30 days of crosswords: wrapup

I made it through 30 days of cryptic crosswords! The final tally is:

  • 43 crosswords started
  • 32 crosswords completed (22 of the 25 easy ones and 10 of the 18 not-so-easy ones)

That’s pretty good, I think.

I learned a whole lot of new words. Here’s a few:

  • Dacha = Russian summer house/cottage (like a shack in Australia I imagine)
  • Damson = a plum cultivar
  • Acme = pinnacle of achievement, something at its best or most highly developed
  • Ascetic = austere, harsh
  • Aver = maintain, affirm, assert, state
And here are a couple of clues I was pleased to have worked out all by myself!
  • Letter to south-eastern doctor on the French musical group (8) = ENSEMBLE. Letter (EN) to south-eastern (SE) doctor (MB) on ‘the’ in French (LE) all come together to form ENSEMBLE, a musical group.
  • Liquefies and mixes metals without an adult (5) = MELTS. It’s an anagram of ‘metals’ without an adult (A) that means liquefies.
  • Stalwart one in Paris, with Charlie, gets into turned up hats (7) = STAUNCH, ‘Into turned up hats’ means that the remaining 3 letters of the clue slot between ‘hats’ in reverse (I.e. STAH). ‘One in Paris’ is the French word for one, UN, and ‘Charlie’ means C. So we have to fit UNC into STAH.

And that’s the end of my crossword lessons. I’ve enjoyed this very much. I’ve learned a lot – not just new words but also how cryptic crossword clues are structured. Obviously this has just been scratching the surface, so I still have a lot to learn before I get anywhere near confident with these puzzles. I intend to continue doing them, and have to remember to put the book in my bag whenever I go anywhere that’s likely to include waiting time.

I have another project in mind for the next 30 days but, in recognition of my need for downtime, I’m going to have a rest for a bit. Also the other person I need to help me with this isn’t quite ready yet, so I can’t start anyway.

It might be a good idea to get back onto my ‘perfect day’ exercise, which is a lot of fun. I just have to get over the reluctance to do it because I keep thinking if I write it down I’m committed to pursuing that for the rest of my life.

But that’s another post for another time.

I don’t have a lovely photo from this week, so here’s a dodgy pic of the supermoon from earlier in the week taken on my phone:


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