The Crossword Centre Clue-Writing Competition

CCCWC July competition voters’ comments

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A clue to BANJULELE.
73 comments were received for this competition (from 14 competitors, 2 others)
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Comments on the competition
Quite a high standard this month for an unpromising word, with inventive definitions and wordplay. The two Bowie references are inspired, even if Blue Jean wasn't exactly a career highlight. No more J months, thank goodness!
1 was the outstanding clue. With no real knowledge of DB's songs I wouldn't have got anywhere near it — I am stuck in te George Formby era,it seems!
Comments on the clues
1. A maker of music from Changes to Blue Jean across half a century
1.Clever. The clear winner!
2.A great opportunity well taken.
3.Lovely clue – for me, the winner by a distance
4.Superbly constructed – the winner for me
5.Beautiful – a standout winner
6.Much the best of the Bowie clues, though, not being a fan, I shouldn't have got the reference myself without the explanation
2. A mishmash of one unloved instrument with another (though not of this country) was a source of much consternation to Jeeves.
1.This is more etymology than wordplay, and the clue is awfully long.
2.No cryptic element.
3.Rather too wordy, but the reference is pleasing.
4. All bunjee jumpers got special little guitar (9)
1.'jumpers' not a very sound anagram indicator.
2.Surface must be logical
3.Can not agree that jumpers is an anagrind.
5. All bunjee jumping is something that has strings attached!
1.I like this, though the non-standard spelling does signal the anagram strongly.
2.Excellent except for vague def
3.Good but for the very unusual spelling of bungee, which does not seem to exist in the wild
4.Surface must be logical
6. At hootenanny I'm often plucked from bar, drink unfinished, and led away finally
1.A little long, but very good surface and def.
8. "Blue Jean" played with long stringed instrument (9)
1.Why is long L?
2.…with U?
9. Blue jean worn over large string (9)
1."String" is rather vague. Akin to "key" being "piano".
11. Contrived instrument to stop heartless French game, the French follow repeatedly (9)
1.surface must be logical
12. Curse around incomplete project the French left — it has strings attached
1.surface must be logical
13. Curse nearly half the invaders and the French – twice gut instrument.
1.surface must be logical
14. Curse this month: wellies needed regularly — and this, at music festival?
1.Not really lucky timing – if you look at previous months' answers you'll spot a pattern!
2.But it's being judged in August!
15. Elected leader, "Jane Bull", possible name for this plucky one?
1.I like the idea, but the wordplay needs 'possibly' rather than 'possible' I think.
16. Exclusion for half of July over two railway lines gutted music-maker
1.surface must be logical
17. Formby played this City State University, before the French, again.
1.Don't understand how city can equal BA?
2.Where is this city BA?
18. Formby regularly picked me to accompany him
1.Lovely definition but I'm never going to vote for a clue without supporting wordplay. Just a definition is less than half the job done
19. Formby used to be changeable around late June and most of July – stormy on the front, by George! (9)
1.Manipulation to get to the definition is really not on, I'm afraid.
2.I don't think this splitting of the definition gives the solver much of a chance
3.This has a very cluttered cryptic element.
20. Formby's capital instrument here? Feel jubilant, 'happy-go-lucky' when it is plucked
1.The definition and wordplay are muddled, but it's not & lit.
2.Don't understand how the wordplay works
22. Gambian funeral singer misses the gist – it sounds like George Formby!
1.surface must be logical
23. George Formby's instrument found at beginners English language evenings on outskirts of Gambian capital
1.surface must be logical
24. I’m small, but gutsy and instrumental in arranging the finale of the June Ball
1.Surface reading hangs together nicely.
27. Instrument used to veto the French twice after Johnson unites initially
1.surface must be logical
28. It has strings attached to stop the French guzzling nearly all the drink
1.surface must be logical
29. It requires a lot of pluck, all bunjee jumping!
1.Similarly to 5, the 'bunjee' spelling is a giveaway, but otherwise very good.
2.The need to incorporate "all" has unfortunately produced a surface that is unidiomatic.
30. It takes some pluck to play a Capital side, having lost the last three
1.About the best of the Banjul clues.
31. Jack unable to shift extremely large instrument
1.5 points – very neat surface, concise, original, and possibly misleading with the "large instrument" bit.
32. Jean Lambert's blue cuckoo plucked by George Formby.
1.Those are some strange dreams you're having!
2.It could have happened if GF hadn't died in 1961!
3.Lambert for L is perfectly fine, if a little obscure. Good clue nonetheless.
4.What an inventive and refreshingly new clue!
33. Jubilee Line removes one busking without an instrument
1.Nice original idea.
2.Can you busk without aninstrument?
3.Strong entry but anag. ind. desperately obscure and in the wrong part of speech
34. June Bella tiptoeing through the tulips with stringed instrument similar to Tiny Tim's! (9)
1.I'm all for original indicators, but I don't think this works.
35. "Live without working all June?", one fretted
1.Nice misleading def.
36. Modelling blue jeans, having to swap Small for Large may take some pluck?
1.There isn't really a definition of a noun here.
2.Nice clue, but beaten by strong competition this time.
37. Note able Julian Bream initially plays this a bit? No!
1.Good effort but just gets a bit clumsy.
38. Over half of jelly unable to explode, yet still heard in Mr Wu's Chinese Laundry in Limehouse
1.Surface story doesn't really convince.
2.Is this a Monty Python sketch?
39. Plucky old thing, Verne almost followed Newton into trouble
1.Bale = trouble is archaic which should be indicated in clue
40. Poison found in unfinished julep beside Latin stringed instrument.
1.The wordplay seems to be the wrong way round – this gets you to something like JULEPBANEL.
2.Container and contents appear to be confused.
3.Seems the wrong way round to me – "unfinished julep beside Latin" is "found in" "poison", not the other way round.
41. Producer of music – Blue Jean and, originally, Let's Dance
1.I'm tying this with 1 for top marks. Well done.
2.Blue Jean was always going to make a few appearances; to me this is the best of them.
42. Producing this small instrument you, it's said, shaped jelly bean, removing centre
1."Producing this small instrument" does not yield def.
44. Swinging Blue Jeans cut short opener in Leeds to perform instrumental novelty item
1.Good idea but ends up a bit overlong.
2.TO PERFORM is redundant
46. Young French have a ball playing a musical instrument. (9)
1.No, I'm afraid indirect anagrams are a definite no-no. (And there's no need to shout!)
3.If you need to write a defence of your wordplay, it's likely you're aware of its weakness.
4.Succinct and tres bon!