The Stickler Weekly 172 Solution

Those who enjoy watching Inspector Morse on TV may not realise that the character’s creator, Colin Dexter, was a huge cryptic crossword fan and gifted setter. His passing a few weeks ago sparked a number of tributes and stories, a summary of which can be found on Alan Connor’s Guardian crossword blog. Last Christmas my son bought me some Endeavour DVDs, an odd choice I thought until I actually sat down to watch. Endeavour is early Inspector Morse, and the series establishes the character’s nature as well as revealing the creator’s nature. The first episode I saw was a mystery based around cryptic crosswords – my son knew what he was doing.
Over the years I’ve been involved in a number of projects where cryptic clues have been used in unusual situations. One was in a high-profile movie where the hero was supposed to receive information through a newspaper’s cryptic crossword. The footage ended up on the cutting-room floor, but I enjoyed being involved. Another was writing some clues for an amateur play that never made it to production. I’ve often wondered if there is a (cryptic) crossword project out there where real reward is possible, as I’ve spent most of my crossword career earning less than an average income.
15 years ago I had a dream where I believed I’d found a cryptic crossword holy grail, the only trouble is I couldn’t remember the details – I could only remember that I’d discovered something amazing. What a useless experience.

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 CLAM UP
Keep mum’s shaved lamb in green container (4,2) (LAM)B inside CUP
5 SECURED
Worthless dog, bitten by sow, should be locked up (7) CUR inside SEED
10 RIGOLETTO
Leader of orchestra, wearing outfit, allowed to famous opera (9) (O)RCHESTRA inside (RIG + LET) + TO
11 LUGER
It was built to shoot a downhill runner (5) Double Definition
12 NATTER
Head to nightclub and treat broken jaw (6) (N)IGHTCLUB + anagram of TREAT
13 ASSAILED
Clown, troubled, is set upon (8) ASS + AILED
15 EXES
Participants in sex, especially old lovers (4) sEX ESpecially
16 REGIMENTED
Organised meeting, held by cardinal say, is classified (10) Anagram of MEETING inside RED
19 TASKMASTER
Disciplinarian is to inquire about unsettled matters? Just the opposite! (10) ASK inside anagram of MATTERS
20 FINE
Penalise superior (4) DOUble Definition
23 IMMATURE
Shut up about a tense adolescent (8) IMMURE outside (A + T)
25 BANKER
Source of bread, perhaps, not initially admitted by bread supplier (6) (N)OT inside BAKER
27 VIRGO
Men playing no part in removing perverted sign (5) Anagram of REMOVING minus MEN
28 HERCULEAN
Powerful copper laid into the woman with a thin build (9) CU inside (HER + LEAN)
29 SLOWS UP
Cat, sailing back with reasonable load, reduces speed (5,2) PUSS reversed outside LOW
30 YIELDS
DNA taken from contaminated scene of deadly sin is revealing (6) Anagram of DEADLY SIN minus DNA
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
2 LIGHTNESS
Peculiar thing used in not so great delicacy (9) Anagram of THING inside LESS
3 MOLTEN
Little time left to clear up liquid (6) MO + L + (NET reversed)
4 PITY
Regret heartless devotion? (4) PI(E)TY
5 SHOPSOILED
Small springs, covered in lubricant, may be grubby (10) S + HOPS + OILED
6 COLLARED
Variety of local wine is seized (8) Anagram of LOCAL + RED
7 REGAL
Magnificent feast for the most part (5) (REGAL)E
8 DERIDED
Right identification listed in legal document is treated with contempt (7) (R + ID) inside DEED
9 FRINGE
Bang bell forged in iron (6) RING inside FE
14 CENSORSHIP
Leading member of college distributed porn – is she withholding material? (10) (C)OLLEGE + anagram of PORN IS SHE
17 THICKHEAD
Country person, featuring in the commercial, is a whistler (9) HICK inside (THE + AD)
18 EMOTIONS
Returned book is about relating to feelings (8) TOME reversed + (IS outside ON)
19 THIEVES
People who steal this should be framing first mate (7) THIS outside EVE
21 ERRAND
Make a mistake with joiner’s task (6) ERR + AND
22 PAPULE
Pus mostly formed in middle of ghastly spot (6) (PU)S inside PALE
24 MARIO
Games mascot hurt one heading to Olympics (5) MAR + I + (O)LYMPICS
26 GREY
Depressing fellow leaving Germany in turmoil (4) Anagram of GERMANY minus MAN

 

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10 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 172 Solution

  1. Richard Sternes says:

    David – last night I was dreaming about the
    Patron Saint of Lost Causes (as you do) – turns out to be St Jude.
    Maybe if you hum a few bars of “Hey Jude”………..?

  2. Arthur Maynard says:

    Recently I re-read the Cljifton Chronicles – a series of 7 novels about the Clifton family written by Jeffrey Archer. In one book, a crossword clue plays a pivotal part in the judge’s decision as to whether the deceased was of sound mind when she changed her will on the day she died. There was a considerable sum at stake and the son was cut out of the will (for very good reason). On the day she died, she completed the times crossword except for one clue – an anagram “compos mentis”. The judge decided against the son.

    There was a mystery series which hung around the notable setter of cryptic crosswords. I watched it at the time, but it is a dim memory now.

    I was impressed with Morse solving cryptics in the series, but was not aware of the connection.

  3. Christine Hulley says:

    Surely the explanation for 16a should be ‘anagram of meeting inside red’ not anagram of cardinal?

  4. Maggie says:

    Just getting round to checking the solution to 172. What is the function of ‘green’ in 1 Across? I thought ‘cup’ was enough for ‘container’.

    I enjoyed the crossword and am looking forward to getting started, belatedly, on 173.

    • Toni Fowler says:

      I was going to ask the same question..

    • David Stickley says:

      Yes, Maggie and Toni, it’s probably enough on it’s own, but as there are 100s of containers, sometimes I like to add some extra help. (Which obviously doesn’t always do the job).
      Here “green” refers to the putting surface on a golf hole which features a cup.

      Stickler

  5. Maggie says:

    Thanks for the explanation. I had thought of other green things but not the golf reference.

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