Clues and Grid by Soup
Theme: Hedley Verity – Ten Wickets for Ten Runs
The winner of the July puzzle is Dannish Babar of Derby.
Review of the July 2022 3D crossword
Quite a poignant photograph this month: while it may indicate ‘stump’, for me there is the thought of one cut down in his prime. For the great slow left-armer Hedley Verity, hero of this incredible 10 for 10 against Nottinghamshire, and of 15 wickets at Lord’s two years later to beat Australia, died a hero’s death at Anzio on the last day of another July, that of 1943.
Poignant, but also amazingly coincidental in a month when two more Yorkshiremen (helped of course by a couple of Lancastrians and a Kiwi) have been making England once more a power in world cricket. Is Soup clairvoyant?
Ten for ten! Two great achievements. Those of us who know the excellent monthly magazine 1Across, which Araucaria founded and which Soup edits, were already aware that he is a highly original and ingenious setter. But what has he managed here? To think of the theme, then find ten words of the right lengths, in which R may be altered to W without losing the sense or creating a nonsensical clue might rightly be counted a very tough task. If anyone was to pull that off, it would be Soup, who among other accomplishments, I believe keeps a list of words which remain real words when put through a ‘Caesar shift’ cipher. And then he has also made a grid without a single snake or bar. When you consider the feat of making every clue relevant to cricket, it’s a minor miracle.
My favourite clue in the whole thing is the unassuming Day 36 TRILL/TWILL. It hinges on the double meaning of ‘caps’ as both headgear and a way of presenting initial letters. Acrostic clues of this type are very difficult to disguise – some solvers wage war against the over-used word ‘initially’ – but the way to disguise anything is to make it look natural. Caps can of course be worn back on the head, or even turned round in a way I associate with Lleyton Hewitt the tennis-player. Cloth caps are easily associated with the North of England, and thus with Lancashire. The solver is invited to imagine Lancashire League cricketers – for shame! – turning up to a game in such apparel. A clue that paints a picture in that way is so effective.
Another clue I particularly liked was that for TRICE/TWICE. I suppose Soup must have spotted the anagram potential of ‘playing cricket’ very early on, but he did well to keep it for this plausible story about catches dropped off the former England captain.
Other clues which show the smooth technique which can defeat the solver are those for GOSPELS and ARMILLA. We – loving the game as we do (don’t we?) – are so deeply plunged in cricket and its lore at this point that it is difficult to stand back and see that the definitions are ‘they chronicle’ and ‘bracelet’ respectively: the clues seem to be leading us towards finer points of training and technique. Interesting that Armillaria mellitus, the underground horror so dreaded by gardeners, is thus a ‘bracelet’, not a ‘bootlace’ fungus. Who knew?
Another thing which was educational for me was day 38’s WEST END as the location of the Ageas Bowl. And I nearly despaired over OSCAR, taking ages to remember that a Beamer is also a car from Southern Germany. I liked Day 18’s LACTATE, but I suspect Soup may have been frustrated when he decided he really did have to put that comma in and not just leave it looking like a double-dashed parenthesis. A less scrupulous setter (I can think of some) might have just warned us about lapses in punctuation and left us to flounder. It’s still a lovely clue, tea and ‘drinks’ being such important parts of a summer day’s cricket.
Do I have a quibble anywhere? Possibly. I was a bit perplexed by M as ‘grand’ on Day 31. I know a ‘grand’ is a thousand pounds, but can it be a thousand of anything else?
Would I have worked out the cryptic drawing clue if I hadn’t had the advantage of knowing of the record beforehand? Not sure. I thought it might be one of Frank Paul’s easier clues, but the ‘leave’ part of it is quite devilish.
This puzzle may have its detractors, and I will be very kind to them. Not loving cricket must be quite a heavy cross to bear. I can’t think of any other reason for not enjoying such a clever and innovative puzzle.
A charade in three parts: first, a homophone, indicated by the speaker icon, of HEAD and LEAVE; followed by an anagram, indicated by the revolving arrows, of TIRE (the American spelling of tyre, as hinted at by the US flag); and finally the chemical symbol for the 39th element of the periodic table, yttrium.
Homophone of HEAD LEAVE + (TIRE)* + Y = HEDLEY VERITY
Clues and explanations
Thematic solutions are indicated with an asterisk.
|Day||Solution||Direction, Clue, Count||Explanation|
|1||ARMILLA||2d Bracelet makes throwing ability worse, we’re told (7)||ARM ILLER homophone|
|2||AT SEA||27aw Australian Test’s beginning — lad missed one of four in a year, being disorganised (2,3)||A T SEA(son)|
|3||DAWNING*||4d Rising Pakistani umpire, genial to the core, no good (7)||DAR (ge)NI(al) NG|
|4||DESKS||28aw At the end, England side fights back — tops tables (5)||Terminal acrostic|
|5||DISMISS||28up Against the odds, admits failure to get out (7)||(a)D(m)I(t)S MISS|
|6||ENTITLE||24ba Some sent it leg-side in style (7)||sENTITLEgside|
|7||FAERIES||6d Legendary bunch see fair play (7)||SEEFAIR*|
|8||FILCH||9to Caught from Heathcliff’s reverse swipe (5)||fFILCHtaeh|
|9||FROSTED||9d Drunken sot Flintoff sent outside, given the cold treatment (7)||FR<SOT*>ED|
|10||GOSPELS||11d They chronicle effort with league-losing bowlers’ sessions (7)||GO SPEL(l)S|
|11||GOWNS||11to Shifts, being swung out — having missed middle, clipping the edge of off (5)||SW(u)NG* + <O(ff)>|
|12||GREASES||29ac Introduces Fat Gatting to open, striking about from where batsmen stand (7)||G(atting) (c)REASES|
|13||HERONRY||1d Blowers takes run out — what a place for an egg! (7)||HE<RO>NRY|
|14||ICED TEA||10d Cool, refreshing liquid — give it one minute and rub it to medicate (4,3)||ICED TEA* + <M> = MEDICATE|
|15||IMAGINE||21ac Beaten in game, I believe (7)||INGAMEI*|
|16||IMMORAL||14ba I’m male and mouthy — it’s contrary to the laws (7)||IM M ORAL|
|17||INFRA||10to Below batting alongside brother (5)||IN FRA|
|18||LACTATE||5d Team of three players ____, we’re told — give out something to drink (7)||LACKED EIGHT homophone|
|19||LAWNS||12aw Left bristly grassy growths in well-mown areas (5)||L AWNS|
|20||MY EYE||13aw Maiden? You… you never! (2,3)||M YE YE|
|21||OSCAR||17to Stokes, after over with beamer, maybe, gets an award (5)||O S CAR|
|22||WAFFLED*||7ba Service fellow was captain, and went on (7)||RAF F LED|
|23||WAFTING*||8ac Valuing having Flintoff in the lead — skying it? (7)||RA<F(lintoff)>TING|
|24||WAGED*||25aw Carried on and hit the roof (5)||dd|
|25||WASHERS*||7d They clean up, being less cautious, beginning to slog (7)||RASHER S(log)|
|26||WATTLES*||25up Branches out, missing a Lara test (7)||LAR(a)TEST*|
|27||WIDES*||8to Extras obtained from off drives, costing victory (5)||DRI(v)ES*|
|28||SCALDED||30ba Lads messing about with docker oddly get injured (7)||LADS D(o)C(k)E(r)*|
|29||SCORERS||16ac They note down the results of those hitting boundaries (7)||Dd|
|30||SIEVE||20aw Here’s a riddle: what’s half of side and half of eleven? (5)||SI(de) (el)EVE(n)|
|31||SMASHES||3ba Hits sixes; ultimately lifts grand trophy (7)||(lift)S M ASHES|
|32||SUSHI||18to Some unfortunate slip’s hit irritatingly on the nose — that’s a bit fishy (5)||Acrostic|
|33||TINKLES||19ac Plays mistakenly — sadly May bowled out (7)||(m)IST(a)KENL(y)*|
|34||TWAIN*||22to Practice, Mark! (5)||dd|
|35||TWICE*||19aw Playing cricket, dropping edges from Cook a couple of times (5)||CRICKET* less C(oo)K|
|36||TWILL*||23to Cloth caps to the rear in Lancashire league (5)||Acrostic – ‘caps’ of the rear in Lancashire league|
|37||WAYLAID||25ac Cry for the commentator — ‘Help! Being attacked!’ (7)||WAIL homophone AID|
|38||WEST END||8d Come together to host nets training at the home of the Ageas Bowl (4,3)||WE<NETS*>D|
|39||WICKETS*||15ac Caught and run out in game, taken in by opponents, trying to protect these? (7)||W<(c r)ICKET>S|
(West and South are on opposing teams in bridge)
|40||YIELD||26aw After play’s end, idle but beaten, concede defeat (5)||Y IDLE*|
|Required||HEDLEY VERITY||Yorkshireman (6,6)|
Another brilliant puzzle from Soup. I really enjoyed it. [NB]
Rich in thematic material. I did make a lucky guess at the start and entered RUNS and WICKETS immediately. Great to see the umpire Aleem Dar featured — the umpires are such an important part of the game, and many of them are great characters. Pity that one could only choose between TWAIN and TRAIN by counting — or maybe any lover of the game might be expected to be able to count! [TH]
In truth not bad [GL]
Yet another amazing puzzle to keep the brain cells in peak condition. [RE]
The 10 wickets for 10 runs theme is a beautifully executed way to honour this great man and his unique feat. Thanks! [NI]
As an American, all I know about cricket is what I’ve learned from doing UK crosswords. [AB]
Some tricky clues. My favourites were Heronry and Greases. Many thanks Soup [PC]
A name and subject familiar to me, though I didn’t know of the record. Nice cluing and interesting R/W twist. Picture clue comprehensible apart from the final Y. I contend that the clues are numbered, rather than presented, in alphabetical order, as 39 and 40 appear before 1. [MJ]
Comparatively easy, as I knew about Verity’s record [HB]
Excellent fun! [RG]
A bit of specialist knowledge was helpful here – a bit too much? Hedley Verity was on my shortlist of names for the ‘sporting record’ right from the off, and I even made it fit the rebus! The W/R replacement was fun though and the whole puzzle progressed through quite smoothly. [PA]
Brilliant as usual [RP]
I really struggled with this one as I don’t know anything about cricket. However as always I learned a lot. [MP]
It was only after I’d completed the puzzle that I realised the significance of the cover photo, ie ‘stump’. (Some of the clues did stump me for a while, but that’s by the by.) Thanks to Soup for an interesting and challenging puzzle. [RS]
Clever crossword with an interesting theme. The rubric required some concentration and this made some of the clues more difficult to work out. NIce feeling of satisfaction on completion! [JP]
Yet another cricket theme! – and with quite a lot of in jokes which would be impenetrable to an outsider! But an intricate and pleasing construction with an impressive array of thematic material and several witty touches. Thanks [EF]
Great fun. Very impressive to get a cricket reference in every clue. However, we are a bit puzzled by the number of substitution solutions. We found five 5-letter solutions and six 7-letter ones where R in the wordplay was changed to W for the definition. We’ve checked and they all look appropriate, so we seem to have an extraneous 7-letter member of the set. [CW]
Was proper stumped by TRICE until the penny dropped on the treatment. Not a fan of cricket so HERONRY and DARNING/DAWNING were the last wickets to fall. Never heard of Hedley Verity but what an amazing bio. A good education as usual. Thanks Soup. [SC]
Completed about 3 months ago. Can’t remember [RC]
Thanks to Soup for a challenging puzzle. Despite my dear old Dad being a cricket tragic and a major follower of the Ashes (he was born in 1923, so would have scored his own century next year were he still alive), this was a crossword theme/anniversary that was well outside my comfort zone. It was a bit tricky trying to solve all the R/W substitutions but I am hoping I got it right in the end. For me, some googling was required to understand what the “sporting record” was all about. I can see elements of Hedley Verity’s name in the picture puzzle but couldn’t solve it fully, though at least I ended up not being stumped (!) by the significance of the Graham Fox photo which was the backdrop. [JA]
Made harder as I don’t know much about cricket, but interesting twist on the wordplay [JC]
Knew of theme character, so this puzzle was made easier, but still very enjoyable. Thanks😃 [MN]
No problem in identifying the Yorkshireman, as he’s the only person I’d heard of (apart from my father) to share a first name with me, though I can’t quite reverse-engineer Paul’s drawing as how that piece of paper gives the final Y is a mystery. It was clever of Soup to be able to fit in 10 wickets for runs, still giving real words, but I don’t get the title-page picture of tusks. [PM]
Not a fan of cricket and not sure about some of the terms, especially Tangle. For day 32 I wasn’t sure whether Practice or Mark was the definition and day 24 had a similar dilemma. Hope I picked the right one. [PD]
Enjoyable. I’m still not sure how to parse 29. Contrariwise 37 took me ages, but is obvious in retrospect. [RS]
Needed S’s help with the Yorkshireman and struggled with some of the replacement run abbreviations but enjoyed it very much once again. Thanks. [HH]
Great puzzle for an English summer. [JB]
Finely crafted puzzle with many excellent themed clues – the one for LACTATE is brilliant. [KM]
Wickets and Runs were instant write ins – compilers seem over obsessed with cricket it seems! For the anagram Verity stood out but in 1932 hardly likely to be a female cricketer, still it clearly left Hedley so I looked up Verity Hedley to find the male HV! All good fun. 😎 [DM]
As always took several readings to get head round the instructions but that is all part of the fun. Another enjoyable way to pass many hours. [DB&&M]
As one of your American solvers (how many are we?), I experience cold terror when a cricket-themed puzzle presents itself. I swear, if I ever get good enough to set, I am going to make one on the theme of the most obscure World Series play in history. Be warned! 🙂 [JS]
I was rather stumped for a while, then bowled over by the ingenuity of this puzzle. A lovely summer offering! Every clue had the cricket theme so cleverly worked into it, and each one was like one of those little duels or battle of wits between bowler and batsman within the game. I still think Broad’s 8-15 against Australia in 2015, or Laker’s 19 wickets in 1956 beat this… [MS]
Lovely puzzle, big fan of the theme [JG]
Excellent puzzle with very clever surfaces and lots of misdirection. Great to have a cricket-themed crossword where no specialist knowledge of the game is needed. Swapping the letters gave another level of intricacy which, as in the best puzzles, helped as much as it hindered! Well done Soup. [BS]
I think Soup may have landed me in the soup!! [SF]
Lovely cricket! [RG]
Wow I didn’t know it was even possible to get so many themed clues and solutions in one crossword. So impressive and so enjoyable. [AH]
Excellent puzzle, thanks. Enjoyed the thematic clues as well as solutions. Was very nearly stumped at one point and thought I might run out of time this month, but I felt sorry when it was over. [JT]
Very clever, a lot of fun to solve [DB]
Brilliant discovered many new words [JM]
A lovely puzzle, and educational, as my ‘Yorkshire cricket legend’ knowledge only went as far back as ‘Sir’ Geoffrey and Freddie Truman. Ten for 10 – what a feat! Hopefully non-cricket fans enjoyed this as well. [MC]