The Crossword Centre Clue-Writing Competition

CCCWC Christmas Special competition voters’ comments
Clue no. 32: UK try renegotiating with Europe? It's the pits, ratings-wise

Back to competitor’s clues  |   All the comments  |   Other competitions

A clue to TURKEY (STONES) (Wrong Number).
4 comments refer to this clue (from 1 competitor, 2 others)
Move your mouse pointer over any bold clue number to see the clue.

Here is the text

Comments on the clue
1.Chambers has E for European but not Europe, can't find support elsewhere either
2.European = E, but Europe doesn't
3.Very good clue with original story and word play marred only by using the somewhat contrived and possibly redundant 'ratings-wise'.
Comments on the competition
An entertaining variety of approaches to these clues bearing in mind the constraints of providing a definition for 'stones' within the clue framework. Many chose 'rocks' but with a less convincing surface story.
I really liked clue 19,despite the use of 'initially' as a (easy) first letter indicator for its topical surface story and its compensating deceptive use of 'island' for 'key'. I gave it 5 points.

Clue{4} was a close contender but with a slightly less appealing surface story and I gave it 3 points. Clues 112430and 35 deserve a mention but were discounted by me for perceived minor flaws: Clue 11 because 'rocks' is an awkward fit in the surface story here; Clue 24 because it is a little too straightforward without a strong surface story; Clues 30 and 35 because (to me) the clue construction seemed flawed – Clue 30 the use of 'leaving' on its own as an omission indicator and Clue 35 the positioning of 'When finally released' before rather than after 'UK entry'.

This left 7 points to award and I gave 4 points to Clue 32 for originality and it would have been my winner but for the use of the rather contrived and perhaps unnecessary 'ratings-wise'. I gave my remaining 3 points to Clue 26 which ticks most boxes but relies on more easily contrived word play by using inverted commas to find a link to the excellent definitions.

One final clue that merits a particular comment is Clue 9: this I was immediately drawn to as a possible winner as a succinct all in one clue which seemed to do the trick; but, on further consideration,I discovered that 'bomb' as a noun meaning 'failure' appears only in American English and,for fairness reasons, needs to be qualified by 'US' or 'American' – pity