GoT by Sprocker
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have Sprocker’s latest puzzle. According to him “This one has a theme, but doesn’t require any specialist knowledge to solve”. 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.
Sprocker has given us a crossword with a ghost theme based on the titles of the books in the Game of Thrones series. As a ghost theme, you don’t need to know anything about the series of books or the TV series to solve the clues, which is just as well as I have heard of the series but have little knowledge of the plot or characters.
1 Hook up with ring? (6)
ENGAGE – A cryptic allusion to what a ring is used to signify.
4 When I wake up I briefly see Idris roll over getting friendly (8)
AMICABLE – The abbreviation for morning (when I wake up) followed by the I from the clue, the letter that sounds like see and a reversal (roll over) of the surname of the actor Idris. I am not sure that briefly see necessarily means use the phonetic sound of see. Perhaps as Idris is a definition by example, some indication of this could have been given but it is a minor issue.
9 Praise kinky latex (5)
EXALT – An anagram (kinky) of LATEX.
10 Merciless but generous (9)
UNSPARING – Double definition of someone who shows no mercy and can also mean generous.
11 Help maiden to escape suitors (3)
AID – Remove (to escape) a three letter word for the suitors of a maiden from maiden. I am not sure that to escape xxx grammatically means to remove xxx. Perhaps suitors escape from maiden with help might have been better.
12 After quietly slipping out of sight and of hearing (4)
OTIC – Remove the musical abbreviation for quietly from a word meaning of sight. For the cryptic grammar to work you would need slipping out of of sight as the word optic does not mean sight but “of sight”.
13 Elgar receives “A Clash of Kings” (5)
REGAL – An anagram (receives a clash) of ELGAR.
15 Careful scout (7)
LOOKOUT – Double definition, the first in the sense of a cry or interjection.
16 Put down city’s papers (4)
LAID – The abbreviation for a West Coast city of America and an abbreviation for identity papers.
19 RU possibly up for it? (4)
GAME – Double definition of what RU is an example of and a word meaning up for it.
20 Treat that sells out fast? (7)
HOTCAKE – A cryptic definition of something that sells out fast. The simile on which the clue relies has the word in the plural as 3,5. I am not convinced that the clue therefore works as the singular is rarely used.
23 Fit Kit’s heart represented in High Definition (5)
HONED – The middle letter in KIT is expanded (represented) and put inside the definition for High Definition.
24 Woman AI assistant knocked over (4)
IRIS – Reverse (knocked over) the name of the voice recognition software in the iPad and iPhone.
25 “A Storm of Swords” back covers (3)
ROW – The answer is hidden (covers) and reversed (back) in SWORDS. The cryptic grammar of “back covers” is slightly Yoda like.
27 Goes past services (9)
OVERHAULS – Another word for overtakes and a word meaning services.
28 Bald, completely naked Queen’s marched out (5)
STARK – Remove (marches out) the ERS (Queen’s) from a word meaning completely naked.
29 Used to be looked after for longer (8)
EXTENDED – A two letter prefix meaning used to be and a word meaning looked after.
30 Humiliate by injecting drug to perform castration? (6)
DEMEAN – A word 2-3 that could mean to castrate or with the insertion (injecting) the abbreviation for ecstasy.
1 Looks at “A Feast for Crows“? (8)
EYEBALLS – Double definition, the second being what crows reportedly eat.
2 Fourth character encountered in “A Dance with Dragons” disturbed younger relative (8)
GRANDSON – An anagram (disturbed) of the fourth letter in “A DANCE” and DRAGONS.
3 Scandalous suffix? (4)
GATE – The suffix added to any scandal following the Watergate scandal.
5 “A Game of Thrones” follows High Society perhaps (7,6)
MUSICAL CHAIRS – The type of film represented (perhaps) by High Society followed by another word for thrones.
6 Church broadcast provides boosts for mountain climbers (10)
CHAIRLIFTS – A two letter abbreviation for church followed by a word meaning broadcast and a word meaning “provides boosts”.
7 Control room is stupidly big and red (6)
BRIDGE – An anagram (stupidly) of BIG RED.
8 Anxiously Gilly loses heart after Ned’s decapitation (6)
EDGILY – Remove the first letter from NED (decapitation) and follow it by the GILLY from the clue with the middle letter removed (loses heart).
10 Now I put the men out, being silly (2-2-3-6)
UP-TO-THE-MINUTE – An anagram (being silly) of I PUT THE MEN OUT.
14 Occasionally present with the North (
NOW AND THEN – A word meaning present (in the sense of time) followed by a word meaning with, the “the” from the clue and the abbreviation for North.
17 After a month, one gets in to see “Red Wedding“? (8)
MARRIAGE – The abbreviated form of March (a month) followed by an I inside (gets into) a word meaning “see red”.
18 Get back-up from a man after about a week (8)
REAWAKEN – A two letter word meaning about followed by the A from the clue and the abbreviation for week then another A from the clue and a man’s name.
21 3-1 outsiders to gain seat! (6)
THRONE – The outside six letters of THREE ONE.
22 Taboo activity in Church Street (6)
INCEST – The IN from the clue followed by the abbreviation for Church of England and the abbreviation for street.
26 Man perhaps kept by Israelis legitimately (4)
ISLE – The answer is hidden inside ISRAELIS LEGITIMATELY.