I'm back with a second cryptic crossword. This one is smaller than my previous, yet also trickier, so hopefully it provides a fun challenge for a few of you!

Cryptic Crossword


1. Pass around venomous snakes (4)
4. Vermin make poor pets (4)
6. Mutilate Italian brother by removing his primary internal organs (3)
7. Burden with H. Wagner's remains (4)
8. I fill the last of Marco's heart with viscous liquid (3)
9. We talked about it; they heard, and were offended (9)
11. Evil woman is hiding to the west (3)
12. Remove scoundrel's head from lasso; smash it to bits, too (4)
13. Fish found flip-flopping in haddock's stomach (3)
14. Massage my foot until it's red (4)
15. What's seen is spoken with ties untied; the perfect plot resides inside (4)


2. Boredom, in other words, takes alien sister to the skies (5)
3. In time of crisis, rise from the ashes of North Carolina's youth (9)
4. Procession, without a portent at its heart, is a leisurely walk (9)
5. New mid-50's annex (3)
10. Experience the beginning-of-the-end? That's odd, but this isn't (5)
11. Bird that started eating metal, unfortunately! (3)

Note #1: This crossword pretty obviously isn't your ordinary crossword. It's up to you to figure out the difference. :)

Note #2: This crossword and its clues don't necessarily align with typical cryptic crossword form - that is to say, each of the clues are of the cryptic puzzle form, but a couple of them stretch the boundaries past what is typically deemed as "acceptable form" for American cryptic crosswords. They should all still be quite solvable, of course!

Note #3: The "trivia" tag was added because a few of the clues require explicit knowledge of specific people/characters. Most of the clues don't, so even without that knowledge this crossword should be solvable.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Why was my first comment removed? Are the diagonal lines a standard crossword puzzle thing or are they part of the puzzle that we need to solve? $\endgroup$
    – Deacon
    May 28, 2015 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ The diagonal lines are not a standard crossword thing, they indicate a gimmick of some sort - figuring out how the gimmick works is part of the puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – DevOfZot
    May 28, 2015 at 20:55

2 Answers 2


8A: I->pOLo=OIL
11A: woma(N IS)->SIN
13A: had(DOC)k->COD
14A: RUB+Y
5D: E+L's = ELL
11D: E+M+U


The slashed blocks are S going across and E going down, presumably in a nod to StackExchange.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for the formatting, when I try to put multiple spoilers on separate lines they always un-spoil. Sure wish spoiler were implemented as a tag. $\endgroup$
    – DevOfZot
    May 28, 2015 at 20:52
  • $\begingroup$ You can make multiple lines in a spoiler tag either by using the </br> tag or putting two spaces after each line! Also, well done...man, these things don't last long at all here! $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    May 28, 2015 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, improved it. And thanks for the puzzle, I love these! Perfect for an afternoon break from work. I'm sure you realize they'll last longer with fewer easy anagrams, but I thought this was a nice mix of hard/easy. 1A and 4A took about a second each, but 2D and 8A took me several minutes even after I knew the answer. $\endgroup$
    – DevOfZot
    May 28, 2015 at 21:03

Making a start, again...

11A. Evil woman is hiding to the west (3)

EVE? (the left-hand, or "west", part of evil; also a woman)

12A. Remove scoundrel's head from lasso; smash it to bits, too (4)

ALSO ("scoundrel's head" is S, the first letter of scoundrel; remove S from lasso and rearrange; synonym of "too")

14A. Massage my foot until it's red (4)

Four letters, *U**, and something to do with red, so probably RUST, PUCE, or RUBY. (The OP only learnt what colour puce was today, but I'm not sure if this is an argument for or against it as a clue here.)

11D. Bird that started eating metal, unfortunately! (3)

EMU (starting letters of eating metal unfortunately)

  • $\begingroup$ Did you know emus ate metal to aid with their digestion? I didn't, until today! $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    May 28, 2015 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ @BaileyM Wow, I didn't realise you meant that seriously! I'd heard of birds eating bits of stone to grind up their food, but metal is a first for me. Also, I realise my answer for 11A must be wrong given 11D... $\endgroup$ May 28, 2015 at 19:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes, The ! at the end of the clue means that the full clue also describes the answer. They eat stones and pebbles as well, but they also chew through chain link and scrap metal for the same function! $\endgroup$
    – Bailey M
    May 28, 2015 at 19:31

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