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crypticnoobie

10th November 2017, 21:23
Hi folks! Lovely to be here!

I'm fairly new to Cryptic Crosswords, having only done one before. Anyway, I'm making a Cryptic Crossword for my friend, for his birthday. He's a professional puzzle designer & does Cryptics for fun.

I found this forum by googling & found a post about making a birthday cryptic crossword, from which I've used the Happy Birthday phrase clue. (I'd post a link, but I'm not allowed as this is my first forum post).

I'll post the clues I've made up below. All feedback, suggestions, alternatives, etc are very helpful, thanks in advance!



Thug Licker is Basic Arithmetic before YTV curtailed (5)

Quadruple guillotine toehold, on death's door (3)

Organize hippy a dry bath, say, to celebrate an annual event!(5,8)

heart filled spots are, not drunken wizards or sorcerers but... (5)

Polite exclamation before targets (5)

Prostitute and me, are intimates (6)

Sulfar thunder, essentially! (4)

Oak rake scatters, damaging song (7)

Singular five tiny porkers, thine insanity, serious hole (3,4,2,3,5)
//This one is a phrase. Not sure if that's common or not?

Laughter who dealt it, initially flipped after reversed triple ending recombine (6)


And these are some that include personal references:

Chicken Reverse Father, frog daddy (6) - Henson (his middle name)

short submarines and curvy tweens, drunkenly smash together, at Spadina & Queen (8) - Business
Short version of submarines is SUBS
Curvy tweens is SINE (sine curve, used to "tween" objects between two locations)
smash together SUBSSINE, but drunkenly means rearrange,
At Spadina Ave & Queen St, where he used to own a business

Sad embargo dances in the basement (5,5) - board games
SAD EMBARGO is an anagram of BOARD GAMES, which we play in the basement. Dances indicates that it's an anagram.

Starting again a show, for cancer ladies (6) - Oshawa
He performed stand-up for some ladies with cancer, in the city of Oshawa. Starting again is A, A A SHOW is an anagram for OSHAWA.
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stevea6000

10th November 2017, 22:39
To help us help you, please give all answers, so we can see how each clue works.
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crypticnoobie

10th November 2017, 23:29
Alright! :)

(spoilers, obvs)
----
Thug Licker is Basic Arithmetic before YTV curtailed (5) - Forty

Licker sounds like liquor, Thug Liquor is a Forty.
Basic Arithmetic is 2+2, which is four. Curtail YTV to get YT, four - ty

----
Quadruple guillotine toehold, on death's door (3) - Old

guillotine indicates to chop, quadruple to do it four times, chop off the first four letters of toehold to get old. "on death's door" is a different way of saying the same thing.

----
heart filled spots are, not drunken wizards or sorcerers but... (5) - Games

Not wizards or sorcercers but.... is mages. Drunken means scramble it, which is games. Heart filled spots are, "are" is R, spots filled with R is Sports (or Sprots, I guess). Sports is another word for games.

----
Polite exclamation before targets (5) - Games

Aims is another word for Targets.
Gee is a polite exclamation.
Gee + aims
This seems too hard. Maybe I need a "Sounds like" in there?

----
Prostitute and me, are intimates (6). - Friend.

HO + ME is homie. Intimates & Homie are ways of saying friend.

----
Sulfar thunder, essentially! (4) - Fart

Essentially signals that the word is in the clue somewhere, which it is: Sulfar thunder. Also, the ! indicates that it is also a definition, which, assuming you ignore the incorrect spelling of Sulfur, it is.

----
Oak rake scatters, damaging song (7) - karaoke

Scatters indicates an anagram. Oak rake is an anagram of karaoke. Damaging song is just a clue towards bad singing.

----
Singular five tiny porkers, thine insanity, serious hole (3,4,2,3,5) - One foot in the grave

Singular is another word for one.
Five tiny porkers is a weird way of saying Five Little Piggies, which indicates Toes, which indicates Foot.
Thine insanity. Insanity suggests an anagram, Thine is an anagram of "in the".
Serious Hole. Both words are other ways of saying "Grave".

----
Laughter who dealt it, initially flipped after reversed triple ending recombine - Farter

A form of Laughter is Hee, making "Hee" who dealt it. "who dealt it" suggests this fairly strongly.
"initially flipped after reversed triple ending recombine" is me being a troll. "Initially" indicates that you can take all the first letters and spell the answer. Which you can. Flipped After Reversed Triple Ending Recombine. But of course, I used signal words for all of those words.

----
space thug is international seven cut short (6) - Chewie

Chewie was the nickname of an Intern he had, who I hired after her internship was up. International with the last seven letters cut off is Intern. Space Thug is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is Intern suggest "Chewie" (given that he gave her the nickname, he'll get it at that point).



I'm sure some of mine are very hard, but I'm more looking for incorrect uses & bad clues? He designs puzzles for a living, so hard is fine. Incorrect or bad clues would still be bad though.

Thanks for helping!
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stevea6000

10th November 2017, 23:56
It's nearly midnight here, and to give a full constructive criticism would take me into the small hours. So I'll confine myself to one general comment that applies to many of the clues: a clue should be a logically-correct phrase - it's called the surface read - and not a series of words that create the answer but do not have an overall sense of their own.

Hope that helps you when you re-visit the clues.

And just one of the many specifics: 'basic arithmetic' - it's too much of a stretch to say that's 2+2, ie four. Plus, minus - they might be a fair interpretation of basic arithmetic. Or even 1+1. So take a look at where you might have made other such stretches.

Good night, Canada.
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rosalind

11th November 2017, 00:42
In the prostitute clue, HO + ME is home, not homie! Not sure how to help here

As "mages" is an archaic word, maybe add "old" before or after "drunken"? This is a ghost anagram, ie you don't give the fodder, or letters, in the clue. Some authorities don't think this is quite kosher.

I like the "games" clue.

I think Five little piggies clues "toes" as you say, not really "foot"

But well done for attempting such a difficult task! And what do I know??
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crypticnoobie

11th November 2017, 01:27
Thanks for all the feedback! It's all great, as this is my first attempt! I assumed I'd have to scrap lots of it and redo it, so this is good.

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crypticnoobie

11th November 2017, 16:07
Alright, so based on your feedback, and based on further reading of Cryptic crosswords, these seem fine:

Sulfar thunder, essentially! (4)

Sad embargo dances in the basement (5,5) - board games
SAD EMBARGO is an anagram of BOARD GAMES, which we play in the basement. Dances indicates that it's an anagram.

Oak rake scatters, damaging song (7) - karaoke

Organize hippy a dry bath, say, to celebrate an annual event!(5,8) - Happy Birthday

Starting again a show, for cancer ladies (6) - Oshawa


These I've made some changes to:

Chicken reversed father, frog daddy (6) - Henson

Drunken prostitute, me and I, are intimates (6) - Friend
//I added the "i" in Homie, and added Drunken to imply the anagram more.

Serious Plot (5) - Grave
//This was the "One Foot In The Grave", but it was awkward at best. I like it better as a cut down version that becomes a Double definition clue. I'll try to make up clues for "One", "Foot", "In", "The" and spell out the phrase in the crossword arrangement.

International seven cut down, by Space Thug (6) - Chewie
//I reorganized this to flow better, I think it's better now.

Some of the rest are so bad as maybe shouldn't bother being saved. But I'll keep working on it! :)
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malone

11th November 2017, 16:11
Is 'Sulfar' a word? It's not in Chambers. 'Sulfa' is the US spelling of 'sulpha', but I don't think your version exists!
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crypticnoobie

11th November 2017, 18:35
No it isn't. I was going for a misspelling of sulfur as a clue, but I can see that's rather iffy. I'll rework it.
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crypticnoobie

11th November 2017, 18:42
I have a few more, that hopefully are better. My goal is to reach about 8-12 that are solid, and then lay those out.

This is a reconfiguration of the BOARD GAMES clue I tried earlier:
Sweetheart runs away from a bored mage (5,4) - board game[\b]
Heart ("middle") of sweet is E, E runs away from A BORED MAGE, which leaves
A BORD MAGE, which scrambles to BOARD GAME


Then I tried two using &lit hints, which as I understand it from reading the wikipedia entry, are phrases that could be followed by "and literally so"?, and are clued by a !

Discovered coldhearted, at death's door! (3) - OLD[\b]
Discovered clues to a hidden words clue, and cOLDhearted has old in it. "At death's door!" is meant to also indicate OLD is the right word, especially the crossword has a general theme of poking fun at him getting older.

Seeking discomfort you waited four decades! (5) - FORTY[\b]
Seeking clues to finding a word, which is "discomFORT You".
The ! clues that it also contains the literal definition, which is "four decades"

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