8
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You purchase a tabloid-ish newspaper from a stand at your local station, hoping desperately there's a cryptic in the back to sate your crossword desires. You begin pencilling in some obvious anagrams and reversals, but a couple clues contain obscure references you can't understand. Sadly, you toss the paper aside and board your waiting train.

cryptic

Across

1. Caution on underground wit; split this back page (4, 3, 3)

6. Repeat in tech overview (4)

10. Amount to smallest child's blood type (3, 2)

12. Jovial runes about debts (9)

13. Judges zero martial arts (4)

15. Setter controlled Persia (4)

16. Small mystery surrounding valise (9)

17. Agricultural and electronic era (3)

20. Radio succeeds first YouTuber? (3)

22. Nights before December hold imaginary tricks (8)

23. A subconscious assistant (3)

24. Northern-style ballets using hooped pills? (8)

25. Wreck abstract art (3, abbr.)

26. New tar at work (3)

28. A resort with sauces and vegetables (9)

29. Speed is small (4)

32. Quickly fry aquatic mammal for soldier with adhesive stamp and secure cork (4)

34. Liberationist Mina backs top celebrities (9)

36. Render large drone (5)

37. Laugh about two hectares (4)

38. Rent fence for one opening of chess scandal (10)

Down

1. Rick's grandson swallows provision of gin, somewhat offending... (10)

2. Stealth expert new in Jamaica (5)

3. Stepped in retro design (4)

4. Bird with constant permeability (3)

5. Retorted that fans were dying inside (8)

7. Mad about TV mash-up (9)

8. Expel back to surrounding America (4)

9. Sporty bugger? (9)

11. Turn a nut into fish (4)

14. Officer of UK removes kings from robes (3, abbr.)

18. Dribble a grandma's wax; insane! (2, 7)

19. Playwright’s crazy energy gets top distinction (5, 5)

21. 11 player hears runner's tale (4, 5)

22. Insult Humphrey or Poole, perhaps (3)

23. Scarface uses peak heating in Omani capital (2, 6)

26. Dope mule (3)

27. Former emperor dismembers rats (4)

30. A mall revolving around camels, relatively (5)

31. British pool? (4)

33. Rework education of computer science (4)

35. Today I learned to text in reverse (3)


Thanks for taking a look at my puzzle! Just made a small one with some fun terms I've learnt.

Happy Puzzling!

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1
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(nf n evpx naq zbegl sna V pna gryy vgf eryrinapr gb Qbja (10) - lrg V fgvyy pna'g svaq gur rknpg rcvfbqr, fnqyl) $\endgroup$ Jul 3 at 12:31
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I believe the completed grid should look like this:

Completed grid

Clue explanations as follows:

Across
1. Caution on underground wit; split this back page (4, 3, 3) MIND THE GAP = MIND (Wit) + TH(-is) + PAGE<
6. Repeat in tech overview (4) ECHO = _ECH O_
10. Amount to smallest child's blood type (3, 2) RUN TO = RUNT (smallest child) + ) (blood type)
12. Jovial runes about debts (9) UNSERIOUS = RUNES* + IOUS (debts)
13. Judges zero martial arts (4) JUDO = JUD (Judges) + O (zero)
15. Setter controlled Persia (4) IRAN = I (Setter) + RAN (controlled)
16. Small mystery surrounding valise (9) BRIEFCASE = BRIEF (Small) + CASE (mystery)
17. Agricultural and electronic era (3) AGE = AG + E
20. Radio succeeds first YouTuber? (3) YAM = Y(-ou) + AM (Radio)
22. Nights before December hold imaginary tricks (8) DECEIVES = DEC + E(I)VES
23. A subconscious assistant (3) AID = A + ID
24. Northern-style ballets using hooped pills? (8) NETBALLS = N + BALLETS*
25. Wreck abstract art (3, abbr.) RTA = ART*
26. New tar at work (3) ART = TAR*
28. A resort with sauces and vegetables (9) ASPARAGUS = A + SPA (resort) + RAGUS (sauces)
29. Speed is small (4) SLOW = S + LOW &lit
32. Quickly fry / aquatic mammal for soldier with adhesive / stamp and secure / cork (4) SEAL = septuple def!
34. Liberationist Mina backs top celebrities (9) ANIMALIST = MINA< + A-LIST (top celebrities)
36. Render large drone (5) DRAWL = DRAW (Render) + L (large)
37. Laugh about two hectares (4) HAHA = HA + HA
38. Rent fence for one opening of chess scandal (10) TOILETGATE = TO(I)LET + GATE (opening)

Down
1. Rick's grandson swallows provision of gin, somewhat offending... (10) MORTIFYING = MORT(IF)Y + GIN*
2. Stealth expert new in Jamaica (5) NINJA = N (New) + IN + JA
3. Stepped in retro design (4) TROD = _TRO D_
4. Bird with constant permeability (3) EMU = E (constant) + MU (permeability)
5. Retorted that fans were dying inside (8) ANSWERED = _AND WERE D_
7. Mad about TV mash-up (9) CROSSOVER = CROSS (Mad) + OVER (about)
8. Expel back to surrounding America (4) OUST = TO< around US
9. Sporty bugger? (9) CRICKETER = cdef
11. Turn a nut into fish (4) TUNA = ANUT<
14. Officer of UK removes kings from robes (3, abbr.) OBE = (-r)OBE(-s)
18. Dribble a grandma's wax; insane! (2, 7) GO BANANAS = GOB (Dribble) + A NANAS (grandma’s)
19. Playwright’s crazy energy gets top distinction (5, 5) OSCAR = OSCAR (top distinction) + WILD (crazy) + E (energy)
21. 11 player hears runner's tale (4, 5) MATT SMITH = 11th Doctor Who actor, sounds like MAT’S MYTH
22. Insult Humphrey or Poole, perhaps (3) DIS = DIs
23. Scarface uses peak heating in Omani capital (2, 6) AL PACINO = ALP (peak) + AC (heating) + IN + O(-mani)
26. Dope / mule (3) ASS = ddef
27. Former emperor dismembers rats (4) TSAR = RATS*
30. A mall revolving around camels, relatively (5) LLAMA = AMALL<
31. British pool? (4) BATH = cdef (Synonym of ‘pool’ and name of British city)
33. Rework education of computer science (4) EDIT = ED (education) + IT (computer science)
35. Today I learned to text in reverse (3) TIL = LIT(erature)<

18D was my favourite clue :)

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7
  • $\begingroup$ Well done Stiv, this is pretty much all correct! Two things: rot(FRNY vf npghnyyl n urcghcyr qrs, jvgu nqurfvir (nf va frnynag) naq frpher (nf va frny bss) obgu nqqvgvbanyyl orvat qrsvavgvbaf!) Also, would you mind telling me any way I could improve my crossword writing? I love making these but I find that I always skim on some clues... $\endgroup$ Jul 3 at 22:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TakingNotes Sure - a few pointers (nitpicking first!): (i) Try to make sure your definition part matches the answer in singular/plural form (e.g. Judo is a martial ART, singular...), (ii) There are a few questionable connectors between definition and wordplay, e.g. 24A 'using', 26A 'at', 38A 'of', 5D 'that' - these words don't normally indicate the partition between the two halves of a cryptic clue, (iii) There are a few words which don't do anything in their clues and are completely surplus, e.g. 1D 'of', 33D 'of', 35D 'to', much of 32A - usually setters try to avoid these... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jul 4 at 7:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A few thoughts on specific clues: (iv) I still don't get how 'hooped pills' = NETBALLS, I just figured out the intended wordplay given the available letters in the grid, (v) Re 23D, 'Scarface' should probably be 'Scarface actor', since 'Scarface' himself is actually Tony Montana, (vi) 22D should probably read 'Humphrey AND Poole, perhaps' (as OR would lead just to the singular...), (vii) 22A seems backwards to me - 'X before Y' would usually clue XY, not YX... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jul 4 at 7:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A lot of this is really just nitpicking - most of your clues are perfectly valid, and some of them are wonderful! Like I say, I really loved 18D - no wasted words at all and made me laugh! 19D is great. 21D was the hardest - '11 player' is a very obscure definition - but as a fan I was very pleased to work it out in the end; lovely soundalike! If it weren't for that surplus 'of' I would be singing the praises of 1D too. Oh, and you should be very happy with 28A as well! Overall, a good effort - well done :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jul 4 at 7:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for all the input guys! Couple things: "nights before December" was meant to directly clue DEC EVES as EVES aren't intuitively nights. Also, my breakdown of TOILETGATE was TO I (for one) opening LET GATE (rent fence), rather than what Stiv had. I took (def) of (wp) to be a totally normal connector, but if that's not OK I'll have to rethink my cluing... Nonetheless, thanks for the great advice! $\endgroup$ Jul 4 at 12:12

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