Friday, December 24, 2010

My Top Ten Clues 2010

top-crossword-clues-2010 During this year, whenever I've liked a clue exceptionally and found pen-paper or my laptop within reach, I've made a note of it. Sharing with you my favourite ten of that list.

Some of them I struggled with and some I solved on sight, but all seem deliciously obvious after seeing how they work.

Times 24520 was a brilliant puzzle with every clue a treat - I've picked two out of it for this list. In some cases it was the full grid that I relished more than individual clues – Guardian 25142 and Guardian 25044 for the way the theme has been structured to cover a huge range of clues, Guardian 25104 for its theme so elusive I didn't cotton on to it till the very end, the India-special Indy of 26th Aug (I wish the paper gave us linkable archives. Update: Good news - Anax has shared Indy 7445 as an interactive grid - link).

On to those top ten clues. Have a good time solving.

Guardian 25165 (Brendan): Hercule P's mistaken where body is found (9)

Times 24633: Nose and eyes, from what we hear, often indicated by hands (5) V____

Times 24703: Stuck one's neck out when split in two, for example (8) A_____M_

FT 13558 (Loroso): Just a device to say "I'm drunk" and others will drink (7) E_____L

Times 24520: Sort of food almost everyone, surprisingly, eats these days (4-5) O___-R____

Times 24520: Steer dogs past wide swamp (9) O______L_

Times 24658: Lost it (the war, presumably) ...  (5,1,6) T____ A ______

FT 13420 (Alberich): One fishes out dude, according to him? (7) S_____R

Guardian 25180 (Brendan): Is a bit less liable to change (10)

@diogeneb on twitter: Harry "I met scar" Potter! (8)

Which clues were your favourites of 2010?

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Wish you a very merry Christmas and a great New Year 2011.

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11 comments

g said...

For now:

1. Sepulcher*

2. Super! This definitely has s.th to do with voting (~ no's & ayes / show of hands), but couldn't think of something that has 8 letters. (Votedown? Not convinced)

4. Et-hic-al

5. Oven-ready

9. Stabilises

10. Ceramist (Brilliant!)

Will mull over the rest. As always, great wordplay!

g

Shuchi said...

Made a mistake in writing this clue -

Times 24633: Nose and eyes, from what we hear, often indicated by hands (5)

The word length is 5, not 8. Thanks g for pointing it out.

g said...

Thanks Shuchi, that helps.

So 2. is Votes.

Now for complete shots in the dark:

7. Threw a* wreath*? It's an expression, but not one for anger, so I'm uncertain of the anno (and the answer).

8. s-kipper?

Venkatesh said...

ENJOYED THE CLUES.

SEPULCHRE*

8) VOTES (~ayes and noes; voting is indicated by show of hands) Why 8? It should be 5.

Stuck one'/ s neck out ANAGRAMS

{ET(HIC)AL} - 'hic' in 'et al'

{OVEN-RE(AD)Y[-e]*}

Times 24520: Steer dogs past wide swamp (9) {OVER}{W}{HELM}

Times 24658: Lost it (the war, presumably) ... (5,1,6) THROW A WOBBLY - (THROW A)* gives (THE WAR)

SPOONER (Spoonerism of ONE DISHES OUT FOOD)

STABILISES*

CERAMIST*

g said...

Ok, finally:

3. Autotomy (Thanks for the hint!)

6. Overwhelm: Steer (helm) dogs (follows) past wide (over W) to swamp (verb).

[I think Overwhelm is my favorite in the set, followed very closely by Harry Potter]

dram said...

Many thanks Shuchi for all your entertaining and hugely informative blogs.

To get us kicked off - the first one is Sepulchre

My fave for this year is a simple but elegant one from Kororareka on the DIY COW forum:
Place to park behind castle (4)

Shuchi said...

Thanks for solving, everyone!

The answers consolidated:

Guardian 25165 (Brendan): Hercule P's mistaken where body is found (9) SEPULCHRE (HERCULE P)*

Times 24633: Nose and eyes, from what we hear, often indicated by hands (5) VOTES (sounds like 'noes and ayes')

Times 24703: Stuck one's neck out when split in two, for example (8) ANAGRAMS
(STUCK ONE)* and (S NECK OUT)* are anagrams of each other

FT 13558 (Loroso): Just a device to say "I'm drunk" and others will drink (7) ETHICAL
HIC (a device to say "I'm drunk") in ET AL (and others)

Times 24520: Sort of food almost everyone, surprisingly, eats these days (4-5) OVEN-READY
(EVERYON)* in AD (these days) &lit

Times 24520: Steer dogs past wide swamp (9) OVERWHELM
HELM (steer) after OVER (past) W (wide).

Times 24658: Lost it (the war, presumably) ... (5,1,6) THREW A WOBBLY
'the war' = (THREW A)* wobbly, a reverse anagram.

FT 13420 (Alberich): One fishes out dude, according to him? (7) SPOONER
A self-referencing spoonerism of 'dishes out food'.

Guardian 25180 (Brendan): Is a bit less liable to change (10) STABILISES (IS A BIT LESS)*

@diogeneb on twitter: Harry "I met scar" Potter! (8) CERAMIST (I MET SCAR)*

Shuchi said...

@dram: Thanks. A pity I can't access the UK Puzzle site any longer, my McAfee blocks it.

What is the answer to Kororareka's clue?

g said...

Aha!

#3: Do.you.have.ANY.idea.how much I want to kick myself? (I think you do). The best part is "anagrams" even crossed my mind (only because the letters fit, didn't see the anno then), and I thought to myself "Oh that'd be cool for an answer to a cryptic!"

#7 & 8: Wicked! I've been a fan of reverse anagrams myself; you got me there! 8 is just insane, love it!

Do post more of these wicked ones. Some day we'll hunt down the people who set these and find a way to make them pull their hair.

dram said...

Sorry about the block Shuchi, I get in with no bother.

Place to park behind castle (4) is SEAT - double definition

Shuchi said...

That is a really amusing clue, dram. My compliments to kororareka and thanks to you for sharing it.