The Crossword Centre Clue-Writing Competition

CCCWC July 2020 competition results

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59 clues entered. 40 votes cast (38 competitors, 2 others).


Convincing winner, brilliant clue. Well done to John Hood who managed to combine a deceptive definition with neat wordplay into a very natural and convincing surface. A clear winner and John's second podium finish of the year.
A long way back, but congratulations due to Viresh, who after a handful of entries achieves a first placing. A simple and effective anagram. Well done indeed!
An older hand just back in third; Tom Borland bags his fourth top 5 finish of the year, moulding the wordplay neatly in with his chosen definition.
Satyen pops up in 4th spot – his second podium of the year. Tough luck as he had the same idea as the winner, but the electorate obviously had preference for one over the other.
A tie for 5th place with Anthony and David both – coincidentally – also achieving their second top 5 finishes of this year.
Thanks to all as always – at least we had more cricket in the clues than we have had in the UK these last couple of days! Good luck for August…

PosNo.NameClueExplanationPoints Merits 
112John HoodAustralia's opener occupying crease undone by an incisive deliveryA(ustralia) inside (CREASE)* anagrind=undone + AN def=incisive delivery78.51  2  
28Viresh RatnakarAn operation can erase a wrinkle (9)Def: an operation. CANERASEA* {"wrinkle" is the anagrind: "(the letters in) CAN ERASE A wrinkle" is the cryptic reading.}38.51  2  
324Tom BorlandFired as a cleaner, having left out section in hospital*AS A C(L)EANER; def. section in hospital350  1  
442Satyen NabarOpener for Australia inside batting crease, facing an unorthodox deliveryA(-ustralia) in CREASE* + AN, batting= anag ind (as in batting/fluttering eyelashes), defn= unorthodox delivery29.53  4  
51Anthony NanniniA case near Barking demanding delivery for medical reasons (9)A case near = anag fodder, Barking = anagrind, + definition231  3  
528David McKieHow one's delivered treatment of areas with acne?AREAS ACNE (anag)231  2  
736Jessica MerchantLabour's replacement leader of course heralds a new sane era (9)C(ourse) + A + SANEERA* (new), heralds in the sense of ushers in.19.52  1  
838Bhalchandra PasupathyMain revolutionary taken into custody by an imperialistreversal of SEA(main) inside CARE(custody) + AN; def imperialist(ref Chambers)18.51 
840S.Sreeni“New Arrivals” section (9)Cryptic Definition for. delivery by Caesarean section .18.52  1  
103John AppletonA Saracen horde finally beaten by imperialist(A SARACEN [hord]E)*17.51 
1132 Incisive delivery cut back with a nick carryingERASE< + A in CAN; ref Cricket164  1  
1234 Kind of debut theatre performance that leaves one in stitches13.52  1  
1313 Chances are a child is delivered unnaturally this way !Partial &lit; (chances are a – ch)*, ch (child in Chambers), subtraction indicator: is delivered, anagrind: unnaturally.131  3  
1314 Cut delivery from small district in French cityCAE{S+AREA}N; def='Cut delivery'130  1  
1557 Treat a case again with a new surgical procedure (9)[A CASE]* (indicated by treat) + RE (again) + A (a) + N (new). Definition – surgical procedure.10.51  1  
1623 Fast delivery for those expecting a special bundleAll in one cryptic. Bundle = baby.9.50  1  
1646 Second batsman stuck in crease, confused by an awkward deliveryA + CREASE (anag) + AN, & lit9.50  1  
1858 What's to be done, when a babe won't come out?Cryptic (sort of) def. (ref. a Caesarean section).8.52  2  
1910 Arriving via short-cut over viaduct.Short cut = (small incision). Over = (in preference to – Collins). Viaduct = (via duct = Via birth canal). & lit.82  2  
1918 Delivery of unopened bean salad to be placed out front (9)CAESAR (b)EAN – health food for lockdown.82 
1922 Excitement and new beginnings after invasive general surgery?e a n (beginnings) after Caesar (invasive general)83  1  
1944 Organising a sea crane for extraction operation(ASEACRANE)*, extraction operation = definition82  1  
2339 May enter directions to neighbourhood for special deliveryCA(E,S+AREA)N7.51  1  
2347 Section cut from northern end of old Israeli seaportSection cut (def); northern = N at end of Caesarea7.50  1  
2352 Theatre cut Macduff's debut as a conquering heroThree definitions: Theatre cut / Macduff's debut / as a conquering hero ; (Macduff was 'untimely ripped from his mother's womb')7.51 
2637 Labour-saving device for those with children?Cryptic def.; "device" = plan or scheme (Chambers); "with child" = pregnant71  2  
2648 Section of second district in French citys area in Caen70 
285 A section's appearance, with pages redacted, is deceptiveAnagram of S+APPEARANCE minus PP(pages)61  3  
292 A sane care arrangement for the end of pregnancy?Anag ASANECARE.5.53  1  
2931 Imperialist, returning to remove amateur, occupies throne(ERASE< A) in CAN | ERASE (to remove), A (Amateur), CAN (lavatory, throne); Imperialist (def)5.50 
2933 Israeli settlement's new section cut though wallCaesarea + n; ref. West Bank wall; op breaches abdominal wall5.50 
3235 Kind of delivery- off cutter?(9)Cryptic definition52 
3251 The issue of Julie’s dalliance with Cleo reportedly produced a serious cut in the theatre of operationsReputed son (issue) of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra was Caesarion (reportedly, homophone ind.) = a serious cut in the theatre of operations (def)51 
3455 This may help to release one enduring hard labour.4.51  1  
356 A way to bear territory, through rocky edges of Caspian SeaAREA in anagram of C[aspia]N SEA42  2  
359 Arrest Aryan as stated by procedureHomophone of seize Aryan. Operations often seem to be euphemistically called procedures these days.40  1  
3520 Delivery that curves and cuts sharplyCD. C-sections are curves in shape and incisions of course. Inswinger (cricket delivery) fits the enumeration and also the description broadly.40 
3553 This could be a section of problematic acne areas{ACNE AREAS} anagram41 
3915 Cutting out delivery can ease supply around ArkansasCutting out delivery = definition; anagram (supply) of CAN EASE around AR30  1  
4019 Delivery sent over Dele Alli’s head is caught by excellent keeper (9)(ERASE< + A) in CAN [dele = delete = erase (in printing); excellent keeper = food item that keeps for a long time — a can is one such]. Definition: delivery. Surface: football [Dele Alli plays for England and Spurs]2.50  1  
4021 Endless seances are an absurd theatrical act to reach loved ones on ‘the other side’Anagram of SEANCE(s) AR(e) A(n)2.53  2  
4227 How Aurelia might have given birth? (9)Reference to Aurelia Cotta, Caesar's mother, and to the birthing method.21  2  
4229 Imperial Guard revealed by crones in unspoken play to hold fatal loophole?Imperial = definition / unspoken play = Macbeth (unlucky to say title) / guard = invincibility / crones = witches / loophole = Macbeth killed by Macduff, who was 'not born of woman' (delivered by C-section).20  2  
4245 Repaired a crease before one's deliveryACREASE anag + AN; def = delivery; ref = cricket21 
4550 Such opening accepted in special care to give birthS+A(accepted) in *CARE plus EAN(to give birth) &lit1.50 
464 A scare under the knife? Have kittens! (9)"A scare" under the knife = CAESAR. Have kittens = EAN. under the knife? Have kittens! = CAESAREAN11  3  
4611 Augustan arenas – ace action(arenas – ace)*10 
4616 Delivery method of European Space Agency within area inside ChinaESA within AREA inside CN; C(A[ESA]REA)N; def = delivery method11 
4617 Delivery of cosmetic case and belt by noon (9)Delivery -def, case is anagrammed, belt- area, N – noon11  1  
4630 “Imperialist era returned under country’s aggressively expansionist Soviet leadership” article concludes (9)DOWN CLUE. Imperialist – def, era returned – ARE, under – position, Country’s Aggressively Expansionist Soviet leadership – CAES, article – AN, concludes – comes last.11 
4641 Old French war correspondent to give birth to a solution to a birthing problem.Old French war correspondent (Caesar) to give birth (EAN)10 
4643 Operation involved care as an emperor's first!Operation (CAESAREAN) involved (anagram indicator) care as an emperor's first (CARE+AS+AN+E as first letter of emperor) (as also the first-of-its-kind operation related to Emperor Julius Caesar; &lit.)10 
4649 Special delivery of a case near carousel (9)Anagram of ACASENEAR. Carousel = merry go round. def: special delivery10 
547 After the Emperor’s appearances, Pontius Pilate initially retired to give ordercomposite anag – CAESAREAN + PP0.53  1  
5525 Former Italian prison has a blackout setback.Def. 'former Italian'(Caesarean – supporter of Caesar) . Prison/can containing a + blackout/erase reversed. (c + a + esare + an).00  1  
5526 Give birth to the noblest Roman? On the contrary this section, paradoxically, was the most kindest cut of allGive birth to – EAN (Shakespeare, Chambers) the noblest Roman – CAESAR (Julius Caesar, also Shakespeare). On the contrary – rev – , this section (medical procedure of cutting [kindly, to avoid danger to mother or child] by which Julius Caesar was born); reference to Marc Anthony's funeral oration for Caesar01  2  
5554 This French saree is styled with an untimely ripThis french = ca + anag(saree)+ an. Definition=untimely rip (Macbeth)02  1  
5556 Timely extraction near as evidently abscessed canine primarily wobbly[NEAR/AS/E/A/C]* defn. = Timely extraction00 
5559 When surgery delivers, no trace remains in treated areas cancer ate.Anagram of AREAS CANCER ATE minus TRACE, definition = when surgery delivers00