NTSPP – 004

Not the Saturday Prize Puzzle – 004

A Bonus Puzzle by Anax

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Welcome to the fourth in what has become an excellent series of weekly puzzles.  Telegraph setters themselves have been known to dip in, perhaps to see how it really should be done!

This one dropped unexpectedly into my mailbox recently.  Anax thought he would try his hand at writing an easier puzzle.  Easier that what?  You might well ask.  Easier than his usual fare.  Is it easy – that’s for you to judge.

Setter’s Notes

In setting this one I gave myself the brief of keeping things as simple as possible, which is quite a departure from the typical Anax approach.

So what’s the point in setting out to write an easy cryptic crossword?  There’s a very simple answer to that – writing easy cryptics is harder than writing tough ones.  Going tough allows you to make use of every cryptic device and to be as devious as you wish.  The rules of cryptic clue-writing offer the setter a vast array of weaponry, but the easier a puzzle is intended to be the fewer of those weapons are available for use.

Some solvers complain that puzzles by, for example, Rufus (Roger Squires) are too easy. Given that Roger is setting for an audience comparatively new to crosswords, I believe more appreciation should be shown for the fact that what he does so well is actually incredibly hard to achieve.

Matching that skill is beyond me, but this puzzle is an attempt to create something more accessible than my usual stuff.  Have I succeeded?  Well, I’d really like to know! All comments are welcome, but in particular I’d be interested to know how your solving time for this compared against other crosswords you regularly solve.

The puzzle

A Bonus Puzzle by Anax

If you prefer your puzzles on paper, click on the grid to download a pdf of the puzzle.
Additionally there is an interactive version of the puzzle here

Across Down
3 Duck from Colorado with long face (3,3) 1 Where travellers are coming in to wait for attack (9)
6 Speed trap? (10) 2 Old perk lost when smashing up office furniture (4-3,4)
8 Please move out (6) 3 Start to collaborate with musical director (5)
10 Mad party with short old friend (8) 4 Dirty old poet holding Jethro back (7)
11 Doctor has nothing that’s a potion (7) 5 Good milk (3)
12 Simple, carrying fuel to huge retail outlet (9) 6 French lady forced spy to admit dreadful lies (12)
13 That man Rodney King (5) 7 Yet belief has no end (6)
14 Feeble comedian last to memorise lines (7) 9 Dull pop and mature rock (3,1,6,2)
15 Lift small cloth (5) 11 Setter filled up – moving inside, having lost heat?(11)
18 Have fun while barely touching the drink? (6-3) 13 Put under this, peony grows wild (9)
19 Want covering that is second-class? Use recliner (3,4) 16 Reveal urge to eat balti regularly (7)
21 Judge, after victory, is much more hostile (8) 17 Publicity failing to give guidance (6)
22 It makes you say “I’m so special”? (6) 20 Snug, as male/female in retiring (5)
24 Chinese food at the back (3,7) 23 Travel to a province of India (3)
25 Juggling act initially had a year in old country (6)

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