letters.

Examples: changed, at sea, confused, all over the place - anything that indicates change or jumbling.

The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
A word or series of words that signify the loss of one letter at the start or end of a word or string of letters.

Examples: beheaded, cut short, endless, nearly, largely etc.

The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
The answer is found by butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
A pointer that signifies the placing of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents) around the OUTSIDE of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents).

Examples: holding, keeping, embracing - anything that creates the image of containment.

A type of clue that involves the mixing up of letters without the inclusion of a letter or letters. This clue will have an anagram indicator to signify jumbling and a subtraction indicator to signify the removal of a letter or letters.

A removed letter may be as seen in the clue, an abbreviation for a word in the clue, or the result of another cryptic device like taking the initial letter from a word. Removed letters may be a whole word as seen in a clue, the synonym of a word in the clue (if that synonym is contiguous within the anagram fodder), or the result of another cryptic device like taking the middle two letters from a word.

Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
A pointer that signifies the placing of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents) around the OUTSIDE of one or more parts of a clue (or their equivalents).

Examples: holding, keeping, embracing - anything that creates the image of containment.

A type of clue that involves the mixing up of letters without the inclusion of a letter or letters. This clue will have an anagram indicator to signify jumbling and a subtraction indicator to signify the removal of a letter or letters.

A removed letter may be as seen in the clue, an abbreviation for a word in the clue, or the result of another cryptic device like taking the initial letter from a word. Removed letters may be a whole word as seen in a clue, the synonym of a word in the clue (if that synonym is contiguous within the anagram fodder), or the result of another cryptic device like taking the middle two letters from a word.

A type of clue that involves the mixing up of letters without the inclusion of a letter or letters. This clue will have an anagram indicator to signify jumbling and a subtraction indicator to signify the removal of a letter or letters.

A removed letter may be as seen in the clue, an abbreviation for a word in the clue, or the result of another cryptic device like taking the initial letter from a word. Removed letters may be a whole word as seen in a clue, the synonym of a word in the clue (if that synonym is contiguous within the anagram fodder), or the result of another cryptic device like taking the middle two letters from a word.

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AFR Cryptic (22/6/2024) Solution

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 PASSAGE
Silver lining used in dated part of book (7) AG inside PASSE
5 GRIPPE
Crook pop singer not affected by son’s influenza (6) Anagram of POP SINGER minus SON
9 CARDS
Vehicle died close to this bridge, for example (5) CAR + D + thi(S)
10 TANTALISE
Lead on bronze is featured in report (9) TAN + (IS inside TALE)
11 LUMINOUS
Obvious swelling reduced a little bit by one with nous (8) LUM(P) + I + NOUS
12 GIFTED
Brilliant condition documented in great edition (6) IF inside GT + ED
14 ELECTIONEERING
Notice greenie not happy about Labor leader’s political campaign (14) Anagram of NOTICE GREENIE outside (L)abor
16 CARPET-SWEEPERS
Cleaners and carers eating Favourites, shed tears (6-8) CARERS outside (PETS + WEEP)
20 SECURE
Find out about dog in the bag (6) SEE outside CUR
22 TEENAGER
Sort of agreement not catering for male adolescent (8) Anagram of AGREEMENT minus M
24 EXPLAINED
Former head of personnel backed rejection and provided clarification (9) EX + (P)ersonnel + DENIAL reversed
25 IGLOO
Man leaving Mongolia strangely bound for White House? (5) Anagram of MONGOLIA minus MAN
26 GASKET
It helps seal request listed in contract (6) ASK inside GET
27 DESTROY
Get rid of contaminated oyster after outbreak of disease (7) Anagram of OYSTER after (D)isease
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 PICKLE
Fix tool left 12 inches short (6) PICK + LEFT minus FT
2 SCRAMBLER
Off-road motorcycle, as such, oddly used by drifter (9) (S)u(C) + RAMBLER
3 ARSENIC
Crane is sprayed with a toxic element (7) Anagram of CRANE IS
4 ENTHUSIASM
The man is mistaken about American relish (10) Anagram of THE MAN IS outside US
5 GANG
Part of song angered close-knit group (4) sonG ANGered
6 IMAGINE
Picture that is on cover of publication currently popular (7) IE outside (MAG + IN)
7 PAINT
Describe one wearing short trousers (5) I inside PANT(s)
8 SEA DOG
Pirate goes wildly around carrying a dissenter’s head (3,3) Anagram of GOES outside [A + (D)issenter]
13 UNDEFENDED
Euros invested in dodgy fund finished exposed (10) E inside anagram of FUND + ENDED
15 IRREGULAR
Unusual German gun turned up in possession of IRA, right? (9) LUGER reversed inside (IRA + R)
16 CASTER
Time put into lawsuit by river fisherman, for example (6) T inside CASE + R
17 EARMARK
Tag mare knocked around by animal transporter (7) Anagram of MARE + ARK
18 PANTIES
Underwear and neckwear shipped in containers (7) TIE inside PANS
19 BROODY
Heartless boy holding crucifix is introspective? (6) B(o)Y outside ROOD
21 CUPPA
Drink finished by executive’s offsider after start of course (5) (UP + PA) after (C)ourse
23 KNOT
Boss’s number replacing one in kit (4) (NO for I) inside KIT

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AFR Cryptic, Saturday 22/6/2024, Clue Hints

Did you have trouble working out last week’s crossword? Check out the worked solution here:
AFR Cryptic (15/6/2024) Worked Solution

(click on the clue number to see the hint)

Click on underlined text for explanation of terms.

Need more hints for these or other clues? Just leave a reply below.

















The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
A type of clue that involves the mixing up of letters without the inclusion of a letter or letters. This clue will have an anagram indicator to signify jumbling and a subtraction indicator to signify the removal of a letter or letters.

A removed letter may be as seen in the clue, an abbreviation for a word in the clue, or the result of another cryptic device like taking the initial letter from a word. Removed letters may be a whole word as seen in a clue, the synonym of a word in the clue (if that synonym is contiguous within the anagram fodder), or the result of another cryptic device like taking the middle two letters from a word.

A word or series of words that signify a mixing-up of letters.

Examples: changed, at sea, confused, all over the place - anything that indicates change or jumbling.

The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
A word or phrase that defines the answer. All cryptic clues usually have a minimum of one definition which will be located at the beginning or end of the clue.
A type of clue that involves the mixing up of letters without the inclusion of a letter or letters. This clue will have an anagram indicator to signify jumbling and a subtraction indicator to signify the removal of a letter or letters.

A removed letter may be as seen in the clue, an abbreviation for a word in the clue, or the result of another cryptic device like taking the initial letter from a word. Removed letters may be a whole word as seen in a clue, the synonym of a word in the clue (if that synonym is contiguous within the anagram fodder), or the result of another cryptic device like taking the middle two letters from a word.

A type of clue that involves the mixing up of letters without the inclusion of a letter or letters. This clue will have an anagram indicator to signify jumbling and a subtraction indicator to signify the removal of a letter or letters.

A removed letter may be as seen in the clue, an abbreviation for a word in the clue, or the result of another cryptic device like taking the initial letter from a word. Removed letters may be a whole word as seen in a clue, the synonym of a word in the clue (if that synonym is contiguous within the anagram fodder), or the result of another cryptic device like taking the middle two letters from a word.

All words can be validly written with a leading capital without changing their meaning. Hence, the capitalisation of a word may present a different picture than is intended.
Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
A word or series of words that signify the loss of one letter at the start or end of a word or string of letters.

Examples: beheaded, cut short, endless, nearly, largely etc.

The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
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AFR Cryptic (15/6/2024) Solution

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 SPRUCE
Well-dressed timber (6) Double Definition
4 RANSOMED
Some in South African capital may be set free (8) SOME inside RAND
9 CHAIRED
Looked after meeting’s tea and wine (7) CHAI + RED
11 QUARREL
Scrap arrow with a four-edged head (7) Double Definition
12 NATIONALISTIC
Loyal Italian son affected by medical condition (13) Anagram of ITALIAN SON + TIC
14 BUDGIE
Bird that is following insect around, died (6) IE after (BUG outside D)
15 GET THERE
Go places, for example, coming back with T2 present (3,5) EG reversed + TT + HERE
18 SECRETLY
Three members of crew, in style, worked behind closed doors (8) (CRE)w inside anagram of STYLE
20 VALUED
Broadcast of vaudeville, not bad, should be respected (6) Anagram of VAUDEVILLE minus EVIL
23 ELECTRIC KNIFE
Feel nice, strangely, carrying trick device used for cutting (8,5) ANagram of FEEL NICE outside TRICK
26 EURASIA
Continental land mass, close to Honolulu in area, is unsettled (7) honolul(U) inside anagram of AREA IS
27 STUDIES
Examines structural support that is close to buildings (7) STUD + IE + building(S)
28 MORAY EEL
Swimmer’s eye damaged in lesson (5,3) Anagram of EYE inside MORAL
29 STORMY
Passionate maiden featured in news item (6) M inside STORY
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 SECOND BASE
Part of a diamond company listed in dispatch of inferior quality (6,4) CO inside SEND + BASE
2 REACTED
Young bucks, say, picked up outside a court, delivered a response (7) DEER reversed outside (A + CT)
3 CARBONISE
Coke is concealed in car body part (9) IS inside (CAR + BONE)
5 ACQUIRED
Bought a number of sheets used in music collection (8) A + (QUIRE inside CD)
6 START
Introduce principal (head of teaching) (5) STAR + (T)eaching
7 MIRACLE
Vehicle reversed in a long way – an astonishing feat (7) CAR reversed inside MILE
8 DELI
Shop is particularly deficient in delivery (4) DELIVERY minus VERY
10 DRAB
Lacklustre poet making a comeback (4) BARD reversed
13 NEEDLESSLY
Injections done with artful dexterity without any point (10) NEEDLES + SLY
16 TRACKSUIT
Clothing racks should be carried by trade union with it (9) RACK inside (TU + IT)
17 FLATMATE
Sharing friend left a source of money in divine will (8) (L + ATM) inside FATE
19 CLEARER
Translation of Le Carre should be easier to understand (7) Anagram of LE CARRE
21 UNIFIER
Binder found in blaze at university, it’s said (7) Sounds like UNI FIRE
22 FIRS
Trees pruned before all others (4) FIRS(t)
24 ESSAY
Central part of thesis, for example? (5) th(ES)is + SAY
25 GERM
European releasing an undesirable micro-organism (4) GERMAN minus AN

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AFR Cryptic, Saturday 15/6/2024, Clue Hints

Did you have trouble working out last week’s crossword? Check out the worked solution here:
AFR Cryptic (8/6/2024) Worked Solution

(click on the clue number to see the hint)

Click on underlined text for explanation of terms.

Need more hints for these or other clues? Just leave a reply below.






















The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
The answer is found by butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
The clue has two parts, each one defining the answer without using cryptic devices. Ideally each definition should have no etymological relationship.
A word or series of words that signify a mixing-up of letters.

Examples: changed, at sea, confused, all over the place - anything that indicates change or jumbling.

Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
A type of clue that involves the mixing up of letters without the inclusion of a letter or letters. This clue will have an anagram indicator to signify jumbling and a subtraction indicator to signify the removal of a letter or letters.

A removed letter may be as seen in the clue, an abbreviation for a word in the clue, or the result of another cryptic device like taking the initial letter from a word. Removed letters may be a whole word as seen in a clue, the synonym of a word in the clue (if that synonym is contiguous within the anagram fodder), or the result of another cryptic device like taking the middle two letters from a word.

Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
The answer is found by butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
Either a mixture of letters is placed inside or outside other letters, or letters are placed inside or outside a mixture of letters. An anagram indicator and containment indicator will be present.
The structure of the answer involves either letters placed outside other letters, or letters placed inside other letters. Which type of container clue is determined by an appropriate container indicator.
The answer is found by removing a letter, letters, or a word (either found directly in the clue or derived) from a word or words (or their synonyms). Subtractions involving synonyms must be done with contiguous letters, that is, a word will subtract directly unless specifically indicated. A subtraction indicator is present to initiate the action.
The answer is found by butting together parts defined in the wordplay. There may be some positional indicators that change the order of these parts.
The answer is found by using the sound of a word or phrase. Sounds-like indicators point the way.
The entire answer is the result of removing the first or last letter from part of the clue or its synonym. A truncation indicator will be present.
A type of clue where the WHOLE clue defines the answer, and the WHOLE clue also is the wordplay (a mechanism to derive the answer through various cryptic devices). "&lit" is short for "and literally".

To qualify as an &lit, a clue must have no unused components either in the definition or the wordplay - it must be readable one way as a definition, and another as the wordplay.

The answer is found by removing a letter, letters, or a word (either found directly in the clue or derived) from a word or words (or their synonyms). Subtractions involving synonyms must be done with contiguous letters, that is, a word will subtract directly unless specifically indicated. A subtraction indicator is present to initiate the action.
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AFR Cryptic (8/6/2024) Solution

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 SCHEMES
Men, before finishing in chess, developed strategies (7) (ME)n inside anagram of CHESS
5 PREAMP
Piano salesperson moved around AM stereo equipment (6) P + REP outside AM
9 A-FLAT
Group of football players engaged in musical production (1-4) AFL + AT
10 CRESCENDO
Finish in soccer rematch is a high point? (9) END insider anagram of SOCCER
11 ESCORTED
Guided business established in redeveloped desert (8) CO inside anagram of DESERT
12 BLOATS
Craft handling large swells (6) BOATS outside L
13 PIPE
Spot butt from cigarette smoker (4) PIP + cigarett(E)
14 INCEPTION
Awkward one on about carbon’s rise (9) (INEPT + I + ON) outside C
17 ABERRANCE
Deviation can be rare in disorder (9) Anagram of CAN BE RARE
18 SCAR
Mark is writing inside Christmas cards (4) christmaS CARds
20 TOP HAT
Surgery conducted in that head gear considered first-class (3,3) OP inside THAT
21 GROUPING
Alcohol banking up in class (8) GROG outside (UP + IN)
24 COLLISION
Company is hostile about active opposition (9) CO + [(IS + ILL) reversed] + ON
25 GREEN
Reduction of energy excited environmentalist (5) Anagram of (ENERG)y
26 STATIC
Steady activist not supporting one against changing (6) Anagram of ACTIVIST minus (I + V)
27 SADNESS
“The Blues Brothers”, at the end, damaged sedans (7) brother(S) + anagram of SEDANS
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 SHAKE
Small fish flourish (5) S + HAKE
2 HELICOPTER PILOT
Rich IT people distributed group’s flyer (10,5) Anagram of RICH IT PEOPLE + LOT
3 MATURE
Experienced amateur, missing start, messed up (6) Anagram of (a)MATEUR
4 SECRETION
Discharge core of bureau in region (9) bu(RE)au inside SECTION
5 PEEL
Remove skin from head of poached fish (4) (P)oached + EEL
6 EUCALYPT
Worried acutely about prominent branch of pine tree (8) Anagram of ACUTELY outside (P)ine
7 MANDARIN CHINESE
Fellow, insincere, had translated language (8,7) MAN + anagram of INSINCERE + HAD
8 LOOSENER
Laxative seen tossed in toilet, right? (8) Anagram of SEEN inside (LOO + R)
13 PLASTICS
Synthetic materials remain fresh in pictures (8) LAST inside PICS
15 CLEARINGS
Pockets of vacant land are not normally enclosed by sticks (9) Anagram of ARE inside CLINGS
16 ORGANIST
Love arrangement of a string instrument player (8) O + anagram of A STRING
19 BULGED
Leg broken in shoot showed signs of swelling (6) Anagram of LEG inside BUD
22 GANGS
Head of government in difficulty upset criminal groups (5) (G)overnment inside (SNAG reversed)
23 ZINC
Sample of quartz in compound is a trace element (4) quartZ IN Compound

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