8
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This is a themed cryptic crossword, with the theme in either the clue or the answer. The theme is loosely 'gothic horror', with some exceptions for other spooky stuff that fit well.

Beware! There is at least one Printer's Devilry and at least one Composite Anagram somewhere inside.

empty cryptic crossword, with no description available

Across:

1, 28. Out cold after making reservations for nobleman (perhaps a Transylvanian) (4,3,3,5)

6, 29. Neat following for family radio stations in Hawaii (4 and 4)

10. Separate and Extract total energy e.g. from a poltergeist, gently? (5)

11. Phantom pen crossing out a character with the beginnings of Howard Lovecraft ending avoided in The Pearl of Asia (5, 4)

12, 22. Film, Silent, (no English). In it a word of action, for all to see: "Hand the French a solution to everything" (6, 6)

13. Morticia with cousin turned back? See yours truly leaving with early player? (6)

14. Byron's Poem a succulent piece of history. (8)

16. See 15dn.

18. Palm reading reveals affair (6)

20. Sang perhaps of Lenore, reviving dead ball (8)

22. See 12ac.

23. Gothic novelist and doctors assistant? That might be why limbs are missing. (6)

27. Cursed down dale, and up hill without odd dawn I might correspond to something natural. (5,4)

28. See 1ac.

29. And 6ac.

30. Lacking picture restorer, he created the portrait curse (unwittingly) to remain alive against all odds (5, 5)

Down:

1. Gives a drug to perform seances! Spare the cane please. (5)

2. Sir Isaac & Spooner's resistance circle victorious. (7)

3. Tragic victors heart inserted into fantastical shell (5)

4. Re: Pleaides, Poe (Henri, lately) leaves and makes another bargain. (8)

5. See 25dn.

7. Chilling selection for lobotomy technique? (7)

8. Mostly end hears'y, some dead scattered within and lowered into coffin. (9)

9. Hedonistic model taken in; Dorian Grey perhaps and might be way to 30ac. (8)

14. Barker with alchemy, lies here forgotten, but another on trial was released after repining neck cloth. (4, 5)

15. Get ready to kill vampire, it's how one increases risk (5,3,6)

17. Carriage accident reveals mysterious individual, leaving Laura amorous, sinisterly and seen in a glass darkly. (8)

19. Bright framing of ghostly needlewoman? What devilry is this? (7)

21. Felix and Bella: "Perhaps flowers, including a Lily and the other side of the rose, have a sublime range of colours?" (7)

24. Perhaps blood in drinks, shirts or boots, placed disquietingly? (5)

25., 5. Search perhaps conducted by the press? (5-4)

26. Silent episode featuring gentlemen with human-ish exterior. (4)

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3
  • $\begingroup$ Pretty sure "repining" in 14d should be "repinning". $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Oct 31, 2022 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan that's what I thought, but various spell checkers disagreed with me. Happy to fix it now I've got someone to back me up! 😅 $\endgroup$ Oct 31, 2022 at 20:24
  • $\begingroup$ "Repining" is a thing but means something else. I think your word would usually be "re-pinning" rather than "repinning". $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Oct 31, 2022 at 20:28

1 Answer 1

4
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Slightly partial answer

I have what I think is probably the correctly filled grid, but there are several clues I don't fully understand.

Grid:

enter image description here

Answers and brief explanations:

Across:

1, 28. DOWN FOR THE COUNT ddef, kinda Out cold after making reservations for nobleman (perhaps a Transylvanian) (4,3,3,5)
6, 29. KINE and KITH ddef Neat following for family radio stations in Hawaii (4 and 4)
10. SPLIT (A POLTERGEIST GENTLY - TOTAL ENERGY EG)* Separate and Extract total energy e.g. from a poltergeist, gently? (5)
11. PHNOM PENH PH(-a)NTOM PEN + H(-oward) - (-lovecraf)T Phantom pen crossing out a character with the beginnings of Howard Lovecraft ending avoided in The Pearl of Asia (5, 4)
12, 22. SILVER BULLET SIL(-en)T containing VERB U L LE; one def at each end, wordplay in the middle Film, Silent, (no English). In it a word of action, for all to see: "Hand the French a solution to everything" (6, 6)
13. MORITA this is very doubtful; see below Morticia with cousin turned back? See yours truly leaving with early player? (6)
14. MANFREDA MANFRED + A Byron's Poem a succulent piece of history. (8)
18. RAFFIA AFFAIR* Palm reading reveals affair (6)
20. BALLADED DEADBALL* Sang perhaps of Lenore, reviving dead ball (8)
23. AMELIA triple def Gothic novelist and doctors assistant? That might be why limbs are missing. (6)
27. ALEPH NULL; (DOWN DALE AND UP HILL - ODD DAWN I)* Cursed down dale, and up hill without odd dawn I might correspond to something natural. (5,4)
30. CHEAT DEATH (HE CREATED THE PORTRAIT CURSE - PICTURE RESTORER)* Lacking picture restorer, he created the portrait curse (unwittingly) to remain alive against all odds (5, 5)

Down:

1. DOSES DO + (SEANCES-CANE*) Gives a drug to perform seances! Spare the cane please. (5)
2. WOLFSON spoonerism of SOLF WON Sir Isaac & Spooner's resistance circle victorious. (7)
3. FATAL (-vic)T(-ors) in FA(-ntastic)AL Tragic victors heart inserted into fantastical shell (5)
4. REPLEADS RE PLEAIDES minus (-po)E and (-henr)I Re: Pleaides, Poe (Henri, lately) leaves and makes another bargain. (8)
7. ICEPICK ICE + PICK Chilling selection for lobotomy technique? (7)
8. ENHEARSED (EN(-d) HEARS(-y))* plus D and ... also an E for reasons I don't understand Mostly end hears'y, some dead scattered within and lowered into coffin. (9)
9. IMMORTAL IMMORAL containing T Hedonistic model taken in; Dorian Grey perhaps and might be way to 30ac. (8)
14. MARY BLACK (BARKER ALCHEMY - HERE)* Barker with alchemy, lies here forgotten, but another on trial was released after repining neck cloth. (4, 5)
15. RAISE THE STAKES ddef Get ready to kill vampire, it's how one increases risk (5,3,6)
17. CARMILLA initial letters ("sinisterly") Carriage accident reveals mysterious individual, leaving Laura amorous, sinisterly and seen in a glass darkly. (8)
19. FULGENT def + p.d. + p.d. indicator; "needful gentlewoman" Bright framing of ghostly needlewoman? What devilry is this? (7)
21. DRACULA not sure exactly why; see below Felix and Bella: "Perhaps flowers, including a Lily and the other side of the rose, have a sublime range of colours?" (7)
24. LACED two defs + (-p)LACED Perhaps blood in drinks, shirts or boots, placed disquietingly? (5)
25., 5. WITCH HUNT cryptic def referencing torture device Search perhaps conducted by the press? (5-4)
26. HUSH HU(-mani)SH Silent episode featuring gentlemen with human-ish exterior. (4)

Things I don't fully understand:

13a is kinda baffling. My best guess, which I don't believe, is that the answer is MORITA, obtained by taking MORTICIA, reversing IT (though I believe the actual name of the character this would be referencing is "Cousin Itt", with two Ts) to get MORITCIA, removing C+I ("see yours truly leaving") to get MORITA; "early player" would then be the def; there are many Japanese people called Morita, some of whom play games or instruments, but none of them jumps out at me as being defined by "early player".
I'm not sure who the second def in 23a is. Fielding's title character, perhaps? (First is Amelia Beauclerc. Third is indeed the dictionary definition of "amelia".)
21d is clearly DRACULA; D. felix and D. bella are two species of orchid, so "Felix and Bella, perhaps, flowers" can be the definition, but I don't understand the wordplay. I wondered about something to do with Dranunculus, a genus of lilies, but don't see how to make it work.

Things I didn't fully understand but now think I do thanks to helpful comments from people cleverer than me:

It was clear that 2dn is a spoonerism of something WON but I couldn't figure out what. oAlt points out the existence of the "Solf Circle", a group of German intellectuals opposed to Nazism.
I was mystified by the gentlement in 26d. oAlt points out the existence of a Buffy episode titled "Hush" featuring adversaries called "The Gentlemen" who take away people's voices.

Things I said "I don't fully understand" about in an earlier version of this answer, but that were really more quibbles about clue construction (but it is possible in each case that I am in fact failing to understand something and there's nothing wrong with the clue):

6a,29a seems like the "following" is backwards; KITH is following KINE, not vice versa. Also, I can't help wondering whether there's some sort of reference to the phrase "kith and kin" going on here, but if so I don't quite see how it works.
18a seems to be an anagram with no anagram indicator, and I'm not sure what "reading" is doing in the clue.
17d seems like it's missing an "in" in the definition; Carmilla is one of the stories in In A Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu.

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19
  • $\begingroup$ This is the correct filling, let me know if want any of these explained. $\endgroup$ Oct 31, 2022 at 20:26
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure I'm not going to figure out any of the ones I haven't already figured out, but I suggest waiting a bit for other PSE denizens to be smarter than me and feel smug :-). But after, say, a day or two I would be very glad to have any gaps filled. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Oct 31, 2022 at 20:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (The ones for which I'm fairly sure I'm missing something, as opposed to there being minor inaccuracies in the cluing, are 13a, 23a, 2d, 21d, 26d.) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Oct 31, 2022 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ (cc: @AncientSwordRage ) 26d seems to be a reference to this $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Nov 1, 2022 at 3:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for all the explanations! $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Nov 9, 2022 at 22:40

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