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Colgan's Cryptic Crossword

crossword grid for AugustAcross

1. Fine tunes barely recognised in sad composition (7)
5. A flap’s handy for a cat (5)
8. Newly arrived man met Elizabethan fixture (7,6)
9. Will make another deduction (7)
10. Scouts reported religious followers (5)
11. Darting behind road sign is the last of quarry (6)
12. Company’s cast has hit (6)
15. One surviving’s dropped off north from a bay, perhaps (5)
16. One small load carried back by giant, like a barnacle attached to a whale (7)
17. Rebel group’s prickling with an opposite agenda (13)
18. Places of great heat concerned Australian explorer (5)
19. Unwavering intent to supervise group (7)


1. Generally, thrift is right for new country (7)
2. Decision makers, apart from equivocal leader, care for the legal system (13)
3. Retracts statement, but one’s out to perform dangerous acts (7,6)
4. Southern French hideaway revealed unexpectedly (6)
5. Short appointment during changeover arrangement (13)
6. Opening over precedes spinner’s first penetration of the defence (13)
7. Pluck displayed by South Americans? (5)
13. Figure out put-down point (7)
14. Plane encountering surface- to-air missile. It ends up in the sea (6)
15. Exclamation of excited delight sounds crazy (5)

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For your chance to win a $40 book voucher, email your completed crossword or fax (08) 8302 5785 by Friday August 22.

Solutions published online on Friday September 12.


crossword solutionExplanations  (C = cryptic part of clue +  S = straight part of clue; or S + S = clue holding answer twice with two different straight meanings; or POW = play on words.)

Note that joining words may or may not be an integral part of the clue.
Punctuation and capital letters are irrelevant.
The art of the setter is to make it non-obvious how and where to split the clue, and to mislead the solver along an irrelevant path.


 1.   C: barely (just) in sad composition (inside anagram of “sad”)
       S: fine tunes (fine-tunes) = adjusts
 5.   C: flap (tab) handy (by)
       S: cat = tabby
 8.   C: newly arrived man met (anagram of “arrived man met”)
       S: Elizabethan fixture = Mermaid Tavern
 9.   C: make another deduction (re-solve)
       S: will = resolve
10.  C: scouts reported (homonym of “seeks”)
       S: religious followers = sikhs
11.  C: road sign (arrow) last of quarry (y)
       S: darting = arrowy
12.  C: company (Co) cast (shed)
       S: has hit = coshed
15.  C: dropped off north from (remove “N” from) a bay, perhaps (window)
       S: one surviving = widow
16.  C: one small load (I, oz) carried back by giant (reversed, inside “epic”)
       S: like a barnacle attached to a whale = epizoic
17.  C: rebel group (Contras) prickling (tingly)
       S: with an opposite agenda = contrastingly
18.  S: places of great heat = ovens
       S: Australian explorer = Ovens
19.  C: supervise (mind) group (set)
       S: unwavering intent = mindset


 1.   C: right for new country (substitute “r” for “n” in Armenia)
       S: generally, thrift = Armeria  (the genus name)
 2.   C: decision makers (juries) apart from equivocal leader (without “e”) care (prudence)
       S: legal system (jurisprudence)
 3.   C: retracts statement (swallows one’s words) but one’s out (remove “one’s”)
       S: perform dangerous acts = swallow swords
 4.   C: southern French (sud) hideaway (den)
       S: revealed unexpectedly = sudden
 5.   C: short appointment (post, without “t”) during changeover (inside “transition”)
       S: arrangement = transposition
 6.   C: opening (break) over (through) spinner’s first (s)
       S: penetrations of the defence = breakthroughs
 7.   C: pluck (yank) South (S)
       S: Americans = yanks
13.  C: put down (decry) point (Pt)
       S: figure out = decrypt
14.  C: plane (jet) surface-to-air missile (SAM)
       S: it ends up in the sea = jetsam
15.  C: sounds crazy (homonym of “whacko”)
       S: exclamation of excited delight = wacko