The Stickler Weekly 184 Solution

I’ve been steadily losing crossword work since the GFC. Two big chunks were puzzle-book work for APC (now Bauer Media) and then, of course, all my News Ltd work which included The Stickler. Various online puzzles have come and gone, and work through a media agency has been reduced bit by bit. I’ve written crosswords for just about every type of publication you can think of: fishing magazine, pay TV channel, gardening magazine, church publication etc etc – all now, sadly, résumé items never to return. One area that has been consistent, but low frequency, has been airline magazines. I went from one airline to another and have done sixty crosswords over the years. Last January I received word from the magazine company that the crossword was no longer needed as the airline asked them to get rid of it, however, there was a plan to include a similar crossword in one of their other publications. Two weeks ago I was asked to create the first one of these and the magazine company gave me some feedback on why the original crossword had been axed. Apparently it was TOO POPULAR, and the airline had been replacing the inflight magazines that had filled-in crosswords with fresh copies, costing them more in printing costs. (I don’t fly often but rarely do I find an inflight magazine with the crossword untouched – most airlines don’t seem to care whether it’s been filled in or not). I’ve had crosswords cancelled for all sorts of reasons but never because they were too popular. Sometimes you lose even when you win.

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 ROCK-BOTTOM
Low music, time and time again used in big sound (4-6) ROCK + (TT inside BOOM)
6 APES
A deadly epidemic disease nearly finished off parrots (4) A + (PES)T
9 PESTO
Selection of canapes topped with sauce (5) canPES TOpped
10 ART LOVERS
Dilettantes left on high in presence of excited star (3,6) (L + OVER) inside anagram of STAR
12 STANDING
Joiner in smart position (8) AND inside STING
13 UPTIME
Corrupted computer dies without coders working hours (6) Anagram of COMPUTER DIES minus CODERS
15 LEAPER
Outcast providing shelter for a bounder (6) LEPER outside A
16 UPRIGHT
Honest old maid living in ramshackle hut (7) PRIG inside anagram of HUT
18 ACT
One part of Australia to do something (3) Double Definition
19 NOVICES
Trainees turned on tools (7) ON reversed + VICES
21 FOUGHT
Stronghold soundly defended (6) Sounds like FORT
24 GANTRY
Annoying one returned to test a supporting framework (6) NAG reversed + TRY
25 VERIFIER
Contender, filled with passion, pushed around official checker (8) VIER outside (FIRE reversed)
27 ASSEMBLED
Gathered masses mostly scattered and ran (9) Anagram of (MASSE)S + BLED
28 ICTUS
Some involved in conflict used a sudden attack (5) conflICT USed
29 SUNK
Brown kelp primarily on the rocks (4) SUN + (K)ELP
30 IMPRESARIO
Company director reviewed primaries before heading to office? (10) Anagram of PRIMARIES + (O)FFICE
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 RAPIST
Trained healer not supporting the sex offender (6) THERAPIST minus THE
2 CASCADE
Fellow not liked in boxing, falls (7) CAD inside CASE
3 BROAD-SPECTRUM
Wild cats probed with spirit having a wide range of uses (5-8) Anagram of CATS PROBED + RUM
4 TRAIN CRASH
Rubbish written about beaten-up car in transport accident (5,5) TRASH outside anagram of CAR IN
5 OATH
Promise made to athlete taking part (4) tO ATHlete
7 PEEKING
Noble clipped king having a quick look (7) (PEE)R + KING
8 SUSPECTS
Country with power in the hands of religious groups and questionable people (8) (US + P) inside SECTS
11 OPPORTUNITIES
Surgery unit, fitted with port that is small, breaks (13) (OP + UNIT) outside PORT + IE + S
14 OUTFIELDER
Equipment largely used by senior baseballer or cricketer (10) (OUTFI)T + ELDER
17 ANAGRAMS
A fault-finder strikes hard setter’s work, perhaps (8) A + NAG + RAMS
20 VENISON
Meat from oven is whisked back to kitchen (7) Anagram of OVEN IS + KITCHE(N)
22 HOISTER
Lift operator is in hotel unloading left and right (7) IS inside (HOTEL minus L) + R
23 PRESTO
Nine crossing river’s rapid? (6) PESTO outside R
26 PLUM
Four slices of fleshy fruit (4) (PLUM)P

 

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4 Responses to The Stickler Weekly 184 Solution

  1. Arthur Maynard says:

    7d I kept the noble intact and clipped the King, to get peering which is more likely to be more than a quick look.
    I liked your number clues (23 and 26d). Recalled one of my favourites from many years ago.

    There are four in the RAAF (8)

    I am intrigued by your airline story. I can almost guarantee I get to do the Cryptic on Qld Rail, at the hairdresser and in the doctor’s waiting room, even though most of them have been dumbed down. Just as well I can’t fly very often. They must have a different class of passenger.

  2. Cathy S says:

    23d had us stumped (I and my work chums). Presto seemed to be the answer but we couldn’t work out why – until I saw the comment above!

  3. Richard Sternes says:

    Glad it’s not just me still wondering, whilst well into this weeks offering.
    Can see why 1d now tho not nice. THINK I can see 6a & 26d.
    Really on look-out now for anything remotely resembling a ‘number’ clue!!!
    Liked your 7d rationale Arthur.

  4. Arthur Maynard says:

    6a I came up with “apes” for “parrots” My parsing uses the clue as a charade. “a” “deadly disease nearly finished off”. Crossword Solver provided 3 options for PES?, one of which is “pest” with the description “noun” any epidemic disease with a high death rate. I googled pest and found that the bubonic plague was alternately called “the pest”. Mirriam Webster confirms the definition of pest as Definition of pest. “1 : an epidemic disease associated with high mortality; specifically : plague”
    So pest nearly finished off is “pes” which conforms to David’s solution.
    26d is four slices (pieces) of fleshy (plump). Maybe I misled you with the reference to numbers in 26 because it has nothing to do with clue 4 whereas 23d depended on clue 9

    Pity my 7d was off, because it fitted the spaces.