Rookie Corner 064

Glastonbury by Beet

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Crossword logo

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Beet has set us a topical puzzle – so topical that she had to perform a hasty rewrite when one of the headline acts pulled out at the last minute.  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.

Prolixic has updated his document entitled “A brief guide to the construction of cryptic crossword clues” which can be downloaded, in pdf format, from the Rookie Corner index page or by clicking below.

Download asa Word file

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

I suspect that Beet has just signed her death warrant as a Rookie setter and should be taken from henceforth to a place in the NTSPP series.  Beet was even compared favourably to the setter of the Quiptic crossword on the Guardian site (a notable achievement).  An accomplished and entertaining crossword.  My only real quibble is with 18a but it fits in with the theme.  A few minor points on the cluing might be picked up but these are counsels of perfection and do not detract from the quality of the crossword.   Time does not permit me the luxury of Googling all of the Glastonbury references in the clues themselves.


6 Overheard Beet tell someone off – very unsympathetic (3-4)
ICE COLD – A homophone (overheard) of I (Beet as the Setter) SCOLD (tell someone off).

8 Florence’s topping bill – gorgeous person and very trendy (7)
FADDISH – The initial letter (topping) of Florence followed by another word for a bill or poster and a four word for a gorgeous person.

10 Partially vicarious liability (3)
IOU – The answer is hidden in (partially) VICARIOUS.

11 Musical act cavorting around naked (7)
CABARET – An anagram (cavorting) of ACT around another word meaning naked.

12 Wandering over Hill extremely idiotic (7)
NOMADIC – Reverse (over) the first name of a person called Hill and follow with the first and last letters (extremely) of idiotic.

13 Treated like a baby – playfully imitated holding tip of nose (5-3)
SPOON FED – The first letter (tip of) nose goes inside another word meaning playfully imitated.

15 Matthew Hoggard entertained by rock band? Just the opposite (3,3)
THE WHO – The answer is hidden inside MATTHEW HOGGARD.  The just the opposite tells us that the wordplay is reversed from the order suggested by the clue.

18 Won’t be long ’til so muddy (10,5)
WELLINGTON BOOTS – An anagram (muddy) of WONT BE LONG TIL SO.  My only major comment in this crossword is that whilst there is wordplay, I am not convinced that there is a definition here or that the whole clue acts as the definition, even with an question mark.  Perhaps “They won’t be long ’til so muddy” would have been better.

20 A large group dropping the bass on farmland (6)
ARABLE – The A from the clue followed by another word for a large group with one of the Bs removed (dropping the bass). As the word for a large group has two letter Bs, perhaps dropping one of the basses would have been better.

22 Loud summer celebration (8)
FESTIVAL – The musical abbreviation for loud followed by a word meaning summer (the American spelling according to Chambers and this might have been indicated in the clue but it would have spoiled the theme to have “loud American summer celebration”)

25 Debauched MP with diary is monument to bygone era (7)
PYRAMID – An anagram (debauched) of MP DIARY.  Strictly a pyramid is a monument of a bygone era.

27 Michael Eavis allows dancing on what should primarily be pastureland (7)
MEADOWS – The initial letters (primarily) of the first seven words of the clue.  I am not keen on the “be” as a link word as you get wordplay be definition which is not a grammatical construction.

28 Musical collaboration – nothing outstanding by the sound of it (3)
DUO – A homophone (by the sound of it) of DUE 0 (nothing outstanding).

29 Takes herd of cows away and carousing results (7)
RUSTLES – An anagram (carousing) of RESULTS.

30 Review poem written in Old English (7)
OVERSEE – Another word for a poem inside (written in) the abbreviation of Old English.


1 Where high-flyers are found following Oxford or Cambridge perhaps? (6)
CIRCUS – The word that follows two areas of London Oxford **** or Cambridge ****.

2 As heavy rain is famous feature of Glastonbury, I learnt swimming (10)
TORRENTIAL – A famous topological feature of Glastonbury followed by an anagram (swimming) of I LEARNT.

3 In retrospect it’s not entirely best idea – correct (4)
EDIT – The answer is hidden and reversed (in retrospect it’s not entirely) inside BEST IDEA.

4 First man to work out what Hoover is (4)
ADAM – Split 1,3 the solution is the answer to what the man-made structure on the river Colorado now named after president Hoover is.   Useless info is that the original name was Boulder from the canyon that was blocked by this structure.  As there may be several things named after Hoover, perhaps “what Hoover may be” would have been better.

5 Slight sound of disgust at parasitic fungus (6)
MILDEW – Split 4,2 this would be another way of expressing a slight sound of disgust.

7 The globe is protected by green uprising – get involved (7)
EMBROIL – Put another word meaning a globe inside (protected by) a four letter word for a shade of green and the whole lot is reversed uprising.  The opening “the” could have been omitted as we do not need a word for the globe but globe.

8 Enjoyable weekend for groovy music (4)
FUNK – A three letter word for enjoyable followed by the final letter of week.  Not all editors would be keen on weekend as an indicator for taking the final letter of week.

9 Warrior with heart to withstand bullies (7)
HECTORS – The name of an ancient Greek warrior followed by the middle letter (heart to) of withstand.  Useless fact – the word to bully comes from the name of the Greek warrior.

14 Overthrow evil giant – that’s so old-fashioned (4)
ERGO – Reverse (overthrow) a word for an evil giant.

16 Accustomed to drug use due at revelry (10)
HABITUATED – Another word for and addiction or drug use followed by an anagram (revelry) of DUE AT.

17 Dave (singer, Foo Fighters) ends up getting hurt (4)
SORE – Reverse the order of the final letters (ends up) of the first four words of the clue.

18 Cover produced by West. Kanye West? (7)
WRAPPER – The abbreviation for west followed by a description of the musician Kanye West.

19 It’s clear would become desensitised if taking lithium (7)
OBVIOUS – This word meaning clear becomes a word meaning desensitised if the chemical symbol for Lithium (Li) is included.

21 It shows when something is incorrect – but this isn’t (6)
ACROSS – The mark used by a teacher to show an incorrect answer.  This is a down clue is isn’t

23 Attend silent disco (6)
LISTEN – An anagram (disco) of SILENT.  As disco as a verb (meaning to dance) is an intransitive verb, I am not sure it works as an anagram indicator in this context.

24 Love big boobs – these aren’t even (4)
ODDS – The letter representing love followed by the bra size (in the plural) for someone who has big boobs.

26 Music’s first class – it’s made on a dairy farm (4)
MILK – The first letter of Music followed by a word meaning class or type of something.  Perhaps produced might have been better but as the cows make the answer, this is a minor point.

27 One quarter of 15 was low number initially (4)
MOON – Another word for low (as in the noise made by cattle) followed by the first letter (initial) of number.  Although N can be represented by number, number initially works equally well and enhances the surface reading.  I am less keen on definition was wordplay.


  1. 2Kiwis

    We did a little groan when we saw that it might have a theme that we knew very little about but we need not have worried. The only little bit of knowledge that could have held us up was the connection between 15a and 27d and luckily one of us did have that knowledge. We suspect there are all sorts of other topical allusions in there that have gone over our heads, but they did not get in the way of a really enjoyable solving experience. For some reason that we cannot fathom now, 1d was our last answer to get. Well done, much appreciated.
    Thanks Beet.

    • 2Kiwis

      We have just been re-reading the clues to confirm the parsing, and we were so impressed with the quality of the surface reading that we just had to come back to give them a special mention. Again, well done Beet.

  2. Snape

    Wow, as good as it gets. I’ve still six to get in the NW corner, and have to go to work, but the others were straightforward and wonderfully clued.
    The ones I particularly loved:2,4, 5,15,17, 18d,19, 21, 23, 24, 27,29 and that’s with some still to go. The surfaces are perfect. Favourite? 2. I think. Or 21. No, 2.

    Don’t think you actually need the initially on 27d, There are questions I will find the answers to in the review on 18a and 28a, and I hope to complete the puzzle this evening. I hope Glastonbury was as good as the crossword!

  3. gazza

    Like 2Kiwis I was a little apprehensive on seeing the title, but I think I got most of the references (though I had to look up Michael Eavis). I thought it was beautifully put together with really smooth surface readings and tremendously enjoyable. My last answer was also 1d. There are far too many excellent clues to list them all so I’ll restrict myself to 21d, 27d and the superb 2d (with a mention for the laugh-inducing 4d). Many thanks to Beet for the enjoyment – I’m already looking forward to your next one.

  4. dutch

    Well done Beet – brilliant.

    Anax would be proud of 8d.

    I sometimes use 14d, perhaps I’m old-fashioned.

    Lovely clues, all of them – I too worried at first I would be hit by umpteen bands I’d never heard of, but this was wonderfully doable. I echo the comments on surface – very nicely polished. Favourites? many -I particularly liked 6a, 15a, 28a, 2d, 4d.

    Congratulations and thanks for letting us enjoy this.

  5. jean-luc cheval

    In all the years I have spent in the UK, I never went to Glastonbury but the clueing was very fair and mostly excellentissimo.
    Great surface all round and a real pleasure to solve.
    I think that in 28a, look might work better than sound but apart from that it’s a sans fautes.
    Too many favourite to enumerate but the themed 2d wins my vote.
    Thanks to Beet.

  6. Kath

    What a brilliant crossword – I loved every minute of it. and to Beet.
    I’ve never been to Glastonbury but did go to IOW in 1970 – how old does that make me sound?!
    My last answer was 1d and I only got 20a and 14d just before that one.
    I’ve just spent a few minutes trying to count how many of the clues could actually be linked to the theme – I lost count!
    I could just say that I liked all the clues but I won’t, even though I did.
    I particularly liked 6, 15 and 27a and 4, 16, 26 and 27d. My favourite was either 18a or 2d.
    With thanks, congratulations and a to Beet.

  7. Franco

    It has been quite a long time since Beet last appeared in Rookie Corner … but well worth the wait! Excellent stuff!

    Agree with others about the smooth surface readings!

    I have no idea how long it takes to compile a crossword but 17d is my favourite for being so up-to-date.

    Looking forward to the next one!

  8. Expat Chris

    I, too, was apprehensive on seeing the title. All I know of Glastonbury is that it’s a music festival, it’s held on a farm, and it rains a lot. Turns out that’s all I needed. I agree that it’s very polished and smooth with some clever and amusing clueing. Like the 2kiwis, I’m sure there are allusions I didn’t see. 5D was my last in, and I don’t understand how 22A is parsed. Loved 19D and 7D. Excellent job, Beet.

    Slight grumbles. Any mention of the dreadful Mr. West is guaranteed to raise my hackles. And unless my answer is wrong, I’m not convinced the solution to 26 down can actually be ‘made’. Produced might be a better word.

  9. Alchemi

    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a clue for 13a using the same idea. This one’s a better clue.

    There are four or five clues which would need an indulgent editor – of which the Graun’s is one. This is of Graun back-page standard (and I speak as one who has been primarily a Graun solver for 35 years, so that is in no way meant as a criticism).

  10. baerchen

    This is a great puzzle, really good fun to solve. I think 2d 8d and 15a are absolutely brilliant clues. Very well done, and many thanks

  11. beet

    Thanks everyone for the lovely comments, glad you enjoyed it and appreciated the fact that I did not require detailed music knowledge from you!

    I am now back home from the festival and in denial that it’s all over for another year – currently watching the highlights on iPlayer.

    Many thanks to Cryptic Sue, Sprocker and Silvanus for test solving and great suggestions – including reviewing at extremely short notice when I had to hastily re-write the North-East corner to include Florence and the Machine just before I headed off for the festival.

    • silvanus

      It was a pleasure to assist in a small way and I’m not surprised at all at the universal plaudits that have most deservedly been given.

      Amazing to think that you didn’t need your 18a after all :-)

    • Kath

      Just to be serious for one moment now. Last Thursday, just before the gremlins hit, I did the hints for 27837 – a Ray T crossword. I replied to someone called EJL. In my reply I said something along the lines that we needed some new young setters – Beet, you will be/are one of them.

    • Sprocker

      A pleasure as always, and very happy, though unsurprised, to see the deservedly great reception for it. Also glad the weather held out for you.

  12. Kitty

    Just want to pop up here and say that this was great. I enjoyed it more than the back-pager. I don’t have words at the mo for a detailed comment – hopefully will be around to say more tomorrow. Thanks and well done to Beet.

  13. Sil van den Hoek

    Today the Guardian gave us a hair-raising Quiptic. In the blog at Fifteensquared someone called Cyborg recommended this puzzle by Beet as a ‘much, much better’ alternative.
    And it surely was – Happy I came here!
    This is the work of a very talented setter.
    If this were a broadsheet puzzle, I would say ’2d is worth the price of the newspaper alone’.
    A marvellous piece of cluewriting, as was 22ac, and 27d (despite the word ‘be’ being somewhat out of place), and 18d (despite the man himself … only my opinion).
    And what about 17d? So topical – poor Dave Grohl.
    I also liked the neatness of 26d’s MILK.

    So, nothing to complain about then? Well, there are some things that needed a second opinion, I think.
    To make it fully work, the otherwise excellent 18ac would benefit from a question mark.
    In 20d: I do not like ‘the’. There are two Bs in ‘rabble’.
    The second part of 29ac could have been better worded, eg ‘with [anagram indicator] results’.
    4d needs either a question mark or something that tells us that it “is” not Hoover but “might be” Hoover.
    Finally, I am not convinced by 23d. ‘Disco’ as the indicator?

    But hey! All in all this was remarkable stuff.
    Many thanks to Beet for a very very enjoyable ride to Glasto.
    2d (TORRENTIAL) is really wonderful.

    • Kath

      20a – I think that ‘dropping the base’ means that one of the ‘B’s is dropped i.e. ditched from the rabble.

        • gazza

          I think that the point being made is that, since there are 2 Bs in rabble, what’s dropped should be ‘a bass’ rather than ‘the bass’.

          • Expat Chris

            I see what you mean. I’m just a simple soul, though. As a solver, I’m not into scrutinizing every clue and listing perceived failings in a comment. I do the puzzles for pure enjoyment, not to identify faults. I may point out something that puzzles or confounds me at times, but I leave the analyses to Big Dave and his stalwart team.

            • jean-luc cheval

              So do I.
              I think we have become such perfectionists that we expect the highest standards from our setters.
              But all these little quirks never stop us from getting the gist.
              Well done to Beet.

  14. beet

    Thanks to Prolixic for the review and for the very kind comments. I do really appreciate the comments from you and from all the commenters pointing out the rough edges and try to learn from them – I’m glad that they didn’t spoil your enjoyment of the puzzle.

Comments are closed.