The Crossword Centre Clue-Writing Competition

CCCWC September 2017 competition results

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58 clues entered. 48 votes cast (43 competitors, 5 others).


A runaway winner this month. Congratulations to Pete Milne for his clue with such a plausible surface relating to a topic that I am sure many of us can relate to! Well done Pete.
Colin Thomas scores his second podium in a row and third of the year. Another very smooth surface reading – these first two are so smooth they hardly even read like crossword clues!
A welcome return to the top 5 for Don in third spot. Another lovely surface with some neat wordplay involving BA and MA. Well done Don.
Satyen continues his excellent year in 4th place – that's 4 top 5 finishes this year, keeping him in contention for the Annual Prize.
And in 5th place… well, for the first time ever I believe – a triple tie! David McKie, Jeff Robinson and Barry Solomons all clocking up the same number of points – so rather a crowded podium for this month!
Thanks to all, and onwards to October…

PosNo.NameClueExplanationPoints Merits 
153Pete MilneVirgin Media connection finally working.Anag of MEDIA+N (Virgin Media are an Internet etc provider)86.53  6  
221Colin ThomasFirst name changed to protect identityFirst = def (e.g. maiden voyage); anagram NAME around ID = identity545  1  
331Don ManleyI end flying on something a bit better than BA — VirginMA ( + anag.433  6  
455Satyen NabarWanting husband, I had men in a tizzy?(IHADMEN – H)* &lit321  1  
528David McKieGraduate study that bags one a first?MA and DEN about I; a first = definition23.53  5  
536Jeff RobinsonMiss chaps coming round to helpM<AID>EN23.53  1  
537Barry SolomonsName I'd changed after getting married?maiden name…name I'd (anag)23.57  3  
81Shyam…… (6)Rebus, six dots in an over in cricket, six blanks for six-letter word22.51  7  
89Peter CargillDame in disguise?Anag & lit22.55  4  
1058David CuschieriYoung woman dressed up in fine diamonds (6)Young woman -> def dressed -> container indicator up -> reversal indicator21.54 
1117 First Ladydouble definition18.52  4  
1118 First Lady (6)DD18.52 
1125 Girl rejected selection of fine diamonds (6)Reverse telescopic in "fiNE DIAMonds". "selection of" as telescopic ind, "rejected" to indicate reversal, def = Girl18.55 
1146 Sadly it's the middle of September and I'm still waiting for my first win (6)Sadly = anagram indicator. (Sept)e(mber) + and I'm = anagram fodder. Definition = a horse that hasn't won yet. Also describes my current clue-writing situation !18.53  3  
1510 Damsel bowled overDouble definition173  2  
1612 Debut match against India drained England's new openers (6)Definition: Debut (adj) Acrostic clue M(atch)A(gainst)I(ndia)D(rained)E(ngland's)N(ew). Openers is the indicator13.54  1  
1743 Promiscuous independent dame going with men? Not me!anag & lit incl i = independent (Ch) + (me)n; promiscuous = haphazard, confusedly mixed (Ch)130  1  
1747 Second in race? It's the best this nag's doneaid in men, semi & lit.; second vb., human race, maiden horse132 
1924 Form of name that secures identity?ID in NAME*, & lit ref. maiden name as security question12.54  1  
202 … twice over?Six dot balls122  7  
2045 Run free in field? Sounds like Teresa's secret placeHomophone of MAY + DEN; def. = run free (over) in (cricket) field; ref. the PM's recent naughty revelation123  4  
2049 She could make man die happy*(happy = drunk) & lit.126  1  
2350 Spinster: dame in distress? (6)spinster = maiden (both unmarried women); dame in = anagram of maiden: indicator = distress103  1  
2429 Help crew onboard to find young girlm[aid]en9.52  3  
2520 First man ate fishFirst = def. Man around ide90  2  
2627 Girl with a denim dressdress is anagram indicator of 'a denim' : girl is the definition8.52  4  
2719 First lady in the making?Double definition74  4  
2733 Inaugural motorway spans the opening of Yemeni port(M)A(I)DEN; def: inaugural70 
2735 Male nurses plan short, uneventful deliveries (6)IDE(a) in MAN "uneventful deliveries" is the def.71  2  
2740 Not all of team aid endgame, it's over with no score.Def=over with no score. Written in clue: teaM AID ENdgame.72  3  
2757 Yes, if abandoned, I may end up a virginYes – Y, up – anagram indicator, def – a virgin (I may end-y)*72  1  
323 A gemstone (diamond) fragment reflects in its original state.gemstoNE DIAMond + def6.53  1  
327 Critical to include comeback of Ed Balls?MAIN outside ED<6.54  3  
3422 First one in denim pantsDef = first; A in (DENIM)*63  1  
3538 New name misspelt in papers? On the contraryID in NAME*5.52 
3642 Officialy the first virgin (6)DD4.50  2  
3730 Help hired by males is single woman (6)M(AID)EN41  1  
3732 I'm the ultimate in virtue and bowling?IM + E + AND anag ('bowling'); & lit: a maiden is the ultimate (?) in virtue and a maiden is the ultimate (?) in bowling, ref maiden over42  4  
3734 Made in wrought iron, a metal bandMADE IN anagram; Iron Maiden, exponents of 'metal' genre of hard rock44 
3739 No British brideman running wild's a virgin.anag(running wild) of brIDEMAN + def40 
4123 Fish in the sea; one I let goIDE in MAIN with one of the I's let go, &lit.3.54  4  
4226 Girl wanting unconventional sex on date finds me entertaining and new (6)M(AI D)E N – def girl; AI = artifical insemination (as in dairy cows etc)31  4  
4254 Virgin soldier missing from imagined cock-up*IMA[GI]NED30 
4414 First aid provided in restroom for someDEF 'first' as in speech, AID in MEN a sign not uncommonly seen on lavatory doors, but not for universal use2.55  1  
455 Assertion from Edward he is backing winless horseMA I DEN (full rev.)1.54  1  
4515 First ever boundary-free century from Moeen secures boost for EnglandFirst ever = definition; boundary-free century = (t)o(n), from Moeen leaves meen; then aid (boost) for/instead of e (England) Hope this isn’t too complicated- my first entry so need to gauge style!!1.53  7  
4544 Reform made in something not previously tried(made in)* +def1.52 
4811 Damsel is fantastic, inviting…I halt…almost (6)Definition: damsel Wordplay: MAD around I (fantastic inviting I) + EN [en(d) halt almost]10  1  
4851 States have little space for unsuccessful horse.MAssachusetts + IDaho + EN. Maiden = a horse that has never won a race.11  3  
4852 The young girl is Irma – identity enclosed.irMAIDENtity12  1  
516 Being unmarried, old Jock's chopper's unused.Def. x3 (maiden = "a Scottish beheading machine similar to a guillotine [hist]" – Chambers).0.54  1  
5148 Setter's backing little Dennis to get girl(I AM) backing + DEN0.52 
5156 Wild madder, in earth lacking colour, grown from a seed.Definition: 'grown from a seed'. Anagram indicator is 'Wild' for MADDER IN E, ('earth' becoming E), from which the letters R + D + E are removed, indicator is 'lacking'.0.50  2  
544 A nag? Yes and noCryptic definition: A horse, yes but not an old one!00  1  
548 Daft idea, cutting Mechlin fringes for machine-made curtains.***Wordplay: (anag. indic.) DAFT (anag.) IDEA = (AIDE) CUTTING (insert. indic.) MECHLIN FRINGES (ends indic.) = M(AIDE)N. ***Definition: MACHINE-MADE 'CURTAINS' = the 'maiden', (machine to execute criminals)00  5  
5413 Elgar's Enigma: identification veiling person pictured within Variation XIII.Hidden answer, (***) heading the score is thought to represent Lady Mary Lygon (L.M.L.) or Helen Jessie Weaver (H.J.W.).02  4  
5416 First flight North after Madeira turns, drops leaders of Red Arrows.Def (first flight is 'Maiden' Flight) = N after Madeira, anag (turns) then Maidenra – RA00  1  
5441 Nothing over 499 in West perhaps and NorthNothing over is def, build is id in mae+n00  2