7
$\begingroup$

An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #46: "Tales From the Cryptic"


So this puzzle uses the term cryptic in multiple senses. On the one hand, it is cryptic in the sense that there are eight cryptic clues included in the text of the story below. On the other hand, it is cryptic in the sense that the puzzle text scans like Lewis Carroll and Allen Ginsburg dropped acid in a steel cage match with a typewriter. On the gripping hand, it is cryptic in that the answer is a genuine poem hidden in it (not high-quality, but consistent syllable count and rhyme, at least) if you replace the cryptic clues with their answers. You will (hopefully) find that the answers to the cryptic clues are all related, because, well...me. I hope you enjoy!


I came across a king overseeing rebuilding after dismissing sixth of cabinet. I spent one hour poorly in, to confess, advocating for trout. A king's top courtier initially set to argue, before concession; in the end, I paid for breakfast. Goat steak tip over ram's head and uncooked cereal, haphazardly served out.

I passed a country guy clipping tail and shaving two head of pigs, primarily asking for alms. A last passing wind lifted hat from head, an object in the distance, lost to chance. Unwise with blow: poncho, hood, overcoat, hat; undone, top half and midriff of lumpen nylon thing to bring luck. At least I've retained my pants.


SOLVER NOTE

As they say in This Is Spinal Tap, it's such a fine line between stupid and clever, and I'm not sure which side of the line this falls on. Personally I'm hoping for directly astride. But either way, I tried to be as Ximenian with clues as I could be, but doubtless there are some liberties. Apologies in advance!

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Should mention...all cryptic clues are full cryptic clues with wordplay and definition...no substitutions. $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Dover Jan 2 at 19:13
6
$\begingroup$

I'm surprised that you

retained your pants

because

it looks like you're in debt by the end of the poem.

It goes like this:

I came across a sovereign:
I spent one shilling for trout,
A crown I paid for breakfast
Groats, haphazardly served out.

I passed a guinea for alms,
A last farthing lost to chance.
Unwise with pound and penny,
At least I've retained my pants.

Explanations:

SOVEREIGN (king | overseeing rebuilding after dismissing sixth of cabinet): anag of OVERSEEING minus E)
SHILLING (hour poorly in to confess | advocating): H ILL in SING
CROWN (king's top | courier initially set to argue before concession in the end): C(-ourier) + ROW + (-concessio)N
GUINEA (country | guy clipping tail and shaving two head of pigs primarily asking): GU + (-sw)INE) + A(-sking)
FARTHING (passing wind lifted hat from head | an object in the distance): FARTING around H(-ead)
POUND (blow | poncho hood overcoat hat undone top half): P(-oncho) O(-vercoat) UND(-one)
PENNY (midriff of lumpen nylon | thing to bring luck): substring

$\endgroup$
7
  • $\begingroup$ Correct in all details...hope you enjoyed! Out of curiosity, where was the break-in? $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Dover Jan 3 at 0:59
  • $\begingroup$ I did. The end of line 3 took me a while because I hadn't known (or maybe had forgotten) that meaning of the key word. I'm a little bothered by line 6 for reasons I'm sure you can see, but it's fair enough given the constraints you were working under. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 3 at 1:02
  • $\begingroup$ First thing I solved was the first line, second was the second. After that it was pretty clear how it was working. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 3 at 1:02
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough on #6...I knew there was some sleight of head when I wrote it, but figured it was close enough to that stupid/clever line. $\endgroup$ – Jeremy Dover Jan 3 at 1:05
  • $\begingroup$ I like the phrase "sleight of head". $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 3 at 1:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.