The Stickler Weekly 75 Solution

Last week I ran an introduction to cryptic crosswords through a Sydney and Melbourne based group called Laneway Learning. Their aim is to get (mostly) innercity folk to try new things and they make use of cafes that would normally be closed during the evening. I’ll talk to anyone or group about cryptic crosswords as I believe spreading the word is the only way they will survive. Laneway Learning’s clientele, being innercity based, are generally on the younger side so it’s a great opportunity to get people involved early.
I do have reservations about squeezing anything about cryptic crosswords into just 75 minutes, especially an introductory presentation, as this first impression could start or end a solving career. I believe I could convey all the head knowledge needed to solve cryptic crosswords in about half an hour, but it would probably take a year of practice, patience and persistence for someone to become a proficient solver. There’s always a danger then, with a short time available, that budding solvers walk away confused, their heads crammed with new knowledge but very little practical experience to match. Very few people come cold to cryptics and “get it” straight away and it’s not for everyone no matter how good they are at solving “straight” crosswords.
Last week’s session had an added obstacle: a fully functioning pub all around us, meaning I had to shout and move through the lesson quickly. I think all participants got something out of the time and two of them made the effort to email and thank me. Maybe given time they’ll be weekly visitors here.

Across Answers and Clues Explanations
1 RESCUERS
Deliverers rest briefly and curse wildly (8) (RES)T + anagram of CURSE
5 BUBBLE
Blister bled extensively on youngster’s backside (6) (BLE)D after BUB
9 BRANDY ALEXANDER
Relax and be spoilt drinking hot cocktail (6,9) Anagram of RELAX AND BE outside RANDY
11 RESTRAINED
Calm reserve prepared for action (10) RES + TRAINED
12 LEVY
Tax money in Bulgaria and Japan? (4) LEV + Y
14 HANGAR
Bomber’s home, perhaps, to execute a leader of rebels (6) HANG + A + (R)EBELS
16 STALLION
Deliberately delay one running stud (8) STALL + I + ON
18 DEVOTEES
Fans loved going around unfinished sections of golf course (8) (LOVED reversed) with no end + TEES
19 LIEGES
Subjects, say, featured in stories (6) EG inside LIES
22 LILT
Listener primarily into bright, happy music (4) (L)ISTENER inside LIT
23 NOTICEABLE
Illicit drug in possession of celebrity is easily seen (10) ICE inside NOTABLE
26 INSTRUMENTALIST
Musician’s mate turns in broken record (15) Anagram of MATE TURNS IN + LIST
27 DISMAY
Consternation is beginning to mount in set time (6) [IS + (M)OUNT] inside DAY
28 PLAYED ON
Place rebuilt one day may be exploited (6,2) PL + anagram of ONE DAY
 Down  Answers and Clues Explanations
1 REBIRTH
Upstanding members of Jewish tribe reached spiritual enlightenment (7) jewisH TRIBE Reached
2 SCANS
Head of surgery does away with medical examinations (5) (S)URGERY + CANS
3 UNDERPANTS
Close-fitting garment doesn’t breathe enough? (10) Double Definition
4 ROADIE
Member of support crew had pulled out of Radiohead’s organisation (6) Anagram of RADIOHEAD minus HAD
6 UTAH
Part of Connecticut, a historic US state (4) connecticUT A Historic
7 BUDGETING
Change can start to generate planning for the future (9) BUDGE + TIN + (G)ENERATE
8 EARLY ON
Sensor only worked in the beginning (5,2) EAR + anagram of ONLY
10 EVENTS
Level street set up for contests (6) EVEN + (ST reversed)
13 ILLITERACY
Sick item detailed crude ignorance? (10) ILL + (ITE)M + RACY
15 NOVELISTS
Love isn’t poorly portrayed by serial’s lead writers (9) Anagram of LOVE ISNT + (S)ERIAL
17 DEFORM
Dream of eliminating a twisted pervert (6) Anagram of DREAM OF minus A
18 DALLIED
Boy stood up, said the wrong thing, and wasted time (7) LAD reversed + LIED
20 SWEET ON
Mad about people in general captured in attack (5,2) WE inside SET ON
21 SIGNAL
Message log’s last section in computer system is backed up (6) LO(G) inside (LAN IS reversed)
24 BUILD
Institute should be charged according to auditor (5) Sounds like BILLED
25 PROA
Old hand seen on a Malay sailing boat (4) PRO + A

 

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