I was having one of those days at work. You know, the ones where you spend the whole day setting up stuff and waiting hours for the bloody enzyme to do its work… All hurry up and wait. And I was reminded by a comment about quiptic crosswords, which are an excellent way to pass the time when one is sick to death of reviewing manuscripts… I’ve not done any cryptic/quiptic crosswords since my subscription to Guardian Unlimited ran out a few years ago. And as a super pleasant surprise, I found that the Grauniad is no longer charging for access to their crosswords. Nice one!
This week’s Quiptic No. 514 was set by Arachne, whose crosswords I have a slightly better chance of completing than many other setters… And since I’ve come back to these after years away, I thought it might help to write wee notes about solving these types of clues… Here are a few that took my fancy in lazy list fashion (highlight below to see answer and brief explanation):
- 9 across: Crimes of those who receive stolen goods (8)
Offences; those who receive stolen goods=fences. add the “of” before it to get… crimes!
- 12 across: I practised a complicated branch of medicine (11)
Paediatrics; an anagram (indicated by the use of “complicated”) of “i practised a”.
- 1 down: Tending to fall over kid’s misplaced computer accessory (6,4)
Floppy disk; tending to fall over = floppy and an anagram of kid’s = disk.
- 6 down: Blushed and wept about male child (9)
Crimsoned; this one really annoyed me for a while… It had to be “son” or “boy” somewhere in the middle, surrounded by a synonym of wept, which I reckoned must be “cried”. Only after I worked out the word by solving intersecting clues did I realise that I also had to add an “m” for male. Duh.
Anythehoo… If you stumbled across this looking for hints on how to solve quiptic crosswords, I hope this helped a little bit. I learnt by a combination of trial and error and discussing the clues with my crossword-loving colleagues in my previous lab. What one of us couldn’t get, another would. I miss that lab…