Rookie Corner 012

Crime & Punishment by Brigster

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Brigster is a regular at Sloggers and Betters meetings, and often turns up with a puzzle to be handed out to attendees.  Today he makes his debut in Rookie Corner.   As usual, the setter will be delighted to receive feedback from you, the solvers. I do ask that you remember that for most setters this is a new experience, so please only offer constructive criticism.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

A big well done to Brigster with his debut on the Rookie Corner where the reviewer is able heartily to approve of the illegal wordplay, criminal constructions and unlawful answers that our setter has provided for us.  No major comments on the wordplay though it is not usual to end the clues with a full stop these days.



1 Running at Ascot, kitted out and tooled up. (5,8)
GOING EQUIPPED – A description of racing conditions (running at Ascot) followed by a word meaning kitted out.

8 She starts every night in detention. (4)
ENID – The initial letters (starts) of Every Night In Detention.

9 Result of Mr.Big wearing drainpipes in sewer. (10)
SEAMSTRESS – A cryptic definition of the result of a fat person wearing thin trousers (4,6) gives the name of a sewer or needleworker.

10 Passionate result of arsonist’s aim. (6)
ABLAZE – Split 1, 5 this is the aim of an arsonist.

11 One consumed by the very acts of burglary. (8)
THIEVERY – Put in I (one) in the THE VERY from the clue.

12 Dave and ‘arry’s rogue opponent (9)
ADVERSARY – An anagram (rogue) of DAVE ARRY.

14 Convicts‘ standards without an end. (4)
LAGS – Remove the first letter (without an end) from another word for standards – as may be flown from a pole.

15 Bill should be first plagiarist getting help. (4)
PAID – The first letter of plagiarist followed by (getting) a word meaning help.  Some editors will frown on the use of first to indicate the first or leading letter of a word.

16 Sentence cut by girl in redirected ‘noire’ (9)
REMISSION – A general form of address for a young girl goes inside and anagram (redirected) of NOIRE.

20 Sinful fellow next to us. (8)
COVETOUS – A four letter word for a fellow followed by (next) the TO and US from the clue.  Next on its own as a charade indicator works as this is telling to this and next do that.  As an adjacency indicator it would need to be “next to” but this would give “next to to us”! 

21 Caught by Interpol? I censored filth (6)
POLICE – The answer is hidden (caught by) INTERPOL I CENSORED.

23 Kleptomaniac endlessly does with frippery. (5,5)
FANCY GOODS – A cryptic definition of what a kleptomaniac endlessly longs for is another word for frippery.

24 Reece or Vince Lloyd participants in battery? (4)
CELL – The answer is hidden in either or REECE LLOYD or VINCE LLOYD

25 Philanthropist discerns shape in criminal organisation. (4,9)
CASH DISPENSER – An anagram (in criminal organisation) of DISCERNS SHAPE.


1 Egon could be made corrupt. (4,3)
GONE BAD – A reverse anagram clue.

2 Misappropriating aid in developing country. (5)
INDIA – An anagram (misappropriating) of AID IN.

3 Short spell in trials giving 4 testimonies. (7)
GOSPELS – Remove the final letter (short) and put it in a word meaning trials or gos.  I would have thought that the plural “trials” would be “goes” rather than gos.

4 Some city musical gatherings in old courts. (7,8)
QUARTER SESSIONS – A word for a district (some) of a city followed by a word for musical gatherings.

5 Infuse in moonshiner’s kit, nearly. (6)
INSTIL – The IN from the clue followed by the equipment used by moonshiners with the final letter removed (nearly).

6 Parvenu is in affray, found in the Andes? (9)
PERUVIANS – An anagram (in affray) of PARVENU IS.

7 Leaves regularly found in idler’s gear stash. (7)
DESERTS – The even letters (regularly) of IDLERS GEAR STASH

13 Shows vice needs correction. (9)
EVIDENCES – An anagram (correction) of SHOWS VICE.

15 Ordinary cop’s aircraft. (7)
PROSAIC – An anagram (craft) of COPS AIR.  Requiring the solver to split a word into air/craft as part anagram fodder and part wordplay indicator may be seen as unfair by some unless some indication that a split is required is given in the wordplay.

17 Banal confession producing deadlock. (7)
IMPASSE – Split 2, 5 the answer is a banal confession.

18 Larcenous measure lost in twist of the mouth. (7)
OSCULAR – An anagram (in twist) of LARC[EN]OUS (the EN (measure) is removed – lost).

19 Counterfeit made by Smith. (6)
FORGED – A double definition.

22 Teddington levellers that effect imprisonment. (5)
LOCKS – A double definition with a reference to the point where the tidal part of the Thames is supposed to begin.


  1. 2Kiwis
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    This Rookie Corner is proving to be a real treasure chest with another very enjoyable offering this week. Took us about the same time as a mid-week Toughie with lots of smiles along the way. Last in was 23a so we will choose this one and 9a as joint favourites.
    Thanks Brigster.

  2. gazza
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable stuff with a good variety of clues – thanks to Brigster. My favourites were 9a and 1d.

  3. crypticsue
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I agree with Gazza – thank you Brigster. My favourite was 9a too.

  4. Werm
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Good morning, unfortunately the website with the puzzle on it is blocked at work

    Is there any chance at all of posting as a pdf here on a weekly basis please?

    Sorry to be a pain and thanks for your consideration.

  5. Werm
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink BD you are a star , works perfectly , thank you !

    • Posted June 30, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink
      • dirkybee
        Posted June 30, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        BD Seconding Werm. Thank you. db

        Congratulations to you, Brig. I’m lovin’ it.

        • Posted June 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          Hi dirkybee – I didn’t expect to see you on here, but you’re very welcome.

          • dirkybee
            Posted July 3, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

            Thanks, Dave, I’m very glad to be here, having `found` you (and been able to print Brigster’s, owing to your reply to Werm.)

            This is a cracking site; even IT-illiterate db seems able to stroll at will… and so, more thanks.

  6. Mitz
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Nice one Brig!

  7. Kath
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was a good crossword and enjoyed it very much – I particularly noticed how nice and short the clues were.
    I agree with others about 9a and 1d but I also really liked 23a and 15d.
    With thanks and congratulations to Brigster.

    • 2Kiwis
      Posted June 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Yes Kath. Prompted by your comment we have just done a word count and find that it conforms with RayT’s rule of no more than 8 words per clue. Very clever.

  8. Kath
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    PS I think we’re all getting spoilt – we have Toughies Tuesday-Friday – we have the NTSPP on Saturdays, we have the MPP which usually keeps me occupied for most of the month and now we have these great crosswords on Mondays. I sometimes feel a bit lost on Sundays – probably just as well for the garden though!
    Thanks to all for the work it involves – really very much appreciated.

  9. Kitty
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Wow, nice puzzle, although a bit too much for my poor brain :(. I liked what I’ve done so far, and will have another go later before looking at the solutions. I really like the Rookie Corner idea – we get to encounter some inspired clueing!

  10. Brigster
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Hello folks, thanks for the very kind words. This is the sixth crossword I’ve compiled where every clue as well as a bunch of the answers relate to a theme. It was called Crime & Punishment but I somehow omitted the title in my submission. It takes quite a while to (hopefully) finesse the clues into brevity. My previous such crossword took about 50 hours to compile! This was much less than that. I’m still very much learning the craft so I don’t mind setting myself a stiff challenge. Your kind responses are a real encouragement.

    • Posted June 30, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Brigster
      I’ll add the title later.

  11. Brigster
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Thanks BD. Any chance of correcting that typo of mine in 24a. No one here has mentioned it but partipants was of course meant to be participants.

  12. Brigster
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

  13. pommers
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Brigster and dirkybee coming out of the Grauniad! Wow, and welcome to our humble home. Hope to see you again soon.

    I’m a lurker on the Grauniad and never post, well once or twice,but you’re all far too erudite for me.

    Brigster, I’ll try the puzzle tomorrow when I have the time, but I’ve picked up a few of yours from links you’ve put on the Grauniad site and enjoyed so I hope not to be disappointed. Tell you tomorrow.

  14. Una
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this , thanks a lot.Once I go to comments, I don’t seem to be able to go back and have another look at the puzzle. I noted as favourites 1a, 9a, 20a,23a and 25a.

  15. Only fools
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Brigster ,enjoyable solve ,favourite 1d .”rookie” I think not !

  16. spindrift
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Very gruntled with this puzzle. Completed while having a cup of Yorkshire Gold tea in the garden. Thanks to Brigster & to Prolixic & not forgetting BD for all his hard work.

  17. Brigster
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Phew! Thanks Prolixic, I feel I’ve escaped my first truly public exposure.
    You’re spot on with 3d, it doesn’t matter how many times you re-read a clue, once you like it you miss the obvious!

  18. baerchen
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Thanks to brig for a very impressive grid construction, and to Big Dave and the gang for hosting this marvellous resource (to which my attention has only just been drawn by a bit of cross-pollination from the Graun site). Regards to all

  19. baerchen
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Incidentally, the auto-generated little icon/avatar thingy is eerily similar to the real me

  20. Brigster
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Star rating: half way between poor and average. A tough crowd!

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Encounter Mr Manley at a crossword gathering and he will engage you (if you are a BD blogger) in a long conversation regarding the fact that the star ratings bear no relation whatsoever to the amount of enjoyment expressed in comments on his (or probably any other) crosswords.

      • Brigster
        Posted July 1, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Sue, I was playfully intrigued rather than wounded. I confess to voting myself – but only to see how the rating system works. There are times on the Guardian thread when star ratings might be advantageous. One or two negative comments always seem louder than fifteen positives

    • stanXYZ
      Posted July 1, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink


      I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the “star rating”. Only 8 people have voted, but I am sure that many more than this have attempted and enjoyed your puzzle. (Wonder if BD has the figures for the number of downloads?)

      Blimey, 50 hours to compile a crossword! Seems like a punishment to me!

      I wondered about the full stops!

      Like pommers I often lurk on the Guardian web-site! Where is the next drink ? Or is it by invitation only from “dirkybee”.

      • Brigster
        Posted July 1, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Hi Stan, I remember your XYZ on the G. I think. There is a nascent meet in development but it isn’t a S&B type thing, no food/quiz/speeches, just a central London location yet to be decided and just a public pub not a hired room. If you want to know more: [email protected]
        See what I did there? no full stop after U.K.

      • dirkybee
        Posted July 3, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Hi StanXYZ

        It’s a very low-key affair… I happen to be in London for a couple of weeks and fancied a get-together with `the G thread locals’ – many of whom have travelled North (Liverpool, M/c and Sheffield) for previous gatherings.
        Do, please, email Brigster.

    • gazza
      Posted July 1, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      I concur with stanXYZ – take very little notice of the stars and concentrate on the comments. I’m sure that we have a number of lurkers who equate enjoyment with ease, so that if they can’t finish a puzzle they give it a low star rating.

    • Kath
      Posted July 1, 2014 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Forgot to give it a star rating yesterday but I have now – 4*.

  21. Catnap
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Good debut, Brigster! I found this puzzle very enjoyable. My fave was 9a, but I rather liked several others as well, including 23a, 25a, and 4d. I also liked 15d, although I wasn’t certain if I’d parsed it correctly. In the event, I had.

    50 hours certainly does seem a long time, and it shows that much thought and care must go into the compilation of your puzzles.

    Many thanks and congratulations to Brigster, and hope we shall be seeing more of your crosswords.

    And many thanks and much appreciation to Prolixic for his excellent review.

    • Catnap
      Posted July 1, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      P.S. I must apologise for any problems I may have caused by my botched attempt to post a comment earlier. I was dithering about, trying to phrase myself, when I accidentally brushed a key and evaporated the whole lot. Mea maxima culpa.

  22. Toro
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Hello Brigster. Congrats and well done on your first outing here!

    How the ratings work is a mystery. I once gave a quite superb NTSPP puzzle (I forget by whom) five stars, with the result that it had a rating of 4.5 after four votes. Four votes later it had plummeted to two stars. So however it is calculated, it can’t be an average of the ratings submitted, as it cannot have been given four zeros. I believe it’s a third-party plug-in of some kind so out of BD’s control.

    I love PartyPants, by the way!

  23. pommers
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Finally got around to doing this and it was well worth the wait. Nice one Brig.

    Re 15d, it’s a trick that turns up fairly often in the Grauniad but I don’t remember ever seeing it in the DT.

    I see the star rating has improved – I just gave it 4*.

  24. Catnap
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    **** from me too as I forgot to give it a star rating just now.

  25. Brigster
    Posted July 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Must make it clear the 50 hour crossword hasn’t seen the bright light of publication yet – the theme proved more constrictive than I had imagined. Crime & Punishment took 20 hours. The next themed crossword after C&R took 10 hours.

  26. MickinEly
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Congrats Brigster. Very classy construction and great fun to do.

    Delighted to have discovered Rookie corner too.

    • gazza
      Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog MickinEly.

  27. MickinEly
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Sorry. Forgot star rating ****

  28. nesciolatine
    Posted July 8, 2014 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Nice one brig.

    Actually did this one last week but forgot to comment :-(

    **** 4 stars from me, thank-you.

    • gazza
      Posted July 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog nesciolatine.