Some Thoughts on Today's Cryptic Crossword

Today's cryptic crossword in today's Citizen went better than expected.  This is usually slightly more difficult than The Sun's cryptic, and I'm usually left struggling after half a dozen clues.  But today I managed to do half of it: 12/24.  I sat in the garden while I did it, so perhaps it was a combination of sunny weather (rather restorative after such a long winter!) and St. George's Day - a dragon of a puzzle, albeit half-slayed. 

A few clues in particular made me chuckle:

23a: Right in the middle of the cemetery (4,6)
Answer: Dead Centre

As far as cryptic clues go, this was quite a straightforward one.  Easy to work out but a nice little pay off.  

16d: Forty five and not yet married? (6)
Answer: Single

As you can see from my scribbling at the bottom, numbers within clues usually suggests that roman numerals should be used, so I wrote "XLV" to see how that would fit into the answer. Then it dawned on me that a 45 is a record, or single.  This one was a double definition: single as in a record and single as in unmarried.  Clever!  

8a: See post being created for female writer (7)
Answer: Poetess

Feminists look away now.  I've been to several poetry readings over the past few years and have had moderate success with my own poems (I've recently been published on Ink, Sweat and Tears, the webzine edited by Helen Ivory), but I've never heard a female poet be called a "poetess".  I'd certainly shake the hand of the man that did.  The answer was hidden in the anagram "See post", with "being created" being the indicator and "female writer" being the straight clue.   

I do love a good cryptic clue for the path the surface meaning leads you down.  It's only when you delve a little deeper that you find its real beauty.  Here's to the ongoing cryptic journey! 


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