8
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Crossword

Across
3. Amphibian surmounts physicist (6)
4. Hilarious partner (3)
5. Spurn a guilty plea outside Aquidneck Island (8)
6. Performing a supersonic number in the head of an adult insect. (9)
7. Sightless, tailless, expensive and suitable for general audiences (5)
9. Blur's life, not your jumping around. (7)
11. Dennis Ritchie's creation doing half a dance outside a flat to check your humanity (7)

Down
1. Crypto-Olaf (10, 7)
2. The angels amid sightless ghoti; half a nokia appears unexpectedly (5, 3)
5. Not a cat (3)
8. Not a dog (3)
10. Ghoti (4)

This is my first attempt at a cryptic-ish crossword (some of the clues are cryptic, I've thrown in a couple of really easy ones too, to provide more cross-checking).

I'd appreciate constructive feedback on what you think of this puzzle, what level of difficulty it is, and what I should do differently to improve things for the next one.


In response to query: OED is the Oxford English Dictionary. It's the most authoritative dictionary for English. The point is that while some of the words are neologisms, they're ones which are well-known and accepted enough to have become part of the English language (by the OED's definition).

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I've never really liked crosswords on P.SE as a whole, mainly because they can't be solved wholly 'on-screen' unless you start messing around with image files. But now I realise all it really is is a sequence of riddles with some cross-referencing, so +1! :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 30 '14 at 18:22
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    $\begingroup$ Can you say (6,5) or whatever for the two-word ones, or is that a case of ICTYBTIHTKY? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 30 '14 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ @randal'thor, I just did. :) Want to find a crossword-creating thingy that does all this automatically. $\endgroup$ – A E Dec 30 '14 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ I'm trying to put constructive feedback as well as solutions into my answer, @AE. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 30 '14 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest, any time you like. :) Feel free to suggest an alternative title but it doesn't really have a theme and I need something to distinguish it from other cryptic crosswords on the site. 'Neologisms' is the closest it gets to a theme, but there's plenty of answers which aren't neologisms. $\endgroup$ – A E Jan 1 '15 at 20:58
3
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EDIT: NOW I got it! (If you say I'm wrong I'm going to sigh)

Machinima

Because,

Mach is a fast number, in (from the riddle), the head of an adult insect is "ima" of "imago". Machinima is using computer to create a cinematic production.


Edit 2: I think I got 5A also:

Disciple

Because,

"Spurn a guilty plea" is like "diss a plea", and googling aquidneck island shows a lot of stuff related to disciples (as well as a book saying disciples first settled on the island).


I finally got 6 across after trying for two days.

Karyogamy

Reasoning:

The Ogamy is imago backwards (adult insect), kary is like kareoke where you perform a quick number. In the head meaing kary before ogamy. I'm surprised I got this.

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  • $\begingroup$ aw, you're getting very close! +1 for nice guess. Not the intended meaning but I can totally see how you got there. 'head of adult insect' is intended to mean 'beginning of the word imago' - 'performance' describes the final answer as a whole. $\endgroup$ – A E Jan 8 '15 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ wow I guess it was a coincidence then that there was another solution that fit so well $\endgroup$ – Quark Jan 8 '15 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ I think it's a tribute you your creativity that you've found one that fits so well! :) Unfortunately this clue is turning out to be harder than I intended, I'm not quite sure why... possibly the 'fast number' is too vague. I'm changing it to 'supersonic number' (but it's not anything to do with Sonic the Hedgehog!) $\endgroup$ – A E Jan 9 '15 at 9:07
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    $\begingroup$ I think supersonic number may refer to "mach" as in "mach number". Can't seem to figure out the rest. $\endgroup$ – March Ho Jan 9 '15 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ @MarchHo, yes! it does! hooray! :) $\endgroup$ – A E Jan 9 '15 at 12:58
4
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1. Crypto-Olaf (10, 7) - looks interesting, but the answer was a bit of a disappointment!

ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN, since Olaf is a Disney snowman and the Abominable Snowman is a cryptic. Credit to @xnor for getting this.

2. The angels amid sightless ghoti; half a nokia appears unexpectedly (5, 3)

FLASH MOB — "The angels" = Los Angeles = LA. "Ghoti" = "fish" (see clue 10), but sightless (with no "i") = FSH. A Nokia is a mobile, so half a Nokia = MOB From @squeamish ossifrage

3. Amphibian surmounts physicist (6) - this one is (still) brilliant.

NEWTON / NEWT ON

4. Hilarious partner (3)

WAG — The British press use the acronym WAGs to refer to the "wives and girlfriends" of professional footballers. The singular form is WAG. And of course wag also means "witty person". From @squeamish ossifrage

5A. Spurn a guilty plea outside Aquidneck Island (8)

DEFRIEND, credit @shoover

5D. Not a cat (3)

Dog, see bottom.

6. Performing a supersonic number in the head of an adult insect. (9)

MACHINIMA, credit to @Quark below.

7. Sightless, tailless, expensive and suitable for general audiences (5)

BLING, credit to @QuyNguyen2013 for getting this one.

8. Not a dog

Cat, see bottom.

9. Blur's life, not your jumping around. (7)

PARKOUR, since Park Life is a song by Blur and parkour is jumping around - not "your" jumping around but ours, as in parkour. Credit to @frodoskywalker for getting this.

10. Ghoti (4) - nice one, but it's trivial if you've seen it before and pretty undoable otherwise.

FISH. Pronounce 'gh' as in 'rough', 'o' as in 'women', and 'ti' as in 'location'.

I think it would've been better to do a new take on this, with slightly more of a hint as to what the idea is. E.g.

"A phonetic ghost (4)" could mean the same: pronounce 's' as in 'sugar' and 't' as in 'castle'. Or "A phonetic cibod (4)" with 'ci' as in 'acacia', 'b' as in 'subtle', 'o' as in 'women', and 'd' as in 'grasped' - what word would that give? :->

11. Dennis Ritchie's creation doing half a dance outside a flat to check your humanity (7)

CAPTCHA: Dennis Ritchie's creation is C. Half a dance outside a flat is APT (apartment) CHA (from cha-cha). Checking your humanity is what CAPTCHAs do. Credit to Geobits


5D. Not a cat (3)
8. Not a dog (3)

These are a bit silly!

DOG and CAT respectively.

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    $\begingroup$ I want 6 to be dragonfly because it ends with 'on-fly' which both implies adult insect and performing something quick, but I've never heard of 'drag' as being performing a number. $\endgroup$ – YoungJohn Dec 30 '14 at 23:25
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    $\begingroup$ @YoungJohn Also the A would be in the wrong place. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Dec 31 '14 at 15:51
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    $\begingroup$ @AE Time to put to my brainpower to work. Also, you make weirdly bizarre yet fun to solve puzzles. $\endgroup$ – QuyNguyen2013 Jan 1 '15 at 20:59
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    $\begingroup$ @AE Bling, blind, blend? My heads is hurting. Also, you should make a chat room. $\endgroup$ – QuyNguyen2013 Jan 1 '15 at 21:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Geobits Bling? Bling is expensive jewelry intended for many people... $\endgroup$ – QuyNguyen2013 Jan 2 '15 at 18:36
2
+50
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5A

DEFRIEND

because SPURN A GUILTY PLEA =

DEFEND

and AQUIDNECK ISLAND =

Rhode Island i.e. RI

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  • $\begingroup$ That's it! Well done. $\endgroup$ – A E Jan 9 '15 at 20:28
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    $\begingroup$ Aww, everybody else did the heavy lifting! $\endgroup$ – shoover Jan 9 '15 at 20:31
1
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I think I've got a couple more clues. I should probably edit these into the earlier answer, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

2. The angels amid sightless ghoti; half a nokia appears unexpectedly (5, 3)

FLASH MOB — "The angels" = Los Angeles = LA. "Ghoti" = "fish" (see clue 10), but sightless (with no "i") = FSH. A Nokia is a mobile, so half a Nokia = MOB

4. Hilarious partner (3)

WAG — The British press use the acronym WAGs to refer to the "wives and girlfriends" of professional footballers. The singular form is WAG. And of course wag also means "witty person".

6. Performing a quick number in the head of an adult insect. (9)

Could this perhaps be PANTOMIME? It's a kind of performance, and it has an ANT in it. Haven't quite figured this one out yet.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice work, squeamish! $\endgroup$ – A E Jan 6 '15 at 7:57
1
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Perhaps 6 across is

Hairworms, they target insects' heads.

(first post)

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  • $\begingroup$ Ah, 'fraid not, but +1 nice guess. There's a lot of wordplay in that one. What's an adult insect called? And what number goes really fast? $\endgroup$ – A E Jan 7 '15 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ An adult insect is an imago. As for a number that goes really fast, is the answer one, being something to do with Sonic the Hedgehog? $\endgroup$ – h34 Jan 8 '15 at 14:48

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