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Another simple 4x4 cryptic crossword with no theme. (I added empty space to the image so the grid doesn't take up an unnecessary amount of space.) Enjoy!

a standard 4 by 4 crossword grid, with Down clues numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 from left to right across the top and Across clues numbered 1, 5, 6, 7 from top to bottom along the leftmost column

ACROSS DOWN
1. Section of role 1. I am in pot, suffering
5. Area fine with a castle at a distance 2. Hairstyle part of a front
6. Fantastic contortion abnormally ripe 3. Fascinated to secretly wrap things
7. Write down a pitch 4. A plant mistaken to be French
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ACROSS

1. PART = ddef.
5. AFAR = A (area) + F (fine) + A + R (castle/rook)
6. IRPE = RIPE* (definition "A fantastic grimace or contortion of the body." from https://www.crosswordsolver.org/solve/--pe, also in Project Gutenberg dictionary)
7. NOTE = ddef.

DOWN

1. PAIN = I in PAN
2. AFRO = A FROnt
3. RAPT = wRAP Things (secretly indicating hiding)
4. TREE = ETRE* (this is an indirect anagram, which is usually a no-no...anagrammed words should generally appear in their entirety)

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6
  • $\begingroup$ Good so far! The rest of the clue is the (obscure) definition for 6A, and I was going for a different cluing for 3D. (rot13: V xabj vaqverpg nantenzf nera'g terng, ohg V gubhtug V'q tb sbe vg onfrq ba ubj fvzcyr gur pebffjbeq vf, naq V gubhtug gur pyhr jnf cerggl pyrire/vaghvgvir.) :D $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    Jan 7 at 3:58
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    $\begingroup$ @samm82 Fixed up 3D...had never heard of the word, and did not see it in several of the common dictionaries. Re: 6A, having done this often myself, it is easy to get enamored of the surface of the clue, and stray further and further from the "rules". The rules do have some leeway, but it is better to start out strict and then loosen up a little. In particular, indirect anagrams will cause heart palpitations in some corners of PSE. But that said, keep at it! The best way to get good at writing cryptic clues is to put them out there, and roll with the punches! $\endgroup$ Jan 7 at 4:13
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the kind words; I'll definitely keep that in mind! (Also, the clue for 3D still isn't quite right; it's not a homophone.) $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    Jan 7 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ @samm82 Ah...misread clue number. Got it now. Not sure the indicator there is the best for the wordplay type...believe there's a part of speech mismatch. Containers can be a bit more liberal, but pretty sure it doesn't bend to adverbs. $\endgroup$ Jan 7 at 4:24
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    $\begingroup$ @samm82 I recommend checking out the local guide written by Deusovi (puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/45984/cryptic-clue-guide). On PSE, the community tends to hold cryptic clues to a higher standard (Ximenian, after a famous setter). It can be a bit intimidating at first, but if you take the ideas to heart, you'll really start writing great clues! $\endgroup$ Jan 7 at 4:48

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