The closest I get to finishing a cryptic crossword is by starting it. I pick up a cryptic, and in two hours, I've finished a grand total of one word (if I'm lucky), and probably got that one wrong (if I'm lucky). I find the damn things infuriating: I don't know how anyone can do them. Pretty much the only reason I published a cryptic crossword on this website a month ago was to infuriate my readers. If I can alienate one reader a day, I'm happy.
So anyway, I was walking along the street with my nose stuck in a Lovatt's cryptic book today, merrily causing the usual screeching cars and traffic collisions, and getting more and more incensed as I read the clues.
8. Brown boy included in study of plants.
That one turned out to be 'Botany'. Okay, so study of plants is 'Botany'. 'Brown' is 'Tan'. But 'Boy' is not to be found 'in' the word 'Botany', though you could possibly - if you were a pervert, a blackguard or a person who compiled cryptic crosswords for a living - say that the 'Boy' was 'around Brown'. It's a stupid clue, and doesn't make sense!
24. Drunken central European pedestrian becomes circus performer.
This is 'Tightrope Walker'. 'Rope' is at the centre of 'Europe', you see, and 'Walker' is pedestrian, but what pun or colloquialism am I missing out on that makes 'Tight' mean 'Drunk'?
These weren't the worst, either. 'Spooner conned Dee with beast of burden' was craptacular; the Spoonerism they were looking out for, it turned out, was 'Donkey'. 'Conned Dee' turns into 'Donkey'? Get it? Neither do I. It's the worst pun I've ever read; obviously the guys who wrote this thing couldn't get a job at Channel Ten's 'The Wedge'.
This clue, however, made me shout out loud at its stupidity:
26. Mass emigration from Biblical book.
Not that it was hard - it was easy. Mass emigration, that's 'exodus'. Biblical book, well, that's 'Exodus' too. But why bother jamming the two together? That's not a cryptic clue, it's two normal clues put together in an inelegant fashion to piss the reader off.
Grrr. Grrrr! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!
By the way, twelve across: 'Manner of speaking during childbirth'. (As if any mother would be mannered during childbirth...) It's eight letters. Any suggestions?
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
- John Bangsund's Threepenny Planet
- Broken Biro
- Poetry 24
- Superlative scribbles
- Kirstyn McD!
- Rorrim a tsomla almost a mirror
- More Sterne
- Cam the man from the Dan.
- Too hot to Raaaaaaandallllllll!
- Erin's Excellently Everlasting Effervescements!
- Slammy Infamy
- Hail Paco!
- Baron Blandwagon, purveyor of cyberbunnies, hawker of Roger Corman, and Misruler of the Multiverse
- The Bolta. Aiyeeeeee!!!!!
- Bad Apple Audrey
- The cartoon church
- Sir Martinkus
- A Zemblanian abroad and at home
- A hodge podge of hotzeplotz
- THE SLAMMA!
- Jottlesby's nottings, or should that be Nottlesby's jottings?
- The Snarking of the Hunt
- Jazzy Hands
- David of Metal City
- David the Barista
- The Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony
- Be an Opinion Dominion Minion!
- ... and Fel
- His brilliant career - from whale sushi to crumbed prawn
- Jo Blogs
- Yet another Tim
- Was two peas, now three peas
- ... Still Life - now with extra rotating cats!
- An Amazingly Awesome Australian Ampersand!
- Blink and you'll miss 'er
- Red in the land of the tigers!
- Wire of Vibe
- Chase him, ladies, he's in the cavalry!
- The Non-palindromical Editrix in Germanium
- Old Sterne
- The briefs...
- ... and the brieflets
- The Purple Blog
- Blairville, lair of all that is wicked and perfidious
- The enticingly acronymical CSH
- EXTREEEEEEEME WYNTER!
- Mark of California
- Silent Speaking
- Lexicon the Mexican
- ► 2015 (81)
- ► 2014 (135)
- ► 2013 (173)
- ► 2012 (275)
- ► 2011 (261)
- ► 2010 (288)
- ► 2009 (290)
- ► 2008 (316)
- Santa Horror!
- International House
- To be au fart with the fait
- Art with a social message
- My derring do don't do it for you anymore
- Jane Austen for Prime Minister!
- Meditations in the bored room
- Attention, dictators
- The Personals
- Review of a bargain bin book
- A record of non-existent people I have met
- Cryptic, Craptic, Craptacular!
- The alphabet, from H to K!
- Rise up! Rise up, my pretty vending machines!
- Pie of disappointment: an aphorism
- Pocket beagles and mitten beagles
- Very commonplace book
- There's a grevillea in the marginilia!
- Critics? Pah! What do they know?!!
- On being mistaken for Jane Austen characters...
- I can't staaaaaaaaaaaaaand it!
- Extra! Artxe!
- Sit down for your rights!
- A most generous offer
- Applications for the position of Me have now close...
- Minimalist Literature and Maximalist Literature
- Homage to the unknown novel
- I am declared a twitty whiner...
- ▼ August (33)
- ► 2006 (373)
- ► 2005 (287)