Just a mediocre 5x5 cryptic. Nothing fancy, no theme, and hopefully I didn't do anything funky with the conventions of cryptic clues.

5x5 crossword grid, with three evenly-spaced out 5-letter words going across and three going down

1A Nothing held by fake-rich group (5)
4A Code from an alien: "Hello, Charlie" (5)
5A Band separates, retiring (5)

1D Coast announced services (5)
2D Operator embracing the alternative (5)
3D Sum up essentials of pure capitalism (5)

As always, feedback is appreciated :)


1 Answer 1


The completed grid:

The completed 5x5 cryptic grid, with CHOIR, ETHIC, and STRAP across, and CREWS, OTHER, and RECAP down

The clue explanations:

1A CH{O}IR* | Nothing held by fake-rich group (5)
4A ET+HI+C | Code from an alien: "Hello, Charlie" (5)
5A STRAP< | Band separates, retiring (5)

1D CREWS~CRUISE | Coast announced services (5)
2D O{THE}R | Operator embracing the alternative (5)
3D puRE CAPitalism | Sum up essentials of pure capitalism (5)

For 2D, I'm not sure if "operator" in the telecommunications sense clues "or", but regardless, "or" is a logical operator.


This is a really neat puzzle! A good mix of clue types used, and the surfaces are all nice. I wasn't super sure about "services" as a definition for "crews", but apparently, a crew in the sense of a "group of advisers, assistants, or others accompanying an important person" can also be called a service, so I think that it checks out. :)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks! My intended meaning for "crews" was as a verb - see Merriam-Webster, scroll down. And "operator" was indeed mean to be a logical operator. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    May 9, 2021 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ @bobble In that case, it definitely checks out! :D $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    May 9, 2021 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ How does 5A work? $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    May 10, 2021 at 3:04
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @justhalf "separates" is a synonym for "parts" (as in 'parts ways', e.g. at a relationship break-up); "retiring" implies a reversal. And a strap is equivalent to a belt or band of material :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    May 10, 2021 at 8:51

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