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1:08 AM
Repulsive railway could be maglev if man magically becomes mae
I mean male
I guess that's a synonym
@Stiv MAGLEV : male + g and v inside
er inside and following anyway
 
Was about to say lol
 
1:38 AM
Nice solve!
 
Thanks! My first... after three weeks of trying and way too much research on Olympia and other random topics
 
2:38 AM
Incidentally while we're waiting for confirmation I have 2 more questions as I try to learn about cryptic clues... as I expanded into crosswords
1) I noticed (at least a lot on this site) aren't as dense as traditional crosswords - is that by design so less words get auto-filled or a coincidence?
2) I noticed that I see in various crosswords very similar/nearly identical wordplay for certain short words where there is an obvious wordplay. e.g 'insane roman' for Nero, 'glimpse castle from behind' for keep, various combos on RATS/STAR/ARTS/TARS etc. I am wondering if this is a) inevitable that obvious wordplay gets reused by coincidence or b) intentional, the idea being that as you do more crosswords you recognize certain clues giving you an 'in' to the puzzle
keep > I mean peek but you get the idea
 
2:58 AM
@Amoz it's by design, but not necessarily for "auto-fill" - instead, it gives the constructor more freedom for interestingly clue-able words. traditional cryptic grids typically start with a "lattice" of black cells, and then add a few more to block off long entries
(there's also barred grids, which don't have a starting pattern like that, but do still have the rules:
- use 180° symmetry
- every word must have at least half of its letters checked (sometimes half-minus-one for long entries)
- no two unchecked cells in a row
they're typically used for "variety" cryptics, puzzles with extra gimmicks beyond the usual cryptic clues.)
and sometimes, there's one very clear "nice" way to clue a word and not many other options! it's fairly inevitable that for some entries, setters will converge on a single type of wordplay independently. (especially if it has the potential for an &lit!)
but sometimes for particularly tricky puzzles, i'll use "boring" wordplay for the words i don't expect people to know - intentional 'gimme' clues that help give the solver a foothold on the weird gimmicks i've thrown in
 
3:19 AM
Thanks!
 
 
3 hours later…
6:18 AM
@Amoz MAGLEV is correct - well done :) And yeah, the wordplay can be signified by something like MA(G_)LE + V
 
 
7 hours later…
1:04 PM
New to this... I assume I get to try to create a clue? Do I just type 4 C's and a colon or is there a special format/place to post
 
the CCCC: part is usually in boldface, two asterisks on both sides
and yeah you get to post next :)
 
okay I am still confused by half the rules so I'll start with a hopefully simpler and valid one which means it may have been done before (I don't know)
This was inspired by the word OLYMPIA (which is not the answer) :
CCCC: Word hated by many (extremely), including me (5)
 
@Amoz i think this is I in MOST = MOIST, a word hated by many
 
@Jafe yup
Is it valid to say something like 'word hated by many' or does it have to be a direct synonym like 'damp'?
 
i think it's fine
CCCC: Simone's got Jack's sneakers (5)
at first i thought "many" was used twice in that one, "word hated by many" and "many (extremely)" for MOST
but i assume the idea is just "extremely" = MOST, as in "most exciting" = "extremely exciting"
 
1:23 PM
yes, extremely=most. Wasn't sure if I had to double it so I did to be safe. Working on getting this Ximenes book to see if it explains all this but it seems to be $100. Unless anyone has other suggestions. Otherwise just reading a lot online.
 
i started by reading the cryptic clue guide on PSE, it's good
haven't read the ximenes book but i'm sure it's pretty authoritative, his name pops up all the time in discussions about cryptic clue rules even though he lived half a century ago
 
2:10 PM
@Jafe That's NINJA = J(ack) in NIN.A
(Although that's only a single sneaker ...)
@Amoz Hm, I'm not sure that I really get the def. It's the mositure that is hated by many, not the word, no? Or am I missing something?
I'm also not so sure that reading Ximenes's book is a good way to learn how to set cryptic clues. I think itt is more important to get a feeling for cryptics and for what works and what doesn't.
Another guide I found useful for learning (how to solve, not set) cryptic rosswords is this short tutorial.
 
2:33 PM
Hmm. does anybody remember a puzzle where codons were used to clue letters (by virtue of the one-letter abbreviation representing the amino acid representing the codon)? I do not remember the puzzle at all, but I think there might have been an instance where that type of encryption was used...
 
oAlt: I don't have a reference, but I'm sure I've seen that too.
I think I've written one like that.
 
:00
ill check that out, might be the one im looking for
ah, i could search [chemistry] [cipher] questions, i should have thought of that sooner
(update: that didn't work lol. anyway)
 
2:55 PM
Are talking specifically as an abbreviation in a cryptic?
 
3:15 PM
0
Q: Help with this puzzle

Rgcards Any ideas? I think it has something to do with the moon illusion where the moon appears larger closer to the horizon. So a waxing wanin new and full moon and different times. One is my guess

 
Nope, just a puzzle in general
 
3:32 PM
@MOehm the word, is famous for being one of the most hated sounding words
 
@Amoz well at least I never heard of such fame
 
4:24 PM
@Amoz Aha, so that's what I was missing. In that case, that's a good def, at least for those who know their pop-cultural references.
 
4:49 PM
According to Letterkenny (link NSFW), other words in this category include: snatch, squirt, clammy, yeast, and veg.
 
5:41 PM
@oAlt i've seen this many times - i used it in Recognizing a Metapuzzle ages ago. and most puzzles at devjoe.appspot.com/huntindex/keyword/dnarna use it as well
 
@Deusovi fascinating
I think 3 is honestly the most likely reason
 
Hm. I remember a crossword puzzle where the hidden theme was "least sexy-sounding words in English". The full list doesn't seem to have "moist", but it has "ointment". So it seems the oi sounds are off-putting.
 
I know some people dislike a certain pronounciation of yoghurt
 
Some lecture videos I watched had a distracting pronunciation of "penalize"
 
That's a new one on me
 
5:58 PM
That's how I pronounce it in my head, but my pronunciation is notoriously awful.
 
"that" being... distractingly?
 
I mean, assuming I understood the issue correctly. (:
 
huh alright
i'm assuming the "distracting" pronunciation is the UK one? with the first syllable rhyming with "bean" rather than "Ben"
 
That was my understanding as well
 
No, actually. I pronounce it "pen-uh-lies", whereas the lecturer pronounced it "pee-null-lies"
 
6:05 PM
yes, that's the distinction i was referring to
 
? how does "pee" rhyme with "bean"?
it lacks the "n" sound at the end
 
i was referring to the vowel there - you can split a word up into syllables multiple different ways
 
I think we might be working off different understandings of "syllable" and "rhyme"...
 
i was mentally splitting both pronunciations up with "n" as the end of a syllable. but there are multiple different analyses! you can put the n at the end of syllable 1, or the start of syllable 2, and it's pronounced the same
it sounds like the only distinction between the two pronunciations is the vowel, and the rest is you splitting up the syllables differently
 
Part of the reason it was distracting was they always lingered over the "pee" for a bit before pronouncing "null" as a distinct entity, that's why I split the syllables as such
 
6:13 PM
yeah i think that's just because of the vowel difference - is typically longer than ɛ (hence the length marking in the usual transcription)
 
@bobble rhyme is like average in that it has a general meaning but also a specific one. Rhyme can mean half rhyme, assonance etc... But also just straight up end-of-word sounds alike
 
clearly I can't explain what I mean and I'm going to leave this conversation before I get more frustrated
 
Sorry Bobble, I didn't mean any part of what I said to drive you away
 
...okay?
 
@bobble FWIW that does sound distracting
 
 
1 hour later…
7:32 PM
I was just frustrated that i seemed unable to explain what I was trying to communicate, since every time I tried to explain the difference I saw I got a response which seemed to say there wasn't a difference.
 
7:48 PM
@MOehm that's correct, and yeah the enumeration was wrong, sorry about that!
 
No sweat.
CCCC: Related to dancing, cleaning or cooking, perhaps, in untidy pantries (13)
 
@MOehm TERPSICHOREAN (def = 'Related to dancing') Wordplay is CHORE (cleaning or cooking, perhaps) in PANTRIES*
 
That's a word!
 
@Stiv Yes!
 
Beautiful word :)
 
8:01 PM
It's not a word I use every day, though. (Or year.)
 
8:19 PM
2
Q: Who's Missing? (A metapuzzle)

StivTask Solve the sub-puzzles to enable you to solve the meta-puzzle at the end. Partial answers contributing to the overall solve are welcome (but, of course, do try to answer as much as you can!). Sub-puzzles 13. Who's been erased from history? Text representation (for copy-paste purposes, if p...

 
@JeremyDover ^ Just to say, sub-puzzle 9 within this metapuzzle is a tribute to your Cryptic Family Reunion series - if you wanted to have a go at one you haven't set yourself! :)
CCCC: Sordid expression of pain embraced by the French (6)
 
@Stiv L(OUCH)E
 
@bobble Exactly right :)
 
Thanks Stiv...that puzzle looks delicious! Looking forward to having a swing.
 
8:44 PM
0
Q: The Rainbow Serpents

Ichthys KingAt your bathhouse job, you encounter a pair of rainbow serpents, hiding behind a wide pillar. Only their heads are visible. You know that for each rainbow serpent, of the two heads, one will tell the truth and the other will lie. You also know that they are rather ill-tempered, and they'll only a...

 
CCCC: Responsible boy takes university studies, essentially (5)
 
9:00 PM
@bobble I think this is SOUND ('responsible') = SO(U)N + _D_
 
@Stiv yup!
 
Nice clue :) Reads very well (as I'm sure the boy does too...)
 
My sister teases me about how I call it "university" instead of "college". "Uni! bobble is going to uni!" *collapses laughing* etc.
(Not that I call it "uni", that's only a her thing)
"University" is a perfectly fine word, hmph
 
9:25 PM
Stiv: love the family reunion!!!
 
10:06 PM
I'm very glad :) I've wanted to make one for a long while - this presented the perfect opportunity...
@bobble To me, a Brit, 'college' is what you do from ages 16-18 - I always have to think twice about how old someone actually is when it crops up in US TV dramas!
CCCC: Herd surrounds last member of band seen with Yoko's mouth organ (6)
 
10:29 PM
@Stiv ki(_d)ne + y_
 
@msh210 Yup!
 
Nice clue.
 
Thanks :) I've come to realise I really like using phrases that seem like they belong together but should actually be split between the wordplay and definition parts...
 
I haven't got one prepared, I'm afraid. So I'll post either an I-hope okay one soon, or an I-hope better one later.
 
11:14 PM
@Stiv in my thoughts it's "college", but my mouth (and typing fingers) tend to autocorrect to "university"
also, I drove my dad's car today and didn't crash!!
 

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