HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Posts Tagged ‘crypticcrossword’

Herald Scotland Cryptic Crossword, Friday 9th April 2010

Posted by HelenEdith on April 10, 2010

I generally do the cryptic crossword in the Herald Scotland on weekdays and Saturdays and I got it all the way out again today with only two references to my favourite Crossword Dictionary for help. 🙂

I liked this one better than the one from Wednesday which I commented on in here as this one had better clues and a better variety of clues. You will appreciate some of the words which are made up of three or four separate parts of their clues when you come to them.

Here’s some spoiler space in case you’re still working on the crossword and you don’t want to see the answers just yet. 😀




















1 Animal showing excessive display of hesitation [5]

OTT = Over The Top = excessive display

ER = hesitation

4 Condemns senescent criminal [9]

Anagram of SENESCENT (Senescent means ageing. I think it was just a handy anagram.)

9 Team’s leader organised athletics’ vehicles [9]

TRANSPORT = vehicles
T = Team’s leader – i.e. the first letter of Team
RAN = organised
SPORT = athletics
Good clue! 😎

10 Belts made from hose [5]

SOCKS – double meaning – hose as in hosiery

11 Signs nothing – people start shooting [5]

OMENS = signs
O = nothing
MEN = people
S = start shooting = i.e. the first letter of shooting
Another good one! 😎

12 A benefit of tennis [9]

ADVANTAGE – not all that cryptic

13 Take over, to experience again accepting point [7]

RELIEVE = take over
RELIVE = experience again… accepting
E = point (of the compass)

15 Ross worried about trouble from ship’s crew [7]

SAILORS = ship’s crew
Anagram of ROSS (because he is worried)
AIL = trouble

17 Contracts arrived during bad snow [7]

NARROWS = contracts
ARRived inserted in
NOWS = bad snow – i.e. an anagram of SNOW

19 Everybody in exam was most lofty [7]

TALLEST = most lofty
TEST = exam
ALL = everybody

21 Bound to accept mistake if scared [9]

TERRIFIED = scared
TIED = bound
ERR = mistake
IF = straight from the clue

23 Thinker, born to rule, reportedly [5]

BRAIN = thinker
B = born
RAIN = homonym of REIGN = to rule

24 Stars’ alternative – working around one [5]

ORION = star
OR = alternative
I = one
ON = working

25 Professional writer gets ban [9]

PRO = professional
SCRIBE = writer (I needed the crossword dictionary to get this part – it jumped straight out of the list as soon as I saw it!)

26 Carries old rushes for disposal [9]

SHOULDERS = carries
anagram of OLD RUSHED (for disposal signifies anagram)

27 Measures footprints [5]

STEPS – double meaning


1 Banned party – alternative is alfresco [7]

OUTDOOR = alfresco
OUT = banned
DO = party
OR = alternative

2 Bank clerk gets hold of artist – very representative [9]

TRAVELLER = representative in the travelling salesman sense
TELLER = bank clerk
RA = artist (the initials stand for Royal Academy, I think)
V = very

3 Got up and started to smell the flowers [5]

ROSES = flowers
ROSE = got up
S = started to Smell

4 Warehousing rates go haywire [7]

STORAGE = warehousing
anagram of RATES GO – they’re haywire!

5 These people invest a different way [7]

NATIVES – anagram of INVEST A (signified by “different way”)

6 Line as set out is indispensable [9]

ESSENTIAL – indispensable
anagram of LINE AS SET (because it’s “out”)

7 Fifty per cent of cost doubled on a drink [5]

COCOA = drink
CO = 50% of COST – i.e. the first half
CO appears a second time, so it’s doubled
A – because the preceding letters are on A

8 Some nurses are nuns [7]

SISTERS – double meaning

14 Excited by energy movement on the borders of Argyll [9]

EMOTIONAL = excited
E = energy
MOTION = movement
AL – the borders of Argyll – i.e. the first and last letters

16 Worker’s work time – time given without limits [9]

OPERATIVE = worker
OP = work
ERA = time
T = time
IVE = given without limits – i.e. without its first and last letters, which is the opposite of the preceding clue
I got as far as OPERA with this one and had to trawl through the crossword dictionary for the rest!

17 Gifts do not make countries [7]

NATIONS = countries
DO not so you take DO away

18 What a painter might do for second drink? [7]

STIPPLE – something a painter might do
S = second
TIPPLE = drink

19 Boring change is due to…[7]

TEDIOUS = boring
anagram of IS DUE TO, signified by “change”

20 son supporting cash offers [7]

TENDERS = offers
TENDER = cash, as in legal tender
S = Son supporting, as this is a down clue and the S is at the bottom

22 Animal that’s right at home in house [5]

RHINO = animal
R = right
HO = house
IN = at home

23 Resists cash from the United States [5]

BUCKS = double meaning – resists/Dollars

I don’t know when I’ll get to analyse another of these crosswords. I’ve made myself late for bed and there’s a cavity wall insulation man calling in the morning so I can’t sleep too late to make up for my late night. 😳

Posted in Cryptic Crosswords | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Herald Scotland Cryptic Crossword, Wednesday 7th April 2010

Posted by HelenEdith on April 7, 2010

I generally do the cryptic crossword in the Herald Scotland on weekdays and Saturdays. Today was one of those days when I got it all the way out and only had to refer to my favourite Crossword Dictionary for help with one clue. (That help did enable me to go on and solve the final clue, though! 🙂 )

As I’ve just had a couple of days off and I’m not feeling under too much pressure, I’ve decided to sit down and explain how I came up with my answers.

I’ll just add some spoiler space in case you’re still working on the crossword and you don’t want to see the answers just yet, and then I’m going to explain the whole thing… 😀




















1 Much was written on this once [7]

PAPYRUS – not particularly cryptic, just clever

5 Dialect around the Kremlin? [7]

CITADEL – anagram of DIALECT

9 Prepare to use again in secrecy clearly [7]

RECYCLE – the answer is contained within “secRECY CLEarly”.

10 This posting means trouble in China [7]

MAILING – posting
MING – China of the pottery variety
AIL – trouble

11 No permission for recesses [5]

NOOKS – recesses
NO OKS – no permission

12 Most foolish however? [9]

LEASTWISE – an interesting answer where we join together antonyms of MOST and FOOLISH (namely LEAST and WISE) and come up with a word which means most foolish and also means however. I like it!

13 Convince electors it’s the only way to vote [3,6]

PUT ACROSS – convince
PUT A CROSS – the only way to vote
Nice and topical!

15 Appropriate ceremonial form in speech [5]

RIGHT – appropriate
RITE – ceremonial, which when spoken sounds like RIGHT, which is the RIGHT answer. 🙂

16 Out of such groups one is miserable [5]

SORTS – out of sorts = miserable and groups = SORTS

18 Examination of litmus? [4,5]

TEST PAPER – double meaning

21 Rough site developed in a reasonable way [9]

RIGHTEOUS = anagram of ROUGH SITE – indicated by the word “developed”

24 Country has right to mountain range [5]

RURAL – country, as distinct from city
R – initial letter of Right
URAL – mountain range

25 Perplexing situation for retired cover girl [7]

DILEMMA – perplexing situation
LID – cover – retired presumably clues you in that it’s backwards, but someone might have a better explanation for this part
EMMA – girl

26 It doesn’t make sense but put it in anyway [7]

INANITY – it doesn’t make sense – IT inserted into IN ANY – not the best of clues!

27 Pull out in time [7]

STRETCH – double meaning – pull out or time, particularly as in serving time in prison

28 Poverty led to being irritated [7]

NEEDLED – irritated
NEED – poverty
LED – you don’t have to do anything to this, just put it on the end


1 Mean to cut a vegetable [7]

PARSNIP – vegetable
PAR – mean, as in statistical average
SNIP – to cut

2 Recognise and select [4,3]

PICK OUT – double meaning

3 Bags of hikers [9]

RUCKSACKS – not very cryptic!

4 Brief period of enchantment [5]

SPELL – double meaning

5 They give directions to navigators [9]

COMPASSES – not very cryptic!

6 It isn’t corruption; but it is corruption [5]

TAINT – corruption, which is itself a corruption of IT ISN’T – I like it!

7 In such rain it’s better than walking [7]

DRIVING – what can you say

8 Support for a runner in the St Leger [3,4]

LEG REST – anagram of ST LEGER – and indeed it is a support for a runner

14 He works his fingers to the bone [9]

OSTEOPATH – clever but not that cryptic

15 Journalist’s work needs to be bang on time [9]

REPORTAGE – journalist’s work
REPORT – bang
AGE – time

16 Big steps tried out on board [7]

STRIDES – big steps
anagram of TRIED, signified by “out” in the clue; and wrapped in SS = on board (a Steam Ship)

17 Uniform – and its wearer? [7]

REGULAR – double meaning – the wearer is a regular soldier

19 Not just relating to some [7]

PARTIAL – this is the one I had to trawl the Crossword Dictionary for the answer.
PARTIAL = some
“Not just relating to” apparently means that there is more to the relationship, so you are PARTIAL – if anyone has a better explanation, I’ll be interested.

20 Passed through another station [7]

RELAYED – not very cryptic

22 Persuade an agency girl to start typing [5]

TEMPT – persuade
TEMP – agency girl
T – start of “typing”

23 Issue newly minted coins [5]

SCION – issue, as in offspring
Anagram of COINS, signified by the words “newly minted”

I hope that all made sense!

Posted in Cryptic Crosswords | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Herald Scotland Cryptic Crossword – Mon 05Apr2010 – help needed

Posted by HelenEdith on April 5, 2010

I’m stuck on two answers in today’s Herald Scotland Cryptic Crossword..

Today’s Herald Scotland crossword wasn’t too difficult overall, but I am left with two words that I can’t get.


I did have recourse to the dictionary for 18 down –

During break call up mum [8]

The answer, when I tracked it down, is RETICENT, which is RENT (break) and CITE (backwards, as call is ‘up’) making mum as in “keep mum”.

I also started looking up the dictionary for 22 down –

Water tower includes a receptacle for pipes [6]

The dictionary started showing a lot of results ending in ING and I suddenly realised before getting as far as ‘T’ that the word was TUBING. I had to think for a moment about why, but a water tower is a TUG – i.e. something which tows in the water, and not a tower with a water tank on top at all 🙂 , and of course a receptacle is a BIN.


Anyway, the two that I can’t finish off are these:

4 across – Short skirt pretty girl’s about to make shorter [8]

_ I _ I _ I _ _

8 down – Distribute information for the press [4,3]

_ _ N _ ¦ O _ T

The first letter of 8 down is the last letter of 4 across.

I’m assuming that a short skirt is a MINI and I originally thought that the answer might be MINIMISE, but that didn’t fit with 8 down which is likely to be either HAND OUT or possibly BANG OUT. I can’t think of anything that fits 4 across that ends in either B or H and a dictionary search has proved fruitless. I think “pretty girl’s about” might mean that the last 4 letters of 4 across mean “pretty girl” but need to be arranged backwards to form the rest of the answer to 4 across, but maybe I’ve got the whole thing totally wrong and the word doesn’t even start with MINI.


Posted in Cryptic Crosswords | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Glasgow Herald Cryptic Crossword, Thursday 23rd July

Posted by HelenEdith on July 24, 2009

I generally do the cryptic crossword in the Glasgow Herald on weekdays. I usually get most of the way through it, although I have occasional days when I don’t even do well enough for it to be worth comparing notes with Buff in Australia.

However Thursday July 23rd was one of those days when I got the crossword right out! Yes, I answered every last clue, and I think I can even give you the explanation for all of them.

I’ll just add some spoiler space in case you’re still working on the crossword and you don’t want to see the answers just yet, and then I’m going to explain the whole thing… 😀

I won’t do this every day, as the Herald might take a dim view, but an occasional foray into how to solve their crossword seems like an interesting side-trip for my blog to make.






















1 Research establishment for political party speech-making [10]


political party = LAB
speech-making = ORATORY
I was also entertained that this reads as LAB OR A TORY

6 Break off for a photograph [4]


double meaning

10 Went out with Father Ted [5]


father = DA

11 Vile attack [9]


double meaning

12 Creates chaos about a source of garbled communications [8]


chaos = MESSES
a = A
source of garbled = G
I originally thought that this might be an anagram of “creates” plus a G (source of garbled) as seeing “chaos” in the clue made me think that there was an anagram present. However, chaos was used rather more literally here!

13 Frenchman chasing single girl [5]


single = I
Frenchman = RENE

15 Jumper who’s hardly sporting when not in front [7]


hardly sporting = “that’s not cricket”

17 Fearsome editor following key study [7]


key = D (musical)
study = READ
editor = ED

19 Swarming bees can generate a lack of presence [7]


anagram of “bees can”

21 One in charge warning worker [7]


warning = FORE (golf)
worker = MAN
Worker is more commonly ANT, but not on this occasion.

22 Sign firm master after end of term [5]


firm = CO
end of term = M
master = MA

24 Soldiers hurting, but getting there [8]


soldiers = RE (Royal Engineers)
hurting = aching

27 One member rambling and getting better [9]


one = I
member = MP (Member of Parliament)
rambling = ROVING

28 Pilot’s ordeal [5]


double meaning
This isn’t “pilot” in the sense of one who guides a ship or an aircraft, but “pilot” in the sense of a project undertaken to assess feasibility.

29 Delight at finding good shelter [4]


good = G
shelter = LEE

30 Rulers’ gifts accepted one day [10]


gifts = PRESENTS
one = I
day = D


1 Woman or boy with ponytail? [4]


boy = LAD
ponytail = Y (last letter of pony)

2 Power sources that are best, it develops [9]


anagram of “are best it” – “develops” is a clue that it’s an anagram
I tried hard to make BATTERSEA fit this, and it wasn’t until I wrote out the vowels in alphabetical order and then the consonants in alphabetical order that I “got it”.

3 Journeys in Kalahari desert [5]


KalahaRI DESest

4 Time to support, however considered [7]


time = T
however = THOUGH

5 Rejected by official [not new] [7]


official = REF (referee)
not new = USED

7 Inquire about individual racket [5]


inquire = NOSE
individual = I

8 Acting quiet, get dinner ready [10]


quiet = P (piano, Italian – used in music)
+anagram of “get dinner”

9 Manoeuvre royal train to front [8]


train = ENGINE
royal = ER (Elizabeth Regina)

14 Withdrawing: result of itch! [10]


double meaning

16 One jumps court without legal authority [8]


double meaning

18 First for length, and fourth for time, perhaps [9]


“time is the fourth dimension”

20 Real change – one monarch from a previous time [7]


anagram of “real”
one = I
monarch from a previous time = ER (Elizabeth Regina, in this case meaning Elizabeth I)

21 Edges that project, initially from different angles [7]


initially from = F (first letter of “from”)
+anagram of “angles”

23 Man hiding quietly in tree [5]


man = MALE
quietly = P

25 Disliked heat setting and finished [5]


anagram of “heat”
and finished = D (last letter of “and”)

26 Regrettably said to be a girl [4]




There! We’ve just been through a lot of mental byways together! 🙂

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A rather busy week

Posted by HelenEdith on June 27, 2009

My new Bonmarche outfit

My new Bonmarche outfit

I have had a busy time over the past 7 days. You may have already read about my exploits with Maidstone Winds and the Beckenham Concert Band which took place last weekend. Knowing that I wasn’t going to get a “Saturday”, I prearranged to take Monday as Annual Leave so that I could have my “Saturday” then and chill out a bit.

In the event, I managed to sleep a little later on Monday morning, but wouldn’t say that I had an entirely restful day as Stephen and I went shopping. We started in Orpington, where we fortified ourselves for our foray into the shops by visiting McDonald’s. Suitably fuelled, we visited the Asian supermarket, where I can usually find something nice. I stocked up on sweet chilli sauce this time, and found a Thai curry paste which didn’t contain coconut. I also found a jar of coriander paste. I love coriander and this looks so much more interesting than ground coriander but not nearly as much work as growing my own.

When walking along the High Street to McDonald’s, we noticed that Bonmarche appeared to have some good deals, so when we came back by their shop, we went in. Stephen was forebearing in a manly sort of way while I admired clothes and tried some on, but he did go and check the sale rack at the back of the shop and came up with a pleated floral skirt in sage green tones. It was a 24 rather than a 22 and was a fraction loose when I tried it on, but it’s not going to fall off me and at the price, if I ever manage to lose sufficient weight so that it does start falling off, I won’t mind listing it on eBay. I also chose two tops from their “buy 2 for £12” range. One is an earthy green which goes perfectly with the skirt, while the other is brown, and goes pretty well with a pair of stone trousers I’ve had sitting on the shelf at home. My final choice in Bonmarche was a swimsuit. It’s black with hot pink stripes radiating across it. All I can say about it is that it fits. I cannot say it flatters, but I suspect that no swimsuit will. Now I’ve just got to get up the nerve to appear in public in it. Maybe if I use it, I can shrink my stomach to the point where the swimsuit becomes more flattering! 😀

Then we hit the Walnuts, where we had several targets in mind. The first was Wilkinsons where I wanted to stock up on multipacks of tights. I also got myself a half dozen ballpoint pens, and when I got home, I found I still had 3 left from the last time I’d stocked up! Never mind, I get through pens as I do the cryptic crossword from the Glasgow Herald and I do a selection of the Killer Sudoku puzzles from Killer Sudoku Online and this keeps the ink flowing! Stephen managed to add some items to the basket while we were in Wilkinsons as well, but chip-and-pin at the checkout was frighteningly easy. 😯

We managed to bypass Thorntons but next door is Julian Graves and that is a place I definitely can’t pass. I had a pack of aniseed balls and several packs of my favourite vanilla filled fondant sticks. I can’t find a link to them right now, but they’re gorgeous. 😛

Next in our line of sight was the 99p Shop. You can tell that we’re the last of the big spenders! 😀 I’m sure I found some nice Jalfrezi sauce in there last time we were there, but there wasn’t any there this week. 😦 That’s the trouble with such establishments: they pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap, but when they’re gone, they gone! They did have some cans of beef stew which looked like a useful addition to our larder shelf, so I had a few of those. I hope I like them, as I think I’ve got four to get through. Stephen will help me with them, though. Stephen found some compost starter at a fraction of the price that it costs in a garden centre, so we had a couple of boxes of that, and Stephen’s going to get around to putting our new compost bin into service. We’ve got a queue of curled-up lettuce, soggy cucumber, limp carrots and black bananas to start it off. 😎

By this time, we’d accumulated as many carrier bags as we wanted to carry, so we decided that it was time to head back to the car. Stephen had been meaning to put in an appearance in Biggin Hill at the Harris HospisCare shop to help with the heavy lifting, but we’d spent so long trawling the shops that he realised that he wasn’t going to make it. He also needed to visit his Mum, and as Orpington was already half way there, it didn’t make sense to return home for his vehicle, so we decided to both go and visit his Mum.

Our route took us past Polhill and we decided to go in there and have a look around. A coachload of visitors were just leaving as we arrived. People actually go on days out to Polhill! It’s got a good cafeteria and there’s a lot of retail space there as well. We phoned Stephen’s Mum from the car park to see if she wanted anything, and she did, but most of it wasn’t stuff that we could find at Polhill. So we went into Polhill on our own behalf. I like browsing in the shop at the front. I think it was originally a farm shop, but I wouldn’t describe it as that now. Funnily enough, they were also selling coriander paste, but I think I may have got a better deal at the Asian supermarket in Orpington.

Out in the garden tools section of Polhill’s extensive retail space, Stephen found a hoe attachment for a system he owns, so we had to pay for that on our way out. (The shop where I browsed has their own tills. I expect they run as a franchise within the complex.)

Then it was down the hill. All the routes heading towards Westerham and Sevenoaks go down a significant hill. I assume that the hill we went down is called Polhill. If you go through Knockholt, you go down Star Hill, while if you go through Biggin Hill, you go down Westerham Hill. Stephen doesn’t like taking his Reliant Rialto up Westerham Hill. It’s reasonably steep, and I think the Reliant won’t climb it in 3rd gear but 2nd gear is a bit too low. My Nissan 200SX sails up it in 3rd gear unless I get stuck behind a slow-moving vehicle, in which case even my Nissan needs to go down into 2nd.

We detoured into Riverhead to Tesco to pick up some things for Stephen’s Mum. We picked up some things for us, too, with the combined grocery bill coming to around £50.

Then we actually made it to Stephen’s Mum’s place! Minnie, one of the black cats, came out onto the footpath to greet us. Minnie seems to have adopted me, and I wonder whether she has learnt the sound of my car. We delivered the groceries and put things away. Stephen loosened the top on each milk container, as Jessie has trouble unscrewing them otherwise. Stephen tries to make sure that he loosens lids and caps of anything Jessie is likely to want.

We gave all of the cats a cuddle and then we came home. I’m not sure that you would describe the day as exactly “chilling out”, but I quite enjoyed it anyway.

The rest of the week could have been an anticlimax after all that, but actually continued to be really busy. I attended the office on Tuesday and then went out in the evening to a Beckenham Concert Band rehearsal. I am trying to attend rehearsals regularly for the Summer as I’ve signed up to do a concert in mid July and another at the start of August. When we get to the end of the summer, I’ll take stock and consider whether I want to continue attending regular rehearsals. It just wasn’t possible when I was doing the car commute to Basildon for my job, but now I’m London based again, I hope that I may have the capacity, and it’s a fun and enjoyable thing that I could be doing.

The musical activities didn’t stop on Tuesday. It seems that I’ve played as much in the past 7 days as I’ve played for the whole of the rest of this year, and on Wednesday I attended a Marlowe Ensemble play-through. This is held about every six weeks, when the regular ensemble members are augmented by players such as myself in order to attempt some larger scale works. We aren’t rehearsing for a concert: the aim of the evening is to borrow music from the library, play it through, and then return it. Our fare on Wednesday night was:

  • Beethoven – Symphony No.2 – 2nd and 4th movements, as we’d done the 1st and 3rd movements last time we met;
  • Weber – Oberon Overture;
  • Mendelssohn Bartholdy – Symphony No.3 in A Minor

I was fortunate enough to recruit the services of a second bassoon for the evening. I’d seen him the night before at Beckenham and found that he didn’t have to rehearse for the Hayes Symphony Orchestra this week, and he was pleased to come along. He was just glad that I’d warned him about the roadworks in Sidcup at present, or he would have had trouble finding the place where we play!

I did try using my one remaining cane reed, but it just wasn’t working well. I tried adjusting the wires with my pliers, but it needs more than that to get it going as a couple of notes were horridly unstable. I didn’t really think that my plastic reed was up to orchestra yet, as I haven’t been playing on this one for long and plastic reeds take time to mellow, but it was any port in a storm and with all the playing I’d already done this week, I’ve apparently gone some distance down the mellowing process, although I still don’t think it’s the equal of the one that split at about this time last year, which I’d played on almost exclusively for about six or seven years. (Yes, I did say years. I haven’t been playing a great deal, but the longevity of a plastic reed appears to be pretty good provided that you don’t abuse it.)

On Thursday, all I had to do was go to work, which was a bit of a relief! 🙂 We had our Monthly Staff Briefing in the afternoon, and I put my hand up and asked a couple of awkward questions, whose content I won’t go into here. I did get reasonably satisfactory answers, which was encouraging. I stayed quite late in the office and finished off the job I was supposed to be doing last week but got interrupted so that it slipped into this week.

Friday was another routine day in the office. Or in the case of a lot of people, I think it may have been a routine day at home. Friday seems to be a popular day for home-working and the office was a bit like the Marie Celeste. I rarely home-work on a Friday, but then the rationale behind my home-working is to break up my commute, so I usually have a day at home in the middle of the week. However, I have to admit that I arranged to work at home on the day most convenient to me this week, which was Wednesday, when the Marlowe Ensemble were starting at 7:30pm and my time was at a premium! 🙂

Posted in Beckenham Concert Band, General, Marlowe Ensemble, Minnie | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »