The Crossword Centre Clue-Writing Competition

CCCWC April 2020 competition results

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66 clues entered. 51 votes cast (45 competitors, 6 others).


Hearty congratulations to Vinit, who after many years of diligent effort in our clue writing competition has secured his first win! A simple, neat and effective clue – well done indeed!
Tom was just squeezed out into second spot by a mere point and a half to maintain his consistent run – also with a neat hidden clue.
Mike Adams' debut in our competition is marked with an immediate top 5 finish! Could be a name to watch out for from now on – his clue made me chuckle.
Well we can't keep him off his reserved spot on the podium! Steve Randall scores yet again with a clue that I imagine would be tricky to solve if it was in a puzzle, but very clever construction!
One debutant(e) in the top 5 is rare, but two is even rarer! Congratulations to Jacob who has also scored with his first attempt in our competition! Double definition clues don't often rate highly but I thought this one worked really well.
Thanks to all – OPEN is now closed, but this month's ELDERS competition is still open – even to youngsters!

PosNo.NameClueExplanationPoints Merits 
123Vinit WankhedeFree from Europe now?EurOPENow : "?" is for surface (Is Brexit really a full severance? Is full severance really feasible?) and for distraction (hidden clues are otherwise easy solves)35.52  2  
213Tom BorlandCopenhagen stores free of restrictionsHidden in Copenhagen; def. free of restrictions, ref. Denmark lifting lockdown343  1  
345Mike AdamsRemove cap from end of Biro before writingRemove cap from : def OPEN vb; end of Biro = O ; writing = PEN292  5  
44Steve RandallAffair destroying relationship? Not if marriage is this!OPE[ratio]N281  4  
552Jacob WarbrickTake off top in public (4)double defn: 'take off top' (i.e. open a bottle of coke) and 'public', with 'in' as link word271  2  
661Viresh RatnakarWith zero confinement? (4)Def: &lit. O {zero} PEN {confinement}. Cryptic reading: With O, PEN.262  1  
744Barbara MoscovichPublic confined inside forever? Hope not!Public (def); confined inside (hidden ind)250  8  
814Nigel LackCurrently a sign rarely seen in shop entrances.And lit/hidden word shOP ENtrances243  1  
93Rod HarlingA welcome sign in shop entrancehidden235  3  
96Roslyn RougvieAvailable work spaceDef = available; work = op; en = space as in printing233  3  
1147 Set around nine polar bears freeReverse ('set around') hidden ('bears'): niNE POlar; def = free22.53  3  
1257 Unoccupied work spaceOP = work EN = space20.51  1  
1329 Jimmy sometimes played at St. AndrewsDouble Def: Jimmy = open; British OPEN played frequently at St. Andrews19.52  1  
1441 Permitting all to come out in public widely spaced (4)4 definitions of "open" to tell a topical story.(cf Chambers widely spaced)180  2  
1522 Free content of online porn going upReverse telescopic, Down clue172  4  
1559 Vulnerable and old shut inside with no end dateo pen, 2 defs., ref. coronavirus lockdown171  1  
1762 Word displayed in shop entrances (4)Hidden & lit. [ref. OPEN/CLOSED signs]16.50  1  
1838 One policeman about to smuggle crack (4)Reverse hidden word in oNE POliceman – about is the reversal ind, to smuggle is the hidden word ind. Def = crack163  3  
1960 Willing to accept twopenny piece (4)Willing to accept – def, twopenny piece (twOPENny)152  1  
1963 Word you may see in shop entrancehidden & lit.152  2  
1966 Yawning in publicDouble def, both in Chambers Thesaurus.152  3  
2255 To be frank, this could cause writer's block.Def./o (ie "zero" = "no") + pen, which will prevent one writing (unless one has a pencil, as well).141  2  
2319 Frank leads orchestras playing every nightFrank (def.), leads (first letters) Orchestras Playing Every Night13.50  3  
2415 Deceitful? Nope(NOPE)* & lit.130  2  
2424 Free love – it's mightier than the swordFree=definition love=O it's…sword = PEN133  1  
2450 Sign working stores place externallyO(P…E)N; semi &lit, wrt a store sign on display during working hours132  3  
277 Bellhop enjoys hiding in plain sight(bellh)OP EN(joys)100  1  
2732 Love to write, being free (4)O (love) + (to) PEN (write). Definition: free. Ref.: As some might feel during lockdown.102 
2764 Working? Nope, broke!Anagram of NOPE101  1  
305 Ambiguous…nope!nope*, &lit9.51  2  
3139 Patience exhausted, stopping working for free (4)P(~)E (exhausted) inside (stopping) ON, 'for' as linkword. Free seems a little loose to me, but it is in Chambers. 'Free markets' at least works, I suppose.83  3  
3218 Exposed bust and bottom after stripping (4)(B)OP+EN(D), bust2 = punch7.51  4  
3265 Yawning contest?Double definition7.51  2  
341 A 50% reduction – around twopence to start with!(-tw) OPEN (-ce); def.: TO START WITH6.50 
3430 Leader of outrageous American prison is exposedO + PEN6.52  1  
3626 Head of PPE goes missing: there's no holding back spreadReversal of no about PE63  1  
3643 President is abducted by one rebel general (4)P(resident) in (abducted by) ONE * (Anag ind rebel ). Def: General (chambers)63  2  
3646 Repeatedly postpone sports during return to kick offRev< in postpo(ne po)stpone. To kick off (vb).60  4  
3948 Set free after one actively seized power.O(p)NE…ONE(anag) p = power5.50  1  
3949 Shop entrance has to display this.ShOP ENtrance has (possesses OPEN within the two words) to display (OPEN) & lit, to display this, namely, OPEN on a signboard.5.52  1  
4121 Frank's working without training (4)Definition = Frank Working = On Training = PE Without = Content indicator51  3  
429 Bob Hope never hosted this golf tournament!Hidden4.53  7  
4220 Frank's oddly Orphean (4)Frank is def/ oddly is letter selection indicator/ odd letters from orphean4.50  1  
4410 Bolted? Nopeanagram & lit.41  1  
4436 No jail doesn't have a lock!O (No) + jail (pen)=def (doesn't have a lock)40  1  
4453 "Take the top of a jar," said Frank (4)Triple def with homophone for ajar.40  4  
4454 This note or that one, not even Orphean Choirman hits harmonic.This (open) note; or that (overt)one; not even OrPhEaN; Choirman hits*harmonic; Harmonic (adj) = "open" in music. Open note and overtone are also both harmonics.40  1  
4456 Two pairings playing together in top English golf tournament (4)(t)OP EN(glish); def. is "golf tournament".40  2  
4917 Every other character in underplot turned round, undisguised.Character (surface – role/actor, cryptic – letter) uNdErPlOt reversed, def undisguised.3.52  2  
4931 “Lift restrictions” starts off public euphoria at end of lockdownOPE+N3.51  2  
4937 Old quill uncoveredO + pen3.51 
522 A fair selection returned by a biased one (not half!) (4)Reverse of NEPOtism Reverse of NEPOtism30  1  
5228 "I hope not!" hides a secret that everyone knowsI hOPE Not – hidden word, definition = a secret that everyone knows = an open secret.30  2  
5242 Postpone or possibly stop tournamentPOSTPONE = (STOP + OPEN)*; def: tournament. Alludes to decision about fate of 2020 Open Championship.30  4  
5527 Helping to make hilltop encampment welcomingHidden2.51 
5633 Manifest comprises initials of passengers embarking nowfirst letters of last four words are O P E N; manifest is a direct definition of open.1.51  5  
5712 Clear some of shop entryHidden11 
5734 Misanthrope never surfaces, with human contact few and far between.Def = with human contact few and far between (as in the open road, with long stretches between settlements) Wordplay = hidden in ‘MisantrOPE Never’ (surfaces = covers)10  3  
598 Bid first for forgotten poetry rewritten by original poetForgotten = o(verse)en with (verse) rewritten by (p)oet0.50  4  
5916 Even go up teeny cuteven letters of "go up teeny" =open, cut is straight clue0.51  3  
6111 Captain returning positive for maiden to begin to appear(Captain) NEMO <; P for M; definition = to begin to appear [Chambers]01  2  
6125 Golf event backing no exercise insideNO reversed, PE inside01 
6135 Move in with otolaryngologist? (5)An otolaryngologist is someone who does ENT – so ENTer01  7  
6140 Peony needs replacing. Why not, when it's straightforward?Peon(y) = anagram fodder; needs replacing = anagrind; Why not = remove 'y'; when it's = link words to def; straightforward = def00  1  
6151 Spend this to go destroy public access.Spend (ONE P) to go then "anag"00  1  
6158 Vacant expression when referring to book which is easy to readDouble definition: Vacant / expression when referring to book which is easy to read (i.e. open book)00  2