Cryptic Crossword – Numpty / 2 (Answers)

This post discusses the answers to the cryptic crossword I posted on this blog a couple of weeks ago.  There’s a sort of “ghost theme” – The 11a, 6a and The 15d all appear in 24, 22.

Across:

5. SHUCKS: Double definition
6. WALTER: (TRAWLE)*
9. GRAMMY: Cryptic definition
10. ABETTING: not A BETTING man
11. DUDE: “doubts initially” = D in “right” = DUE
12. DIMINISHES: “wheels?” = MINI in “choice of meals” = DISHES. I’m not sure this is really fair – lots of people don’t seem to like “on” to indicate inclusion and perhaps MINI for “wheels?” is a bit tough. However, the surface was nice enough that I wanted to keep it anyway.
13. STRAIGHTEST: “way” = ST around (THIS GREAT)*
18. PARTITIONS: Double definition. I’m not sure about the second definition, which is descriptive…
21. RAGS: “Kings” = RS hiding “silver” = AG
23. MINUET: swap last two letters of “almost too small to see” = MINUTE. Perhaps too easy?
24, 22. THE BIG LEBOWSKI: (GEEKS WITH BILBO)*. (This clue got a commendation in Paul’s clue competition.)
25. COWERS: “lower” = COW + “hesitations” = ERS. (It’s a shame that it had to be “lower” for this construction to work because it slightly spoils the surface.)

Down

1. YUMMIEST: “turn” = U in (“first” = IST taking E (“drug-taking” after “year” = Y “two-thousand” = MM)
2. OKAYED: (OAKED + Y)*
3. HAZELNUT: (LAZE)* in (HUNT)*
4. STATES: “Declare” = STATE + “the end of terms” = S
5. SPROUT: SPR + OUT
7. RUNNER: “character” = RUNE + “writing” = R (from the 3 Rs) has got “a bit of novelty” = N.
8. HAEMOGLOBIN: GLO[W] in (BOHEMIAN)*. “something of a glow” for GLO is a bit poor.
14. AUTISTIC: Hidden answer
15. STRANGER: “holy man” = ST + “Yogi’s nemesis” = RANGER (Smith)
16. LAMENT: AMEN in LT
17. AGREES: A + “thousand” = G + “engineers” = RE + “east” = E + “old Bob” = S
19. TROWEL: “can” = TIN + (LOWER)*, remove IN
20. SYMBOL: (“times” = BY)< in “the sun” = SOL about “a month” = M

3 thoughts on “Cryptic Crossword – Numpty / 2 (Answers)”

  1. It’s close enough to Monday morinng, so I reckon it’s OK to post spoilers. I presume you have solved 4d, and have therefore realised the theme, which is maiden names and married names. So, among others, we have Erica Baxter, who married James Packer. The ellipsis really does connect the two clues in a meaningful way. I count five pairs of maiden/married names, with 1d doing double duty.

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