Hall of mirrors


This is a slightly unusual grid that I got from The Guardian
(it was used for cryptic puzzle no 26124 by ‘Nutmeg’).


1. Was once sweet, but is now prime (9)
9. Smear around scented water on chest (6)
10. Trousers can be used to redirect unwanted fluid (9)
11. Sticks to English county (6)
12. Start game of pool quickly, or make a meal of it? (9)
13. Aimless decision by referee (2,4)
17. Heard son earlier (3)
19. Care for railway and greenhouse (7)
20. Spar from wreck of steel whaler’s hull (7)
21. Heard Cockney cast as First Lady (3)
23. Rang for ma, headed off to get nanny (6)
27. Put off backing over quaint interior, and passed it on (9)
28. Cave right in to German leader, e.g. Bismarck (6)
29. Diseased amateur injected, gets bent back (9)
30. Team of nature spirits guards base (6)
31. Sentimental proposal to lay in a type of ale with no head (9)
2. Fears headless misses (6)
3. Recording I almost describe as like Lord of the Rings (6)
4. Offer advice if I say that will be representative (6)
5. Whistle blower was an enigma (7)
6. Short underwear suggested for logician (4,5)
7. Throws wobbly about Galadriel’s evaluation of singular 8 (4-5)
8. Nature spirits we own have us finally surrounded – us! (9)
14. Treebeard tried for promotion, got too deeply involved (9)
15. Forecasts for grand organs (9)
16. Engaged in hotter action in bed (9)
17. Heard half a lemur? I see (3)
18. Heard solver, or heard member? So I heard (3)
22. Volcano is central to energy production of Asian republic (7)
24. It’s dim to fool about, wild-heart! (6)
25. Sticker for clever stand-up shows (6)
26. Wilder With Virginia Lake (6)

PDF … xw26124


4 thoughts on “Hall of mirrors

  1. OMG, that was SO TOUGH. For the longest time we thought we weren’t going to get a single one. Then we finally got 6 down (“How gratifying that all that maths and philosophy was worthwhile after all,” one of us remarked dryly) and eventually knocked it on the head in a mere four hours. We were on to your little conceit with the three-letter words in a trice, oh yes, so that made that a bit easier, although easier scarcely seems to be the appropriate word here. Much was the swearing (“Thanks for all the $#@^%$#$ connecting e’s,” one of us spat viciously at one point), but great was the high-fiving when we finally inked in the last one. Many thanks, and we hope you enjoyed what we detected was a recent visit to the cinema:).

      • Thank you very much for the kind comments. A crossword compiler can get no higher praise than the solver(s) swearing at her and finding that two hours seems like four … 🙂

        I’m afraid your deduction wasn’t quite right. As it happens, my 12 year old daughter is reading LOTR, although she seems to have been diverted (temporarily I hope) by “The Hunger Games”.

      • We’d better not fling aside our jobs for sleuthing, then! Twelve is a lovely age for LOTR. We’re far too many years past twelve for Hunger Games not to bore us into the ground, but at least the heroine will be a nice counterbalance to Tolkein’s boyfest.

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