Cryptic crosswords baffle me. I would very much like to be good at them, and occasionally I sit down with a pen and a cup of tea, cradling the back page of The Times on my knee, and proceed to spend half an hour doodling on it. Every now and then I’ll get one, which only lends credence to my self-delusion that I have a propensity for words. My vocabulary is lacklustre.
One I never got, but very much liked was “Fast Finish (6,3)” and it’s possible to bastardise one from an episode of Inspector Morse – “You’re looking at it (8)”.
I understand the structure, insomuch as the clue writer is attempting to mislead and inform at exactly the same time, while the answer will always form part of the clue. Oftentimes I can solve one without understanding why, only knowing that it’s right. Someone who is good at puns (ie, not me) should enjoy doing them too.
So I wondered if writing a few might help me with the solving process. There is no grid, nor do the answers fit together.
1. Teats that bit Dawson say? (7)
2. She wears them on her chest in error (5)
3. No thanks for these mothers, a star sign lacking a piece of art (9)
4. Klaxons sound like owls (7)
1. One half of the gun makers say, but not the one who interrupts the comedy to ready his weapon (4)
2. A piece of butter without the Hymenopter (3)
3. Ed scoffs at the spheres (5)
4. Man in the house within sight of remembering he is part of a group (6)
That makes ten clues in this vomit all told, and the first person to get them all right will be held with very high regard indeed.