10 March, 2012
As a rule, bag-beg-big-bog-bug are the stuff of alphabet primers, and not high-quality crosswords. Or if the midgets do sneak in, then it’s rare the setter affords them a fabulous clue. Until this week, when the bar was raised to a new level.
Over 100 entries, from ten-plus artisans, has resulted in a close finale, with the pick of the piccaninnies appearing below:
Head-turner = TOP [Stylish double-meaning from Mauve]
Short shandy = SHY [Sneaky inbuilt charade form JD, with a festive surface]
Infantry soldier? = ANT [Inbuilt hidden this time, with panache]
Roof over pool? = POT [Sam constructs the perfect Down clue annex]
Softly utter carbon dioxide = COO [Mr X channels Walt White with pizzazz]
Some high-risk investments plummet with stocks = SKI [In fact SK1 was SKI, and the surface shines like a black diamond]
BRONZE TIE: Clots = TON [Mr X again, with a deft doubler]
BRONZE TIE: Its quoted thus? = SIC [Devious idea from AC, with a touch of SK polish = one dazzling collusion]
SILVER: Welcome people, heading in = HIP [This is a fine clue, that reads so silkily, with a camouflaged definition, from Mauve.]
GOLD: In revolution, secret agent goes to throne = LOO [Jot 007 on the page, then invert, and you see Boniface’s revolutionary idea. Marvellously maverick, with a seditious story to boot.]
Special thanks to three players not here in dispatches – RobT, Lucasta and Ophelia. Crafting clues is an applied art, and I’m sure you gleaned a few extra tips from this top-class Storm. Really loved your play and crossfire all week. Well done AC on a podium debut, I believe, and kudos to the other three recidivists for your elegant zingers."