Guest Puzzle 3 by exit

May 26, 2019

So, our third guest puzzle, and one from exit who I’d been secretly hoping would send something our way for a while. 🙂 This was a thoroughly enjoyable, pretty breezy offering, finished in a time that would be considerably under par for the i. Think an IoS reprint, or a gentle Dac. Very much what I was hoping for when I foolishly decided – just one more puzzle – very late one evening. Just the thing to while away a little time over a traditionally wet Bank Holiday weekend.

To solve, click here:

COD? A difficult choice, tbh, but in a good way, because there are loads to choose from. But let’s go with 17d which has a lovely surface reading, a definition I bet you didn’t know, and nice clear wordplay to lead you home safe and sound – “Flats offering view over railway (7)”.

Answers and parsing of the clues follows, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, look away now.







1 Less than half-hearted roar (5)

4 Surpass courier, maybe, with direction on label (7)
UPS (courier, maybe) + TAG (label) + E{ast} (direction)

8 Oscar held by poet for directors (5)
O{scar} (‘phonetic’ alphabet) inside BARD (poet)

9 University note is incorrect about sex service providers (9)
U{niversity} + TI (note in tonic sol-fa scale) + LIES (is incorrect) enclosing IT (about sex)

11 Hotel said to be involved in 21A (4)
Homophone of ‘WRITS’ – which are likely to feature in litigation (21ac)

12 How do a tuxedo, one small coin and 50 yen lie next to each other? (10)
A + DJ (dinner jacket, tuxedo) + A (one) + CENT + L (50, Roman numeral) + Y{en}

14 “I rate BR awful” – judge (7)
(I RATE BR)*. A subject close to the other half’s heart at the moment, as she’s been on jury duty for the past couple of weeks.

16 If new they would be American – balls! (7)
A ball in cricket which hits the pitch around the batsman’s feet is called a yorker, and New Yorkers are American.

18 Endless criticism for movement (3)
STICK (criticism, usually adverse) minus its first and last letters (endless).

19 I rush on in a frenzy to feed (7)

20 Supervise bishop’s position (7)
OVER + SEE – a bishop can be said to be over a see (diocese).

21 Court case – in it Ali got rattled (10)

22/10 In Idaho nest you’ll find frankness (7)
Hidden in IdaHO NEST You’ll. Phi splits his answers across the grid quite often and I’m never sure if I love or loathe the device. I suppose it adds a little spice.

25 Be off! Race madly for source of refreshment (6,3)

26 Opposition from New Musical Express initially, we’re told (5)
Sounds like the initials NME. Am I the only person who remembers the headline from said journal “Sleeping with the NME”?

27 Defamation of South country queen (7)
S{outh} + LAND (country) + ER (queen)

28 Quiet dramatist’s dismissive comment (5)
P (musical indication for soft, quiet) + SHAW (George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and critic)


2 Old key to lift (5)
EX (former, old) + ALT (key on computer keyboard)

3 Probability of sailor taking in theologian (4)
DD (Doctor of Divinity, theologian) inside OS (Ordinary Seaman, sailor)

5 In our prom a lyric could be blue, say (7,6)
(OUR PROM A LYRIC)* – blue is an example of a primary colour

6 I let Tories rampage for soap, shampoo, etcetera (10)

7 Blame reduced for the innocent (9)
GUILT (blame) + LESS (reduced)

8 Snip a girl’s first bra in confusion (7)
Anagram (confusion) of (A + G + BRA + IN) – “Girl’s first” indicates first letter only

9 One over the eight, eh? So we hear (5,3,5)
1ac = Below, giving UNDER + THE + a synonym of 8ac (BOARD), TABLE. Across because “eh” sounds like “a”. “One over the eight” and “under the table” are both synonyms for “drunk”. And 9 is one more than 8, just for good measure. Very clever, and quite complex, so true to form I just lobbed it in on solving from the definition and enumeration alone. 🙂

13 Vegetable found in wreckage of Nantes brig (6,4)

15 Generous, reportedly stuffed with chocolate bars? (9)
Homophone of ‘bounty-full’ – Bounty is a type of chocolate bar

17 Flats offering view over railway (7)
SCENE (view) + RY (abbr for railway: line) – flats are the painted panels used for scenery in a theatre. Who knew? Well, exit of course.

21/24 Servants’ need changed? Yes! (7)
LACK (need) + YES* (anagram indicator is ‘changed’).

23 Trollope: “Ragnarök includes Götterdämmerung, for example” (5)
Hidden in TrollOPE RAgnarök. In Norse mythology Ragnarök is “the coming mutual destruction of the gods and the powers of evil, and the end of this world, to he superseded by a better.” – according to the BRB. Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the gods) is the final opera in Wagner’s Ring cycle.

9 Responses to “Guest Puzzle 3 by exit”

  1. batarde said

    A very welcome addition to my Sunday crossword routine, which involves the prize and jumbo puzzles from Saturday’s Times. I hope exit won’t be disappointed to hear that his crossword caused me a lot less trouble than the former – in fact this one was the more entertaining of the two. I’d recommend this like a shot to anyone wanting to start out with cryptics because it’s conscientiously compiled with no loose ends, and although it felt anagram-heavy there’s still plenty of variety and wit. Bravo! And now for that jumbo …

  2. dtw42 said

    I admit I needed a bit of assistance at the end on 2dn and 1ac, but that was probably just me being too lazy to switch my brain into a different gear after a smooth ride through the rest of it. I too was unfamiliar with that meaning of flats, so that’s something learned today. Okay, so which of us is exit then?
    After this, moved on to Dean Mayer’s ST cryptic, which is proving somewhat chewier.

  3. sprouthater said

    I normally print out both the Everyman and the Indy Sunday puzzles, I still haven’t done yesterday’s Phi and it’s the Monaco GP then the Indy 500 but fortunately this puzzle from Exit was just right. 1ac/2dn were my last two in but it was 9ac and 11ac that had me scratching my head. 8dn was my favourite.

  4. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Sunday’s can be very busy and tiring for me, and this was just right for me this evening. Thoroughly enjoyable. UNDER THE TABLE was brilliantly clued, although I too entered it from the definition and enumeration without realising until I looked at the blog just how elegant it is! Thanks.☺

  5. Cornick said

    Late to the party but had to add my appreciation for an expertly composes crossword with narry a question mark in sight at the end.
    Apart from 17d I also enjoyed the cleverness of 9d, 12a, and those two split entries. 26a appealed too – can’t believe I’ve never seen that idea before.
    Definitely towards the easier end of things, but thoroughly enjoyable and if this had appeared in Big Dave’s Rookie Corner, they’d all be purring over it.

    • allan_c said

      Wearing my exit hat, thanks for the appreciative comments. If I may be allowed a little plug, I’ve got a puzzle in the queue for Big Dave’s NTSPP series, but it could be a couple of months or so before it appears as the queue is quite long.

      • Cornick said

        Glad to hear things are healthy over there – I have a few in the back catalogue…Do let us know as & when you know it’s due.

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