Sunday, 3 June 2012

Gemini 6270

Here's my analysis of the Gemini Crossword from The Canberra Times, Friday 1 June.

Definitions are underlined (apart from double definition and cryptic definition clues). There are several Libertarian clues in this one, so look out!

Griff as a little puppy ... he still loves this position! Super Griff!


1. They may blow the lights out (5) = FUSES
Cryptic definition.

4. He often resorts to a piece in colour (7) = HABITUE
Container clue. A piece = A BIT, and you put it in HUE (colour)

8. Old agreement from extremely early times (3) = YEA
Hidden word clue. Extremely early times. Times isn't really needed in this clue. From is a rather broad hidden word indicator. Thanks to m1k1 for her more accurate analysis of this clue than mine!

9. Gives up an office from a basic date (9) = ABDICATES
Another anagram clue that's missing a clear indicator! Basic date is the fodder, but there's no anagram indicator. From is not enough to tell you there's an anagram. Libertarian (or just plan badly written).

10. The late converted into the quick? (7) = ATHLETE
Anagram. The late is the fodder, and converted is the anagram indicator. 

11. Having no inclination for a palindrome (5) = LEVEL
A palindrome that has no inclination (or tilt)!

13. More distant relative we hear about (6) = FATHER
Homophone clue. I actually think this clue is incorrect. Written as it is, the thing we hear about is relative = FATHER, and the definition is more distant, which = FARTHER. However the word in the grid is FATHER, not FARTHER!

It may be deemed a Libertarian clue, I suppose (where the order of the parts of the clue can be screwed up). But I think the clue ought to run along the lines of: Relative is more distant, we hear.

15. Much time and trouble is taken in its drafting (6) = AGENDA
Charade. Much time = AGE + an anagram of AND (trouble is the anagram indicator).

18. Another name for a criminal (5) = ALIAS
Double definition, I suppose? Or cryptic definition?

19. Postal despatch means trouble in China (7) = MAILING
Container clue. Trouble = AIL, and you put it in MING (a type of China, as in porcelain). The capital letter is a bit misleading here! Just ignore it.

21. Man to speak to for capital investment (9) = HEADDRESS
Charade clue. Man = HE + speak to = ADDRESS. A rather cryptic definition here — capital = HEAD and vestment can mean a garment (archaic) = DRESS. I don't think investment can really equal vestment, though.

23. Leave the French out of the welcome (3) = AVE
The (in) French = LE, and it's out of leave, for a word that means welcome (in Latin)

24. Used by writer and poet perhaps (7) = NOTEPAD
Cryptic definition, and not all that cryptic, really.

25. People who pull strings create rows (5) = TIERS
Double definition, and a bit of a coined definition. Someone who pulls strings, or ties things can be said to be a tier (although this isn't a dictionary definition!), and a bunch of them are tiers.


1. Rugby player is made to run to limited extent (3,4) = FLY HALF
Charade. Run to = FLY (as in "I must fly, or I'll be late!"). Limited extent = HALF.

2. Kind of western pasta (9) = SPAGHETTI
Double definition. A 'spaghetti western' is a kind of western movie, and it's also a pasta.

3. A ghost from Hades (5) = SHADE
An anagram clue (Hades is the fodder), but there isn't an anagram indicator! Libertarian, and unfair.

4. Acted evasively being naturally guarded (6) = HEDGED
Double definition, with a coined word. Your garden may be protected with a hedge, and that's a natural border, so if you're HEDGED, it could mean that you're being guarded by something natural, or being naturally guarded.

5. Combination lock in case is left undone (7) = BACKLOG
Container + anagram. An anagram of lock, indicated by combination = CKLO, in this case. Put that in another word for case  = BAG. BA(CKLO)G. Ta dah!

6. A child's drink (3) = TOT
Double definition clue,  TOT being both a little kid, and a small amount of a strong drink.

7. An unjustified picture frame (5) = EASEL 
Cryptic definition? I don't agree with this definition, an EASEL is not a picture frame. I must admit that I don't quite see how this clue works. Unjustified can mean not justified (as in typesetting), or unsupported, or baseless. Meh.

12. Justify making cat dive in (9) =VINDICATE
Anagram. Cat dive in is the fodder. Making is the anagram indicator, I suppose, but a poor one. Why not write it as something like Justify making insane cat dive in? It would work so much better!

14. Relaxed in the deep USA perhaps (5,2) = EASED UP
Anagram. Perhaps is the anagram indicator. Deep USA is the fodder.

16. Sportsmen seen at the bank (7) = ANGLERS
Cryptic definition. They're seen at the bank of the river, of course, not the financial institution!

17. Threaten one politician with death (6) = IMPEND
Charade. One = I (looks like 1). Politician = MP. Death = END.

18. A female Pole is pale (5) = ASHEN
Charade. A + SHE (female) + N (North Pole).

20. It's put in during games of tennis (5) =  INSET
Charade. During = IN + games of tennis  = SET. 

22. A small court of law (3) = ACT
Charade. A + CT (small court, as in mapping). Thanks to m1k1 for her more insightful assessment of the clue than mine!

How did you get on?


  1. 8: container, again: from is the indicator: extremel y ea rly ...
    so from must be a usual indicator of this setter, if it is used in 9 as well, and 3dn

    22: a (small court) ct, as in street abbreviation

    I guess I do a lot of puzzles you would describe as libertarian. It doesn't bother me, that lack of rigour(?)
    but as a set of clues, these are disappointing, I agree. Mind you, I'd not be trying to create a puzzle any time soon, so need to modify my criticism, really.

  2. Thank you! You're quite right on both counts. Funny how even when you have the answer, the way the clue works can still elude one!

    I have edited this post accordingly, with attribution :)

  3. From is a generally acceptable linking word, linking the definition part and the wordplay part. I don't have any trouble with it used in that sense.

    But when the setter doesn't indicate that there are anagrams at play, and just uses "from", I have a problem with it.

    Any ideas on 7D (EASEL)? I'm not happy with my understanding of that one.

  4. 5 down "backlog" just about does my head in! I think I grasp it as a shorter clue: 'Combination lock in case' the left undone part eludes me.

  5. The "left undone" bit is the definition ... so it is necessary for the clue to work. "Combination lock in case" is just the wordplay :)

  6. Granted, it is a rather oblique definition for BACKLOG, though!


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