Monday, 7 May 2012

Gemini 6242

This is my explanations for the clues for the Gemini Cryptic Crossword from The Canberra Times, on Friday 4 May 2012. Definitions are underlined (apart from in &lit, double and cryptic definition clues).


1. Strip a firearm? = RIFLE
A double definition clue, the two definitions are strip and a firearm.

4. One hears it being broken = SILENCE
Cryptic definition ... if you break the silence, it involves making noise!

8. Give vent to a song = AIR
Another double definition clue, give vent to is the first definition, a song is the second.

9. They supervise — prophets? = OVERSEERS
Cryptic definition, seers being prophets ...

10. French arrogance = HAUTEUR
The origin of this word that we use for arrogance is French, from their word for "height". Don't know that this is really a cryptic clue, maybe cryptic definition?

11. Pious — nothing short of goodly = GODLY
Nothing (abbrv = O) short of (deletion) from goodly

13. He's not truly American = SHAMUS
Charade clue: not truly (SHAM) + American (US). He is used as a definition for any male name, so isn't really a vast help here!

15. A number relaxed and stopped = CEASED
Charade: A number = C (Roman numeral for 100) + relaxed (EASED). Defining a number as any Roman numeral is a Libertarian device.

18. Some of these books back being overweight = OBESE
Reversed (back) hidden word (some of): these books reversed is skoob eseht. Some of them = sko[OB ESE]ht. Being is a linking word.

19. Refined male fish? = GENTEEL
Charade: male (GENT) + fish (EEL)

21. I'd returned with an account causing amusement = DIVERSION
I'd returned = DI (reverse I'd, and ignore the punctuation) + an account = VERSION. Causing is a linking word.

23. Favourite mood? Hardly = PET
Double / cryptic definition. A favourite is a PET, but a mood can also be a PET (a fit of sulking) ... the hardly gives the sense that being in a pet isn't a favourite mood, in general!

24. Idle chatter has teeth on edge = RATCHET
Anagram clue: idle is the anagram indicator, chatter is the fodder (the word to jumble up). The definition is is rather oblique, but it is fair enough to say that a RATCHET has teeth on its edge!

25. Hack to pieces wandering herds = SHRED
Another anagram (wandering). Herds is the fodder.


1. Comes to cheer as arranged = REACHES
Anagram (arranged) of cheers as.

2. Lucky at coming into a lot of money = FORTUNATE
Double definition, with a bit of 'language abuse' - lucky is the first definition, but coming into a lot of money, or a fortune, has been coined by the setter to be "fortunate" ... these sorts of invented words are occasionally found in cryptics!

3. Make a run to clinch the match = ELOPE
Cryptic definition; you're running off here to get married (a match), not playing sports, which is what the surface reading gives the sense of!

4. Make a mistake and throw out the drink = SHERRY
Container clue. Make a mistake = ERR, and throw = SHY (fling or throw at a target). I don't agree with the setter's use of out here, the indicator should really give more of a sense of the letters of SHY being put around the ERR (so this clue is more Libertarian).

5. Turn up the gas in a way making an Italian dish = LASAGNE
This clue looks very familiar to me, as I wrote one that's quite similar in Cryptic Crosswords For Dummies! It's a container clue, with a reversal. Reverse (turn up) gas = SAG. Put them in a way (LANE).

6. Born of woman = NEE
Cryptic definition. Born or originally called = NÉE, and it's used by a woman, when giving her maiden name.

7. Literary work? Yes as it turns out = ESSAY
Anagram (it turns out) of yes as.

12. Not a good state of mind for decorating? = DISTEMPER
Double definition, with language abuse ... a bad (ie not a good) state of mind could be said to be a "dis-temper". Distemper is also a kind of paint or glue used on walls or theatrical scene painting.

14. Find made by a hunter = UNEARTH
Anagram (made by) of a hunter. I don't feel the anagram indicator is well chosen here, though. The definition find is both a noun and a verb ... in the clue's surface reading it sounds like a noun, but it is actually defining the verb, meaning "to discover", or UNEARTH.

16. Indeed a cancelled service should be = DELETED
This is an &lit clue ... in this sort of clue, the whole clue is the wordplay, but then you read the whole clue again literally to get the definition. So, a cancelled service should indeed be DELETED, and this is the definition. The wordplay is a container clue, and runs as:  Indeed = in deed, so put some other letters inside DEED (this is a Libertarian device). Cancelled service = LET, which is a tennis definition (from when the ball clips the top of the net and falls within bounds).

17. Possibly it goes to a selfish type = EGOIST
Anagram (possibly) of it goes. A selfish type is the definition.

18. A class given instruction = ORDER
Double definition, a class being an ORDER in animal taxonomy, and given instruction being a verb definition for ORDER.

20. One may be dressed up to them — by numbers? = NINES
Cryptic definition. "Dressed up to the nines" is the phrase being referenced here!

22. He may earn money with his pet treatment = VET
Cryptic definition, a vet earns money from treating pets!

That's all, folks! How did you get on?


  1. I have such "admiration for the subset" of words that is your blog. That's right... I think it's AWE+SOME

  2. after far too much time spent, I have a better clue, although it really doesn't fit into the sentence as nicely.

    My opinion is thusly: "You and I go after the first Arab, thus to the Middle East! Astonishing!"

    Thanks for writing it and being generally awesome!


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