The Crossword Centre Clue-Writing Competition

CCCWC February competition voters’ comments

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A clue to ATONEMENT.
70 comments were received for this competition (from 11 competitors, 2 others)
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Comments on the competition
Some of the simpler 'note meant' clues were quite good and got points from me, but not 39 which suffers from a double fault: 'reparation' doing double duty as defintion and anagram indicator and at the same time posing as an unsound nounal anagram indicator. Awful — but hey this is a democratic vote and it would not surprise me if judges who know no better gave it points!
More scope in this month's clue for some very different approaches to clue-writing amongst a good show of entries. Some, of course, work better than others and, for me, some stretched the definition of 'atonement' too far, scuppering an otherwise good clue or used obsolete definitions that really should be signalled as such within the clue. And, to stand out, the bottom line is that the surface story has to make sense!
Comments on the clues
1. 1 Dec Mate entertained the only new English mistress excitedly at first, as reconciliation
1.I can’t make sense of the surface reading
2.1 Dec mate seems obscure – why the one?
2. A man in a tent for penance
1.Synonym for tent would have been better
2.A for one and m for man both seem a bit dodgy
4. A note possibly intended to skip a payment (9)
1.“Possibly” is possibly not required since note is a synonym for tone
5. A number caught in Mt.Etna eruption get compensation.
1.Nice idea but strict Ximeneanism requires 'eruption of ME'.
2.Cryptic reading needs "gets" I think
3.Cryptic grammar requires "gets"
4.Different and appealing but spoiled for me by nounal anagrind and (grammar) 'get' instead of 'getting'
5.Doubt "get" is an acceptable linkword (as opposed to "gets")
6. A sorry note by fellows on time makes amends
1.Good surface reading
12. Amends thermostat – one men tried to set
1.Surely one "adjusts" a thermostat
14. At lunch time, workers get final payment (9)
1.not sure "get final" gives T, "finally get" perhaps?
17. Cheat one mentored, needed to make amends
1.The ‘hidden’ isn’t indicated
2.the hidden word is "needed" for the concealing phrase; not the other way around!
19. End of Yom Kippur?
1.unique; nice not to use anagram
21. Finding Nemo, floundering in a shelter, is redemption (9)
1.Surface is not smooth enough
22. Flip me not a cent, ignoring the first act of making amends
1.Surface reading doesn't make sense
23. Flourished note meant appeasement
1.Does it all in 4 words – excellent!
25. Getting caught, what one mentally should prepare for?
1.Nice try but the purported hidden indicator doesn't work.
2.Doesn't work. "Getting caught in Y, X" is how to indicate X is hidden in Y. "should prepare for?" is tagged on to wordplay.
3.Shouldn’t it be “Getting caught in”?
26. Harry meant Eton to make a reparation for sin.
1.Nice clue with historic resonance
29. Making good panettone when getting drunk involves replacing primary ingredient with a dash of Malibu
1.I think the primary ingredient of panettone is flour!
30. Making mental note to sacrifice capital for loan repayment
1.Nice surface.
2.Grammar iffy; works better with "made" rather than "making"
31. Making one play badly on tee at major; nervous starts (9)
1.Does "making one" mean atonement? It's not a definition I've heard, and it's not in ODE or Collins
32. Man on tee excited having finally got putting right
1.The standout clue for me – beautifully disguised def.
2.Nice misleading definition
3.Great change in sense of "putting."
33. Man on vacation ate Eton mess to get satisfaction
1.We'll be the judges of what 'works fine' – and specifically Ximenean rules do not allow 'nounal anagrinds'. HOWEVER, this might just pass as
34. Marianelli’s film score meant note changes
1.Marianelli? Who's that?
35. Meant to ultimately make reparation, perhaps?
1.a little spoiled by the split infinitive
2.split infinitive slightly spoils surface
3.Clever, succinct and &lit – but dependent on a nounal anagrind with 'perhaps' positioned last,rather than first.
38. New Testament on saintless reparation for sin.
1.'Saintless' is the weak link
39. Note meant reparation
1.surely in an &lit, the whole 3 words of the clue should make up the definition – here they don't
40. Ransom note conveyed on phone by abductors’ leader (9)
1.Homophone iffy, otherwise very good
2.Good use of ransom
41. Rebuild home, tenant wanting hotel as compensation (9)
1.Original anagram idea
42. Reparations reconciled people at end of conflict (9)
1.Nice clue but not convinced that 'reconciled' actually means 'at one'.
43. Restoration comedy on at National Theatre after terrible bedroom farce closes (9)
1.On the borders of soundness!
2.I don't think "restoration" is quite right as a definition. The rest is good.
3.Ingenious, but not sure "restoration" means the same as "atonement"
44. Restoration works mean tent housing a ball
1.Surface story doesn't reallly make sense
46. Satisfaction is getting out of dilapidated maisonette
1.Nice idea but can't give any points as flawed anagram.
2.Should be spelt 'maisonnette' (with two Ns) for anag. to work
3.Anagram is missing an N. Why not ‘maisonnette’, also a valid spelling?
4.Missing an 'N'!
5.I liked this clue
47. Scapegoat — one men thought would bring this?
1.Lovely idea – not convinced by 'bring' as hidden indicator
2.Neatest of the hidden clues. Would have scored top marks with a clearer indicator eg "…would provide this?"
3.It seems (unfairly, due to iffy cryptic grammar) like "scapegoat" is one of the definitions in a double definition
4.Well worked hidden word and I liked the biblical reference
49. Staff stick together if heads cut compensation
1.Nice surface – original treatment
2.The most original idea, well executed
3.Like the idea; a better definition would help.
4.Different approach and straightforward clue.
5.As a teacher I liked this clue
50. United, Me Too at the outset saw Weinstein finally in for expiation
1.Nice idea but sounds forced
51. What makes good man to repent after reputation’s left in tatters?
1.Faulty clue – there's an E missing in wordplay
2.Anagram missing an E
3.Anagram a bit indirect
4."to" unnecessary in surface reading
52. What one mentally embraces as self-punishment (9)
1.For the correct cryptic reading it would need to be ‘What what…’
2.Nice idea perhaps let down a little by definition
3.For me, the best of the hidden clues.
53. When it's time for lunch, soldiers finally eat, getting satisfaction (9)
1.Seems odd to use "finally" if lunch is on time