Rookie Corner – 074 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Rookie Corner – 074

Jerusalem by JollySwagman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

JollySwagman has a puzzle with a theme that is popular all year round, but particularly over the next few weeks. 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.


8 British water-colour painter and poet (5)
BLAKE – The single letter abbreviation for British followed by the name of a bluish colour.

9/12 Composer of Repton is British (no denial). Hurray! (3,6,5)
SIR HUBERT PARRY – An anagram (of) of REPT[ON] IS BR (British) HURRAY.  The composer wrote the hymn tune Repton.  Some editors would require a secondary anagram indicator as the letters removed are not in the order given in the clue but this seems excessive for a two letter removal!  Separating the letters to be removed from one word by another word and then continuing the letters to be rearranged is unusual but not objectionable.  I wondered whether composer was doing double duty as an anagram indicator but the clue would not work as an all in w

10/29 When assembled we tut to shiniest men and sing 13a? (3,6,9)
THE WOMEN’S INSITUTE – An anagram (when assembled) of WE TUT TO SHINIEST MEN.  This is a semi all in one clue as the WI famously booed Tony Blair when he spoke at their conference.

12 See 9

13 8a’s ending to a 23a. Clasping of hands – feted ode – then it’s over? (3,3,5,4)
AND DID THOSE FEET – An anagram (over) of HANDS FETED ODE IT.  I don’t think that the words clasping of add anything to the clue as they do not form part of the definition unless “hands” does double duty as part of the definition and part of the anagram letters.  Perhaps three long anagrams in a row gives the crossword a slightly unbalanced feel.

18 Inadequate first part of 23a – leader’s unhappy (5)
SADDO – Another word for the first part of the answer to 23a preceded by (leader is) a word meaning unhappy.

19 Used to fish for perch (3)
ROD – A double definition.

21 The boss nearly made a mistake (5)
GAFFE – Remove the final letter (nearly) from another word for a boss.  Makes a mistake would be better.

23 Fete crony and prance about here! (5,10)

27 Is it inevitable to restrain protest here? (3-2)
SIT-IN – The answer is hidden in (to restrain) IS IT INEVITABLE.

29 See 10

33/34 He arranged 13a real good. I saw the first rehearsal twice (3,6,5)
SIR EDWARD ELGAR – The answer to 13a interpreted as a clue gives us the last letters (feet) of the words in the answer for [AN]D [DI]D [THOS]E.  Add the letters for REAL G I SAW RR (first letter of rehearsal twice) and make an anagram of them (arranged).  A clue that it too complex and to use one answer as an inverse clue for part of the anagram is verging on just the wrong side of being an indirect anagram for me.


1 President found with model needs help (4)
ABET – The diminutive form of Abraham (Lincoln) followed by a type of car (model) sold by Henry Ford.  Wordplay needs definition seems back to front to me.  Definition needs wordplay would be more usual.

2 See lawyer before the enquiry starts (4)
DATE – The abbreviation for District Attorney followed by the first letter (starts) of the enquiry.  Some editors would nor allow starts on its own as an initial letter indicator.

3 Responsible governments provide building blocks for the younger generation (4)
LEGO – The answer is hidden (provides) in RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENTS.

4 The Polish provide support to the Scottish Symphony Orchestra (6)
BRASSO – Provide (an imperative instruction to the solver) another word for a support followed by the abbreviation for Scottish Symphony Orchestra.  I don’t know whether SSO is a recognized definition in main dictionaries.  It is not in Chambers nor in Collins on-line.  Other dictionaries may contain it.  I think that the clue would have worked and been better without the initial The.

5 Stand for Labour against United-supporting MP (4)
LUMP – The abbreviation for labour (Chambers gives only Lab.) followed by the abbreviation for United and the MP from the clue.  I am not sure that supporting here is correct as MP supports the remaining letters.  Even with the hyphen –supported would better.

6 At 11 the boy king from Formby? (6)
GEORGE – A quadruple definition of the occupant of 11 Downing Street, a pop-singer Boy ?????, a monarch and the first name of Mr Formby.  Given the constant references to the occupant of Number 11 in his crosswords, I wonder whether JollySwagman is a bit of a Mr Osborne fanboy!

7 Don’t go spades at bridge – it could be disastrous (4)
STAY – The abbreviation for spades followed by the name of a bridge with a disastrous history.

9 Perhaps Polo makes one hot (7)
SWEATER – A double definition for an item of clothing and someone who is hot.

11 A party for the women of Orpington? (3)
HEN – Double definition, the second being a breed of this animal.  As the answer is not a noun but an adjective, maybe Type of party for the… would have been more accurate.

13 As leadership’s about posture be the one with morals (5)
AESOP – The first letter (leadership) of As followed by a reversal (about) of POSE (posture).  I am not keen on the structure Wordplay BE definition.

14 Penny’s got a date. Let’s hope he doesn’t dance (3)
DAD – The abbreviation for an old penny followed by the A from the clue and the abbreviation for date.

15 That’s ridiculous – Mrs Thatcher’s son’s gone missing? (5)
IRONY – The nickname of Mrs Thatcher removing the LAD (son’s gone missing).

16 Ruler eventually raged about. It was Bedlam (5)
EDGAR – An anagram (about) of RAGED.  The reference is to King Lear.  The answer is the person who eventually becomes King after previously disguising himself as mad Tom Bedlam.  As about has already been used as an anagram indicator, another one should ideally have been used.

17 The media’s no flipping help. One by 33a, 34a had one but he kept quiet about it (5)
THEME – Remove a reversal (flipping) of another word for help from THE MEDIA.  The composer of Enigma Variations kept quiet about the theme of the variations.

20 Indeed the first three with the right to vote came back and calmed down (7)
DEFUSED – In DEED add a reversal (came back) of the first three letters of suffrage (the right to vote).  Some editors would choke on their cornflakes at using indeed to signify inside deed.

22 Entertaining function for all involved (3)
FUN – The abbreviation for “for all” goes inside the abbreviation for function.

24 Note wrong answer (6)
RETORT – A musical note followed by a civil wrong.

25 Guinness – one part – mix (firstly) three parts of anisette with (lastly) three parts of Strongbow (3-3)
OBI-WAN – An anagram (mix) of ANI BOW (the first three letters of anisette and the last three letters of Strongbow).

26 Larry’s in News at Ten. About time too! (3)
CAT – A newsworthy Downing Street animal called Larry and also a two letter abbreviation for about and the abbreviation for time.

27 Very very fair (2-2)
SO-SO – A two letter word for very repeated.

28 End session with 13a perhaps – and a joint (4)
NODE – The final letter (end) of session followed by another word for a poem such as 13a.

30 Early edition of Come Dine with Me returns – no different from before! (4)
IDEM – The answer is hidden in (edition of) COME DINE reversed (returns). The “with me” is padding and not excused by the use of the word “Early”

31 To put the pressure on you run against George Osborne when he’s exhausted (4)
URGE – … fanboy time again!  The way in which you is texted (which is becoming accepted as being indicated by you on its own) followed by the outer letters (when he’s exhausted) of George Osborne.

32 The French devise their own way to get back over (4)
EURO – A reversal (back) of the French for a way or road followed by the abbreviation for over.  As you can go back South to North, I think back is OK.

52 comments on “Rookie Corner – 074

  1. On my own today and found this one really tough. All sorts of problems with many of the pesky four letter answers being generally the hardest to get. The theme was only marginally helpful and a bit of Google help was needed. I now have a full grid but there is still a bit of wordplay to sort out and I have run out of available time. Will try to get back to it later. Reckon that 25a certainly qualifies for the ‘diabolical’ label.
    Thanks JollySwagman.

  2. Although I have a couple where I’m still trying to work out the parsing, I did have the required composer/general knowledge to sort this nice themed crossword out reasonably quickly, including knowing who Larry at 26d is – I Surely 8a is pure GK rather than cryptic. I particularly liked 4d but I think 14d wins the top prize for making me smile.

    Thanks to JS and in advance to Prolixic

    1. I think 8a is cryptic – the last four letters of the answer can mean either water or a colour, preceded by British – or at least that’s how I parsed it!

      I have most of the top half but finding this a real struggle.

      1. So it is – in my defence I started this quite early on this chilly morning – perhaps I had brain freeze.

  3. What a puzzling weekend it’s been with the NTSPP and this tricky puzzle from JollySwagman. I’ve completed it but there’s one I can’t fully parse (33/34a), one where I can’t see the definition (32d) and others where I seem to have bits of the clue left over after I’ve parsed them (6d, 17d and 30d) so I’m obviously missing something.
    Thanks to JollySwagman for a very accomplished and enjoyable puzzle. Top clues which made me laugh were 4d (though I don’t think the grammar quite works), 11d, 14d and 15d.

      1. Thanks. For 15d you need to start with what Mrs Thatcher was called (or what she liked to call herself) (4,4) and take away the ‘son’.

  4. Well, finally have a completed grid, but it was rather a slog to get there.

    Bearing in mind the puzzle’s title, it was disappointing not to see a single arrow of desire, let alone any dark satanic mills or chariots of fire. In fact only the first four words of the poem seem to have been included which possibly was an opportunity missed. The setter’s apparent obsession with the present Chancellor of the Exchequer continues however, three clues today at least to add to his previous crossword!

    Like others, I felt that a number of clues didn’t quite work or had something missing. The anagram fodder for both 13a and 33/34a seemed to be one letter short in each case unless I’ve missed something. The definite article in 4d didn’t work for me, and “supporting” is surely misused in 5d. I can’t adequately parse 15d,17d or 20d. Like Gazza, I looked in vain for a definition in 32d.

    Tricky stuff, but not impossible, and I enjoyed the challenge more than the setter’s last effort. Many thanks JollySwagman.

    1. For 20d, I think you have to split the first word 2,4 and insert the first 3 letters of the ladies who fought for the right to vote backwards.

    2. For 17d, the first two words without the “help back” give us the answer and I think it’s an allusion to his Enigma variations which full title is variations on a *****.
      A bit far fetched maybe.

    3. Anagram fodder for 13a is ‘hands feted ode it’ – 15 letters.
      Now you come to mention it, I don’t have all the letters for 33a either, but I suspect we’ve probably both missed something, given the standard of clueing elsewhere. :)

      1. You have to incorporate some of the letters from 13a in the anagram fodder for 33/34a. Which letters to incorporate are defined by the final word of 13a.

          1. As I said in my earlier comment, I ‘saw’ the long answers so skipped the parsing. Probably a good thing because I would be crazy by now!

  5. I was able to complete the grid, but there are several where I will need the review to parse. Also, I saw a couple of the long ones relating to the theme right away so didn’t bother to parse. The force was with me, otherwise I would never have got 25D from the clue! I liked 3D and 4D in particular, but 15D is definitely my favorite. Thanks Jolly Swagman!

  6. Just printed this off but won’t have chance to ‘give it a go’ until later in the week. Sorry, Jolly Swagman – didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you!

  7. Well. This certainly kept me entertained all morning.
    And thanks to the early bloggers who helped me with their comments.
    Still a couple that I can’t fully parse.
    No doubt the review will clear the confusion.
    Thanks to JollySwagman.

  8. I finally have a completed grid, quite tough going, not an area of strength for me and as people have commented, sometimes the definitions felt incomplete somehow and I’m not sure I am completely tuned in to Jolly’s wavelength – to the point where I’m not sure if my all parsing was as intended, so i’m looking forward to the review as well. Not all is Chambers-friendly, e.g. fn doesn’t seem to be in Chambers though it’s staring me in the face on my keyboard. Chambers has LSO but not SSO (?). The 13a anagram works, doesn’t it? though I seem to be missing fodder for DED from the 33/34 anagram.

    My preference was for the shorter clues – I liked 2d, 3d, 27d, 32d, but the one that made me laugh most was 14d.

    Many thanks JollySwagman, quite the puzzle! congratulations.

  9. Tough but entertaining. In fact I got double entertainment value having nearly completed and going to press Check hit Revert by mistake, and having to enter it all again. .

    For a while I had the answer to 9/12 (which I hadn’t then got) in the 33/34 spot; ah, “arranger” not “composer”, RTFQ as they used to say in exams…..

    Like others I found some very hard to parse.

    9/12 ac Dear Lord it’s heading towards an &lit, clever spot re. Repton (dreary tune as it is, and no harmony for us tenors to provide some relief). I guess “composer” doing double duty wouldn’t be to everyone’s liking.

    13 wasn’t sure about clasping as an anagrind, or am I missing something?

    27a Not seen “restrain” for a hidden indicator before; I like it.

    33/34 I’m pretty liberal in my thinking but effectively separating the anagrind from the fodder by inserting the answer to another clue (a long one at that) seems a bit of a stretch even to me. Will be interested in the expert view on that.

    3d I don’t understand the first half of the clue (I assume it’s a double def) As I seem to be alone in this I’m obviously missing some vital knowledge

    4d very nice although Silvanus does have a point about “supporting” rather than “supporter”

    5d I don’t see a definition. To me lump as in “Like it or lump it” means the opposite of “stand for”. What am I missing here?

    6d Get the Formby bit, but not the rest

    14d very nice

    15d very nice
    20d couldn’t parse, seen the explanation now, tough!

    26d Don’t understand first part of this

    28d nor this

    31d You = u without a homophone indicator? Not sure if that’s ok or not

    32d tough, didn’t know that bit of French

    It was good fun, but didn’t quite complete it – inexplicably missed 21a and a couple linking to it, and 25d had no idea about at all, even with crossers.

    Thanks JS, and much kudos for working so many long related answers into the grid; not easy to do.

    1. And for 26d, think of that sweet animal in the prime minister’s place.
      28d, last letter of session plus what 13a is an example of.

      1. Ah, cheers guys, should have worked out 3 and 28, but knew nothing about the mouser at all. Any insight into 6d?

        1. Hi Starhorse,

          Three elements all sharing the same first name – the occupant of 11 (Downing St), slightly unfair on the solver I felt, plus a former king and a one-time Northern entertainer.

  10. I’m having all kinds of trouble with this so thought I’d pop in to see if it was just me – relieved to find that it isn’t.
    Somewhere in my head with all the other useless stuff is something telling me that I struggled with JollySwagman last time.
    Off up the garden for a couple of hours – maybe brain will do some thinking while I do other things – I live in hope – back later.

  11. Bravo Jolly Swagman – thàt was masterful! I suspect you are no rookie at all, for this was both bold and adventurous clueing combined with a mass of links interweaving their way around the grid. I loved it! Favourite clue ( among many) was the brilliant 15d. The very long clues, like 25d whilst unusual were perfectly fair and fine by me. Thanks to other commenters for helping me to finish parsing 6d and 26d – both of which I should have done by simply reminding myself there’s a theme!

  12. Jeepers creepers, that was very hard , well it was for me , anyway.
    I don’t know any Church of England hymns and have never attended a Womens Institute meeting. Even Googling didn’t help, I guessed it in the end , by the checkers.
    My favourite was 4d and I really liked 25d and 31d.
    I don’t understand 14d, 5d, 15d. re 15d, what has Mark Thatcher got to with it ?
    Despite all these difficulties , it was quite compulsive and I enjoyed the challenge .
    Thanks , Jollyswagman.

  13. I was very grateful to the commenters for the helpful hints, and thanks to them I managed to get most of the way through, with several half-parsed answers. I gave up and revealed the last three or four, and am missing what is going on with 2d and 16d – I look forward to the review.
    Like Dutch I preferred the shorter clues (and the clues to the shorter answers). The hidden words were excellently disguised, and there were good charades, and the clever and entertaining 15d was my favourite. I thought that the clues to the longer answers were trying too hard to be all-in-one clues, and while 23a was amusing and just about pulled it off, ‘we tut to shiniest men’ was a bit forced, likewise with 9/12 – leading to the suggestion that ‘composer’ was doing double duty.
    Possibly a couple of linkword/grammar issues, 1d ‘needs’? 4d ‘provide’?, for example, I will see what Prolixic says. It doesn’t distract much from the entertainment, but it can make it more difficult. (I think if the word is unknown to the solver and has to be constructed just from the wordplay, then padding words make it really tough. This wasn’t the case here, I should point out)
    Starhorse, as far as I can see, u is given as an abbreviation for you in Collins, but not in Chambers…
    Cheers JS, that was a fun battle, and well done also on getting all the theme words into the puzzle, and still finding normal words to go into the downs. Thanks also in advance to Prolixic for the review.

    1. Hi snape,
      2d def = see, lawyer DA, starts of The Enquiry – I liked it, cool surface.
      16d – i’m missing something too, anagram of raged, but a lot of extra stuff in the clue?

      1. Perhaps it’s not the Saxon King as I thought but a reference to King Lear and the character he disguised himself as in the play…Tom O’ Bedlam. Gotta love Google.

      2. Ah, thank you. Even after you explained, it took a long time to work out why see=date, D’oh, and I didn’t know DA = lawyer, and have looked up why it is so. Yes, it is a nice clue. I know nothing about King Lear, unfortunately, so that is why that passed over my head, I guess it is sort of &litty too?

  14. JS ‘s puzzles are always a bit out of my league, but even though a lot of the parsing was over my head I could appreciate that he had made the most of his theme, (which unfortunately I knew nothing about ) excellent work! My favourite has to be 25 d and I am hanging my head in shame that I didn’t get it quicker. Thank you jolly swagman

  15. My three hours in the sunny garden doesn’t seem to have done much, if anything, to help.
    I really can’t do this one any more than I could do the NTSPP – I’ll have to trot off and count the marbles later.
    If I’m still awake when we’ve had supper and watched University Challenge and Only Connect I’m going to go back to all the previous comments and see if I can get any further.
    Oh dear !
    BD – please could we somehow incorporate a really dim face in the emoticons? At the moment all I can find that might cover it is or

    1. I did it on-line and used a few letter hints, otherwise I would never have finished.Re the emoticons , I like describes me , half the time.

    2. On the advice from Una I think that I now admit defeat and go
      I passed this crossword over to husband as it’s far more up his street – he did get a few more answers but didn’t have any idea about why they might (or might not) be right. I look forward to tomorrow’s review.

  16. many thanks for the review Prolixic – VERY informative!

    Ah, so that’s where the DDE was hiding! (33/34). Missed it completely, due to the excellent deception of “He arranged 13a”. Anax/Elkamere sometimes uses cross-references to other answers elegantly woven into his wordplay, and this is similar – albeit 4 words! More and more in recent months are we seeing cryptic instructions as part of anagram indicators – odd/even letters, first/last letters, reversals, etc – and I’ve heard it argued that all is fair as long as the letters are in plain view. So devious as this is, I don’t think it is an indirect anagram.

    I was confused by brb telling me lake was a reddish pigment (1a). I suppose this could still be a water-colour.

    Many of the references had escaped me, and I realise now just how much effort has gone into this puzzle. I never thought of Blair in 10/29, didn’t know the disastrous history of the Tay bridge in 7d, missed the Tom Bedlam reference, and missed the keeping quiet bit for the theme in 17d. Some of these references are incidental to the clue, it’s like getting a history lesson for free.

    27a I thought didn’t need the “here”, especially since it’s used elsewhere too.

    3d I thought could be improved by using ‘Responsible government provides”, since in my mind the hidden text fodder is a single entity (…contains) and “provide” grates in the cryptic reading. Interestingly, Prolixic added the “s” in his review. Unfortunately, “provide” is used again in the next clue

    11d I agree with Prolixic: as is, the answer would be “hen party”

    30d had me well-confused since I was reversing the Me, and wanted to add the DI from DINE, with no idea what to do with the COME. So I agree, bit naughty to have excess fodder as surface padding.

    But what an effort! Congratulations again JollySwagman, on quite an achievement!

  17. Without the title of the puzzle I would have been well and truly lost. As it was, I asked Mr. Google about Jerusalem and used the enumeration of the clues to arrive at the answers – not what I’m sure was probably intended!
    Never did get 6,25 or 32d and ‘bunged-in’ 16d simply because the anagram worked.
    Liked 21a plus 3,4,11&27d but thought several of the others either had clues that didn’t quite ‘work’ or relied too heavily upon ‘not very general’ knowledge.

    Sorry, Jolly Swagman, there were some good ones here but I felt that perhaps you sometimes strayed into the realms of being ‘too clever by half’.
    Many thanks to Prolixic for the detailed analysis.

  18. Thanks for trying the puzzle. Sorry to those who found it too hard – I know that last time I promised to make the next one easier, but this one was already part-baked at that time. Of course if you knew the salient facts about the theme the biggies were a giveaway – which is my excuse for giving some of them toughish worplays.


    A few extra points on how the clues worked and some of their extra “layers”:

    8a Is sort of a clue within a clue: “water” and “colour” can both give LAKE – ie Windermere of the pigment – so “Water-colour” would in itself do as a DD clue for LAKE. Watercolour painters will know that rose madder lake was once the only available red and it is fugitive – ie it fades in the light. Blake did do watercolours but that’s by the way – the def is just (as in the blog) “painter and poet”.

    9a/12a and 33a/34a use the “extended definition” form. That’s where you have a conventional WP-def clue with a very broad definition but you can “borrow” some of the other words to *extend* the def – ie to make it a much tighter one – but making the charge of double duty a bum rap (me guv???).

    So in 9a/12a “composer” is the broad def and it can be extended to “composer of Repton” by borrowing OF (the link) and REPTON (part of the anagram fodder). Actually that clue also relies on the semi-&lit (approved of by Ximenes FWIW) structure.

    In 33a/34a “He” (we need a person) is the broad def – extended we get: “He arranged ‘And did those feet’ ” – that, in fact, being the original title of the piece.

    13a “clasping” is supposed to indicate the gathering together of the WP fodder – joining would probably have been better. Obviously it’s intended to indicate what they do at the end of Labour Party conferences.

    18a I think I was thinking of Ed Milliband’s below par performance (with the everyday common people he bumped into on Hampstead Heath) at his own party conference. That happened not long before I assembled this puzzle.

    27a alludes to (how good’s your memory?) the 2005 Labour Party conference, when a heckler was rather roughly ejected by the security goons when he yelled “Liar” at Jack Straw. It turned out that he was frail, 82 years old, and a lifelong party member and activist.

    4d I think I would defend the “the”. They’re a rare breed these days but sometimes they can earn their place. Eg “the Queen” is much better for ER than just “queen” – so a dialogue might go:”Brasso? What’s that?” – “You know – the polish”.

    5d a “united-supporting MP” is an MP who supports United – so the MP goes under the U. Obviously it can also be interpreted the other way round but (by Afrit) I claim that my way works too.

    11d In a 1962 by-election Orpington was taken for the Liberals by Eric Lubbock with a huge swing against the Conservatives. It was thought at the time to be the start of something big and gave rise to the expression “Orpington Man” – possibly the first of many such expressions – Essex Man, Mondeo Man, White Van Man, Selsdon Man etc.

    17d does indeed allude to Elgar’s “Enigma Variations”. The unstated theme is now believed to be the tune behind “never never never” in Rule Brittania and what is conventionally given as theme is really the first variation. Elgar, famously, kept everyone guessing on this.

    28d The Lib-Dems have discussed legalising cannabis at recent party conferences.

    30d My approach to hidden word clues is that it’s fair to hide the required words in a string of words of any length.


    Thanks for all the comments and thanks to Prolixic for the blog.

    Kudos to Expat Chris for spotting the King Lear link in 16d – double kudos for admitting that she was helped by Google. I can now reveal that it was Google that gave me the Bedlam bit. Not being big on Shakespeare myself all I knew from memory was that a brief synopsis of King Lear is that everyone kills everyone and Edgar’s the last man standing.

    And kudos to Gazza for spotting the trick in 33a/34a.


    Tough indeed! That wasn’t tough. Tough was Bannsider (no more now he’s taken Murdoch’s shilling) on the Indy. I’m a pussy cat by comparison – but I really really do promise to go easier in future.

  19. Very interesting. Loved all that detail and I would defend you up to the hilt on everything apart from 30d, where I do feel that word strings cannot extend beyond those words containing the hidden word; it’s maybe not logical but it is a convention everyone else follows.
    As for toughness, Nimrod in the Indy on a day when he’s feeling fiendish can make Bannsider seem like a pussycat – yours was kittenish by comparison!
    Should setters appeal to as many solvers as possible? I don’t know. At the idothei website yesterday the consensus was that Poins gave us ‘too many gentle underarm lobs’ so you can’t please everyone!
    Maybe the answer is that if each paper acquires a house style, then so can each website… maybe we rookie setters (I’m stickin’ around folks) need to find that somehow? Or do people like the diversity?

    1. Speaking as someone who solves between 30 and 40+ cryptics a week, diversity all the time please. And yes, I miss Bannsider too.

    2. Hi Maize,
      I am pretty much a novice solver – certainly by the standards of those such as CS! – but I do appreciate diversity, hence why I always enjoy the Rookie, NTSPP and MPPs on this site. However, the BD site is designed specifically for solvers of the DT crosswords and I think perhaps setters should bear that in mind when constructing puzzles which they submit for publication here. That still leaves a huge range to work within, given the variance between back-pagers and toughies.

      I would certainly not decry the talents of those who are able to produce fiendish puzzles but I feel that the real talent lies in being able to construct puzzles of differing levels of difficulty to suit the appropriate publication. A tall order, but one worth aiming for?

      1. Yes, I think I agree with you Jane. Whether there’s an outlet somewhere else for clues like 33/34a in this puzzle, I know not, but it was certainly beyond me!

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