7:42. A good, strenuous test. I worried for a bit I might not finish but persistence, as always, is key. (Edit on writing the blog: I see that my problem may have been that a lot of the “charades”-style clues don’t put the bits together in a straightforward order. Tricky!)
Follow along with my efforts here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1135582892 .
A brief summary of cryptic crosswords —feel free to skip— :
- Each clue has at least one “definition”: an unbroken string of words which more-or-less straightforwardly indicates the answer. A definition can be as simple as a one-word synonym; but it can also be a descriptive phrase like ‘I’m used to wind’ for REEL or SPOOL. A definition by example must be indicated by a phrase like ‘for example’, or, more commonly, a question mark (?). Thus ‘color’ is a definition of RED, while ‘red, for example’ or ‘red?’ are definitions of COLOR. Punctuation is otherwise irrelevant. Proper nouns will appear capitalized, but otherwise capitalization is irrelevant as well.
- Each clue may also have an unbroken string of words which indicates the answer through wordplay, such as: using abbreviations; reversing the order of letters; indicating particular letters (first, last, outer, middle, every other, etc); placing words inside other words; rearranging letters (anagrams); replacing words by words that sound alike (homophones); and combinations of the above. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but the general theme is to reinterpret ordinary words as referring to letters, so that for example ‘lion’s head’ indicates the first letter of LION: namely, L.
- Definitions and wordplay cannot overlap. The only other words allowed in clues are linking words or phrases that combine these. Thus we may see, for example: “(definition) gives (wordplay)” or “(definition) and (definition)” or “(wordplay) is (definition)”.
- The most common clues have either two definitions, or one definition plus wordplay, in either order. But a single, very misleading definition is not uncommon, and very occasionally a definition can also be interpreted as wordplay leading to the same answer. Triple definitions (and more) are also possible.
My conventions in the solutions below are to underline definitions (including a defining phrase); put linking words in [brackets]; and put all wordplay indicators in boldface. I also use a solidus (/) to help break up the clue where necessary, especially for double definitions without linking words.
Here is a Glossary of all the wordplay indicators and abbreviations in this puzzle.
Abbreviations and little bits
1 Lame inspector’s / guided by Jack (8)
DISABLED = DI’S + LED next to AB
5 Cry of bird bearing large talon (4)
CLAW = CAW around L
8 Make-up / remains on daughter, hastily and carelessly done (8)
SLAPDASH = SLAP + ASH next to D
9 Scrap a / safety test, on reflection (4)
ATOM = A + MOT reversed
11 Article / Rosie emptied in that place (5)
THERE = THE + first and last letters of ROSIE
12 Like to broadcast / new author (7)
TOLKIEN = anagram of LIKE TO + N
13 Bit of a word quietly by referee, and football team retreating (6)
PREFIX = P + REF + XI reversed
15 One of five kids with constant / energy [gets] fruit (6)
QUINCE = QUIN + C + E
18 Rubbish book found in outbuilding (7)
GARBAGE = B in GARAGE
19 Bury — popular / market, quite popular ultimately (5)
INTER = IN + last letters of MARKET QUITE POPULAR
21 Central sections of park tidy [and] dry (4)
ARID = middle letters of PARK TIDY
22 Is the suspect, / after drink knocked back, most aggressive? (8)
PUSHIEST = IS THE anagrammed, after reversal of SUP
23 Irritable newsman / Gary‘s outside (4)
EDGY = ED + first and last of GARY
24 Boss meets key / member where horses are bred (4,4)
STUD FARM = STUD + F + ARM
Here ‘boss’ refers to a raised bump or stud, sometimes called an ‘umbo’ in these parts. Vinyl points out that this is definition 2 in Berstan.
1 Desmond / initially knowing / best type of computer (7)
DESKTOP = DES + first letter of KNOWING + TOP
2 Bluish-grey / pan (5)
SLATE = double definition
SLATE = ‘pan’ as in “to review unfavourably” (Chambers).
3 Move / equipment — upset artist[‘s] pet perhaps (10)
BUDGERIGAR = BUDGE + RIG + reversal of RA
4 Fake art’s sculpted / by European / unknown (6)
ERSATZ = ARTS anagrammed, next to E + Z
6 Reluctant individual overlooking an area of Scotland (7)
LOTHIAN = LOTH + I + AN
Alternate spelling of
LOATHE LOATH, I believe.
7 Ladies [and] Gents south of Waterloo vacant (5)
WOMEN = MEN below first and last of WATERLOO
10 Brandished baking ingredient / one / dropped (10)
FLOURISHED = FLOUR + I + SHED
14 Each / gang around noon receiving payment for work (7)
EARNING = EA + RING around N
16 Printing mistake, rare, unsettled / corporation (7)
ERRATUM = RARE anagrammed + TUM
17 Religious adherent[‘s] tunic regularly / appeared in joke (6)
JESUIT = even-numbered letters of TUNIC in JEST
18 Fireplace large, we hear (5)
GRATE = homophone of GREAT
20 In contest, he taunted Greek character (5)
THETA = hidden in CONTEST HE TAUNTED