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Here come the answers and explanations to my July puzzle. For the full explanations, watch the video…

…or if you just want the answers, have a look at this image.

Clearly, there was a theme, but there was a deeper theme of 27a, 4, 1d, 14, which is a radio show that I enjoy a lot. I was pleased to be able to get 12 of the 24(so far) subjects of the show into either a clue or a solution. As for the timing of 4d, “predicting” the subject of the next week’s web episode… well, total fluke, but I loved it.

NHSUFTC

The solution to my They Can Be Found puzzle can be seen in this image, or you can watch a video explaining all the answers:

This was my first pangram (grid contains all of the letters of the alphabet at least once), and my first with a full-circumference Nina (crosswording talk for “a message hidden in the grid”). There was a triple-unch (3 uncrossed squares in a row) in the middle of the grid, which was abominable of me, but I’m afraid I couldn’t avoid it. There were also 8 clues which were <50% crossed (1/3 or 2/5), but then again, they were all crossed by the perimeter, which, in this case, made up for it. Hope you liked the theme. I recommend it.

The solution to my June puzzle can be viewed here, or if you’d like the clues explained, I also made a video:


If you found the video explainer helpful, please let me know. I won’t take the time to make more if people aren’t interested in that.

The puzzle had a theme which I’m sure you’ve spotted by now. I would’ve like to have got more themed entries in the grid, but couldn’t fit them in, alas. But there have also been puzzles with the same theme by Tramp, Skirwingle and Angel, so if you want more of a hoopy hit, check them out.

I enjoyed the sneaky Charlie Parker reference. Hope you liked the puzzle. As ever, tweet me, if you like. See you next month.

For various reasons, I’ve not been setting much lately. I’m getting back on the horse slowly, though, so this month’s puzzle is a partial repeat. It’s the one I had in Rookie Corner in November, so if you checked it out then, don’t bother looking again. I’ve tweaked a few of the clues based on the feedback I got there, and the (mini-)theme is something that I think quite a few of you will appreciate.

There’ll be a completely new puzzle for July. I may try something different with the solution for this one next week, too…

Do me a favour, RT/share it if you enjoy it. Ta. Right, dive in, and towel off, hose heads.
Scroll down for in-browser solvable version.

Embedded playable puzzle: If relevant, use the cogwheel/settings menu to turn off the clock, and untick “skip over filled letters”, and the main menu to Save.

The solution to my May puzzle is in this image.

I wonder how the cricket non-fans got on. I hope 15/17 raised a smile – it was my favourite. 2/8 was perhaps a teeny bit unfair, but when I compiled the puzzle, I was under the impression that that was going to be the name of the magazine it was written for, so it felt okay at the time. Knowing Gale’s nickname, or who big Dwayne was would have been helpful, but hopefully those titbits didn’t stand in anyone’s way. Conversely, no knowledge of Capel, Salt or Trott was required. 10 was a bit of an obscure word, new to me, and 4a was pretty much an old Frank Carson gag “This one works, this one works,….”

Well, I declare!

This month’s puzzle was published in a magazine, but I expect most of you missed it, so here it is. I mentioned to Chameleon that I was theming a puzzle, and he reasonable asked “will it be solvable by people unfamiliar with the theme?”. I re-read the clues, and decided that 4 or 5 clues would be easier if you had a passing knowledge of the subject, but they should be gettable from the “other half” of the clue, or via crossing letters, or reasonable assumptions. So, for those that don’t like cricket, Don’t Panic, and give it a go! Let me know how you got on! 🙂

Solution up next week.

As ever, scroll down for a browser-solvable embedded version.
OTHXwd-by-Void-WholePuzzle
Embedded playable puzzle: If relevant, use the cogwheel/settings menu to turn off the clock, and untick “skip over filled letters”, and the main menu to Save.

I’ve recently been checking out the livestreamed solving stream CrypticSundays. It’s fun to participate in a group solve, and this week they did my October puzzle. I never know how hard my clues are, so it was really interesting to observe the solving process. From the mix of fast and slow cracking, I guess maybe I’m somewhere in the right ballpark. Well, anyway, it seemed to go down well. You can re-watch it (from 1h01m) at https://m.twitch.tv/videos/545689402 .

Meanwhile, I’m afraid I don’t have an online puzzle for February for you. I’ve got behind with my clueing, and had other stuff to be dealing with.

However, I’m pleased to say that I do have a February puzzle out! It’s just that it’s in Feb’s issue of 1Across magazine, which is for subscribers only. Happy to be making my debut in a crossword magazine. Hopefully the subscribers will find something to like in it.