8d was my favourite. I liked 13 and 29 for imagery, although the former had general knowledge in the def and the wordplay, so maybe that was a bit too mean. 60% crossed though, so perhaps not? 7d could send you down a wrong road, hmm. I thought 24 was quite fun, but then again, you might find it easy or mean, so who knows!
What’s that you say Void, “Cryptic”? What happened to “Cryptish”? After getting some further useful and nice feedback on my March puzzle from Chameleon on 1 Across, I’ve decided I’m close enough to “proper” setting now to call my puzzles Cryptics. (Expect “hubris” as an answer soon? 😉 )
So here’s my April puzzle, again as a printable PNG, or in-browser solvable puzzle. A couple of answers are over-crossed. Hey, sorry, but grid construction is hard! Anyway, hope you like it. Do let me know of your favourite, or most hated clue. Answers will be posted here in one week.
Down the motorway for a mooch around the rainy seaside, shelter in a coffee shop, and then the first night of Unfold at the Sunfold. The basement of said hotel was our venue, and first up were drinks, and food laid on. Very civilised.
First act of the night was our genial host, under the moniker of The Steven Morricone Tyranny. Solo at the mic’d-up upright piano, in the guise of evil crooning haunter, we were treated to a selection of songs from the vault. Cheap Guitar, Vesuvius, I Am The Blind and more, together with a Fall cover, and a new song of perspective Then I Met Joanna. Grave Peril was the standout for me.
After a short break, next up was Gigantelope, or, as he introduced himself, Dave. When he started singing, I realised Dave was a fellow Being 747 alumni. He reminded me at first of Brian, although less twee. Both of which are no bad things in my book. Acoustic guitar, both with and without backing track (“opinion is split”, apparently), we had songs of companionship, meditation (“Take A Thought Holiday”), paeans to ice cream and HD TV, and of the horror-relief of the Night Bus home.
Second brother of the night, and shirt of the evening, was billed as Paul Morricone & Con Medicine, although unless CM was the tape machine, it seemed to be Paul alone. Alternating with and without guitar, to backing tracks, we heard songs from the upcoming solo LP. Two openers were songs of reminiscence (…These Tears), before we were asked that age-old question “Do you want to hear a song about Huddersfield?”. A Man Possessed, Happiness, some lovely chorussed guitar, and Like I Was Never There* followed. Last up was “a cover version”, which turned out to be the first live outing of Be Nothing, a beautiful song of ego-crushing self-realisation.
Our headliner was Thomas Truax, who I first heard, I think, played by John Peel, and who I last saw live in 2007. If this was Melody Maker, I might describe Thomas as Hal Hartley redirected by de Chirico, or as how Kerouac would write about George Shearing if he only had a theremin instead of a typewriter, or spying through your neighbours’ window, whistling silently as they watch reruns of The Twilight Zone. But it isn’t, so I won’t.* With a plethora of pedals, a resonator guitar, and homemade instruments The Hornicator and Mother Superior (Stringaling was sulking tonight), we had songs of giant butterfly girls, foxes, treed kittens, moonlight (including an off-stage, out-of-room, and indeed -building, excursion), the wind and beehive hearts. Who wants to be on a wall anyway?
An intimate gig, a top night’s entertainment, and the veggie chilli was great too.
*Facts and actual song titles may vary. Your Scaramangary rights are not affected. Click to enlarge photos, but preferably find Dave’s shots instead. Please hold to speak to one of our unco-operators.
The solution to my March crossword can be found behind this link.
Don’t know about anyone else, but Susannah solved it – hurray. I spent ages deciding whether or not to put a couple of commas in to the clues. One of them went in and out 4 times, but in the end I decided it was sneakily misleading, so I left it out.
I liked 21, 24 and 30d. And 14, but maybe the general knowledge was a bit obscure there – but gettable from the wordplay (I hope!).
I suppose I’d better start working on April’s puzzle…..
Well, I took a bit of a battering on Rookie Corner. But, it’s all fair enough, good feedback, and I’ll take it as motive to improve. Especially my clue surfaces. Hopefully you’ll find this one a big improvement in terms of the readability of the clues.
I noticed a slight problem with the grid layout last night. Nothing awful – it should even make some bits a bit easier – but too late to change now.
Could this be my last “cryptish” puzzle? Hmmmm. Meanwhile, here’s the puzzle as a printable PNG, or a browser-solvable embed. Hope you enjoy.
My friend Stuart organised the second BJC in Bath, in 1989. He recently dug out some old clippings, and asked me to put them online, for any archive-minded juggling historians to peruse. (The BJC history wiki is a good place to start.)
So, here you go Stuart, and everyone!
(Right-click and download the files):
Newspaper article 1 (before the convention) JPGs: Small 118KB Medium 1MB Large 3MB
Newspaper article 2 (before the convention) JPGs: Small 900KB Medium 2MB Large 15MB
Newspaper article 3 (after the convention) JPGs: Small 190KB Medium 4MB Large 10MB
Thank-you letter 1 JPGs Small 550KB Large 2MB
Thank-you letter 2 JPGs Small 1MB Large 4MB
The solution to my February Cryptish Crossword is in an image at this link. There was a theme to this one, which you no doubt spotted. I did offer the puzzle for publication to someone I thought appropriate, but apparently no-one answers their email anymore. *sigh*
18A riffed on a weak joke I make everytime I’m driving in Suffolk. 11A was my favourite, although I found 14A pleasing. I really liked using “Occam’s Lathe” in one of the clues originally, but couldn’t quite make it parse correctly as a clue, so Killed My Darling.
I’m having a new puzzle published on a crossword blog tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get some useful feedback.
Colours to the mast! Here is my February puzzle.
Right click to download printable PNG file.
Or view it below, in PNG, or as a browser-solvable puzzle.
I had this puzzle ready in the dying days of 2018, but couldn’t publish it until Jan 1st, without invalidating one clue. I decided to wait another day to let heads clear. Interestingly, on the day I published, I read an article via Twitter, which mentioned a connection between 17A and 8A which I was previously unaware of. I’m not sure if that’s pleasing or annoying! Let’s be positive and say the former.
I liked both 25D and 26D, although I can see why others might dislike them. 29A might be my favourite. No reaction, so I don’t know what people thought of this one. Hey ho. As always, I’m on Twitter for complaints, comments, enthuses or shares. Ciao.
[Edit: This is one of my early crosswords, where the clue “surfaces” don’t always make sense. Sorry about that. 🙂 For “proper” cryptic puzzles, skip to March 2019 and onwards.]
Here’s my January puzzle.
Quite a few 4s in this one, so maybe it’s a touch easier? Blockiness reduced to just four 2×2 squares. Hopefully tolerable. One clue might annoy some, but there you go. As always, feel free to let me know via Twitter if you’re trying/done it/liked it/hated it, and RT/share if you like.