Magazine article The Sondheim Review

Cryptic Crossword

Magazine article The Sondheim Review

Cryptic Crossword

Article excerpt


Fifteen unclued entries span this puzzle's grid. These are divided into five groups of three entries each, labeled for reference only with otherwise meaningless letters. In each group, two members are connected in a certain way (a similar way in all five groups); the third member in each group is unrelated.

The song inspiring this puzzle is identified by two normal crossing entries. A notable performer of the song crosses one of these entries, though is not clued as such. This song provides an ordering for the five groups (though a certain liberty has been taken with Group D). The unconnected members of each set, taken in this order, form a final cryptic clue for an apt two-word phrase, enumerated (7, 8).


1 Camel, if mistreated, is really nasty (7)

6 Group A

11 Helping of broccoli caused toddler's distress (5)

13 Spot possibly retro earring inset with piece of coral (5)

14 Out of maidens in Forum? Rely on Marcus! (4)

15 Group B

17 Liza's premiere dismissed by "airheads and phonies" (5)

18 Peeled banana spread all over Indian bread (4)

20 Certain digits among Susan's odd features (3; abbr)

21 Group A

22 An ape composed song of triumph (5)

24 Starting late, ran into jumbled thematic link in this puzzle (6)

27 Group C

29 Group D

32 Misspelled words in royal family's name (7)

34 Peons labored at earliest of chores with no guarantee of being paid (6; 2 wds)

37 Foundering café that's closing one side (5)

38 Shakespearean character ignoring forward duo's greeting (5)

39 Mortal denuded Venus in a Terry Gilliam film (3)

41 Group E

42 Polish guys adopted by Ed (5)

43 Group B

45 Shark running amok (4)

46 Ultra-frolicsome species of otter (5)

47 Build up or tear down noisily (5)

48 Tall tales about earliest of erotic desires (6)

49 Group B


1 Group D

2 In the sticks, behold bathroom equipment (6)

3 Group C

4 Group C

5 Computer's brain required for esoteric puzzle (3; abbr)

6 Gloat obnoxiously eating last of delectable dessert (6)

7 Group E

8 Upset those at an interrogation site (7, 2 wds)

9 Vice squad unit cools things down considerably (4)

10 Group D

12 Putting a tapered edge on redesigned coin? …

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