Monday, July 25, 2011

Setters' Favourite Book?

book All this talk of books in cryptic crosswords reminds me of a particular book setters love to write clues for. The book is such a frequent find in crossword grids that solvers have begun to pencil it in blindly whenever they see the word "book" and a 4-letter enumeration next to it.

One might think that, with repeated usage of the same word, setters would have run out of creative ideas for clueing it. Apparently not. This book clearly has potential - one keeps coming across fresh wordplay for it despite its ubiquity.

Here are some clues I like - many refer to the protagonist/plot than the book itself. Can you guess which book it is? Of course you can. Enjoy the clues :)

Guardian 25009 (Paul): One withdrawn from silent act, coming up with a novel (4)

Independent 1089 (Quixote): Proposition in line at front of famous book (5)

FT13668 (Falcon): Novel set in Salem, Massachusetts (4)

Guardian 25379 (Philistine): She caused some mayhem, matchmaking (4)

FT 13364 (Loroso): She had a little problem matchmaking (4)

Times 23963: Titled heroine from log cabin? (4)

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11 comments

SandhyaP said...

One withdrawn from silent act, coming up with a novel (4){EM(-i)M}{A}

Proposition in line at front of famous book (5){L}{EMMA}

Novel set in Salem, Massachusetts (4)EMMA (T)

She caused some mayhem, matchmaking (4)EMMA (T)

She had a little problem matchmaking (4)EMMA (T)

Titled heroine from log cabin? (4)
EMMA (surname - WOODHOUSE - Log Cabin)

Kishore said...

EMMA, of course.

EM(-i)M<-A
L-EMMA (as in maths)
EMMA (T)
-DO-

Venkatesh said...

Guardian 25009 (Paul): One withdrawn from silent act, coming up with a novel (4)(EM[-i]M<-)(A)

Independent 1089 (Quixote): Proposition in line at front of famous book (5) (L)(EMMA) - A preliminary or auxiliary proposition demonstrated or accepted for immediate use in the demonstration of some other proposition

FT13668 (Falcon): Novel set in Salem, Massachusetts (4)EMMA (T)

Guardian 25379 (Philistine): She caused some mayhem, matchmaking (4) EMMA (T)

FT 13364 (Loroso): She had a little problem matchmaking (4)EMMA (T)

Times 23963: Titled heroine from log cabin? (4)

Shuchi said...

Easy, wasn't it?

How about writing a clue for EMMA?

Here's mine:

British girl found in New Mumbai? Nothing odd about it (4)

Crucifer said...

It's so ingrained that it's hard to come up with a definition that *doesn't* refer to the novel. So I gave up the unequal struggle.

Book revealed as Catch-22 when back cover is removed (4)

Kishore said...

Ms Watson, who played Hermione, after losing a small daughter in law from a Catch-22 situation(4)

Shuchi said...

@Crucifer, @Kishore: What a coincidence that both of you thought of Catch-22!

Crucifer - I love your clue's surface.

Kishore - I was toying with the "Watson" idea too, with "elementary" in it, but it got nowhere. I'm sure Ms Watson is star enough not to need the extended definition - simply "Watson" would do for me!

Crucifer said...

Was also thinking about Watson!

A more refined version of mine might be:

New book revealed when Catch-22's back cover is removed (4)

Shyam said...

How about getting naughty? ;)

Essentially, new TN CM's not a character who vowed never to marry (4)

Shuchi said...

Nice clue Shyam, specially the definition that works cleverly for the surface as well. Annotating it for the benefit of our friends overseas:

Essentially, new TN CM's not a character who vowed never to marry (4)
essentially 'nEw' = E
TN CM = AMMA
not a => remove the 'A'

Another politician(?)-inspired one:

Ms Malini gets married, having lost husband to another woman (4)

Kishore said...

Crucifer had managed to improve upon his already great clue. Kudos.

Regarding Shuchi's mention of 'elementary', I too toyed it with it before giving up but made efforts afresh to get:

Watson,represented by English Magic Movie Actress, Elementarily (4)

Maybe you can rehash it a bit