Solution: The Copy Culture Cryptic Crossword

from the filling-in-the-blanks dept

Last Saturday, I posted The Copy Culture Cryptic Crossword, just in case there were any cryptic fans in the Techdirt audience. It turns out there are quite a few, including at least one AC who almost solved it in less than 24 hours. All in all it was a great response, and while I can’t promise regular cryptics on Techdirt, I will definitely try to put another one together in the not-too-distant future.

But, for now, it’s time to reveal the solution to last week’s puzzle. The completed grid is below, followed by a list of answers. I’ve used some basic notation to show how the answers were arrived at wherever it’s easy to do so in a self-explanatory way; as for the rest, I’ll answer any questions (and accept any criticisms for sloppy clue-writing) in the comments! One reasonable concern was already raised, which is that BMG is not quite a “collection society” by definition, and on that one I offer a mea culpa.


1. Kick start (4)

3. Right after six, America gets infection (5)

6. With acknowledgements, reveals modification (4)

8. Collaborated on and bragged about bad grade at bad church (12)

10. Software publishers initially bemoan slow adoption (3)

11. Television standard is oddly not a sect (4)

13. Terrible prefix and terrific prefix for the obsolete (4)

15. Note measurement for collection society (3)

16. Cultural commons remixed old iambic pun (6,6)

17. Activists cut short, shortly (4)

18. Amended drier amendment (5)

19. Bully sacrifices rights for a fee (4)


1. Join in bed, CENSORED (7)

2. The post-singularity internet? (3,3,2,4)

4. Breach in perimeter – deliberate, we heard (12)

5. Without fail, freely feeds 16D (4)

7. PAC is revising bad security bill (5)

9. Short albums earn points slowly at first (3)

12. Means “passage” (7)

14. Communication regulators, internally, hit undo (3)

15. Pursue eBay item and double down, almost (3,2)

16. Endlessly looks to 5D (4)

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Comments on “Solution: The Copy Culture Cryptic Crossword”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“Got it, everyone? If you didn’t get this crossword, it’s YOUR fault for not being a twisted son-of-a…anyway, no funniest or favorite posts of the week?”

No… I didn’t get most of the clues either, but unlike you I don’t suffer from an inferiority complex, so I can still understand why a lot of people find them fun and challenging.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

oh, we understand cryptic crosswords just find, done many of them.

What we are commenting on is THIS “cryptic” crossword, if you can call it that.

We did not say cryptic crosswords are stupid or weird, JUST THIS ONE.

It appears when your not good at something, then you just post it at TD.

I am not an American, I don’t have the US level of “understanding” you have.. fortunately.

I no I don’t really give a shit where you come from.

I agree, in general a good cryptic crossword is a please to do, a good crossword.. this one is simple really bad.

Very bad, even for a first effort.

Steve says:

Cryptics more common in Britain (I think?)

The slightly baffled might like to refer to some of the internet guides on (I would say, normal) crosswords

And if you’re prepared to get hooked
gives access to a decent cryptic

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

when you have to ‘explain’ a cryptic crossword EVER AFTER giving the answers, that shows you have FAILED COMPLETELY…

that is all they are saying. it is SO BAD, that even after being provided with the answers people cant work out your ‘logic and reason’.

People can only conclude that it’s YOU at fault, who are unable to construct a crossword..

The term “total failure’ comes to mind;

Shadoefax (profile) says:

A full explanation of clues would be nice

While not a complete stranger to cryptic crosswords, I was never really good at them. Sometimes the clues make some sense after the solution is revealed and others are so cryptic they completely escape me.

For instance:

1. Kick start (4)

Ok … a bouncer may boot (kick) an unruly patron from a club, and you must boot (start) your computer before you can use it. That makes sense.

8. Collaborated on and bragged about bad grade at bad church (12)

I see how ‘Collaborated on’ is synonymous with the correct answer CROWDSOURCED. And I can see ‘bragged about’ (CROWED) a ‘bad grade’ (D). That leaves SOUR+C somehow equating to ‘church’. I don’t get it. Am I missing something?

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: A full explanation of clues would be nice

“Church” most commonly translates to “CE”, “CC” or “CH” in cryptics — though that’s a very british thing in my mind. In some clues, though, it merely becomes “C”

Mostly I try to minimize the use of those types of one-letter abbreviations in cryptics, since I often find them annoying. But, they exist for a reason… and that’s one of the clues where one slipped in.

Don’t worry, you won’t catch me using “sailor” to mean “AB” or any of those other weirdly obscure ones — those drive me nuts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Code Breakers

Yes, Cryptic Crosswords are more common in the UK, the “Times Crossword” being one of the best known.

And they are very challenging and require a particular type of mindset, so they tend to be most popular with “intellectuals” – many of the most famous code-breakers during the second world war were excellent at solving them.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Dino” is technically not a word by itself, thus the specification of “prefix”. Overall, that clue is one that’s slightly more on the playful side — I had considered putting a “?” at the end as is sometimes done on such clues, but I didn’t think it quite warranted that, and worried that the “?” might actually be misleading. So basically it’s a double definition clue, with one of the definitions being more suggestive than direct:

“Terrible prefix” = DINO, quite literally (dino- as a prefix means “terrible”, derived from greek)

Then “DINO” is also a “terrific prefix for the obsolete” in a less literal sense, merely a suggestive one

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

so try this google ‘dino’ first 2 hits you get are for

Dean (Dino) Martin

2) is the Dino 206 GT car, then the Dino 256 GT and the Dino 308 GT4

also plenty of references to restaurants.

Also as most here are Americans, a Dino is some place you stop to get a coffee and a mean.

Shadoefax (profile) says:

oh, we understand cryptic crosswords just find, done many of them.

What we are commenting on is THIS “cryptic” crossword, if you can call it that.

We did not say cryptic crosswords are stupid or weird, JUST THIS ONE.

“We”? Who are you, Yoda?

It appears when your not good at something, then you just post it at TD.

Like writing grammatically correct sentences? Yep, you’re living proof of that fact.

Anonymous Coward says:


Interesting. Leigh decides to have some fun creating a cryptic crossword. Some readers are happy to take up the challenge and see if they can solve it. Others feel so humiliated by the fact that it’s way beyond their limited mental capacity that they resort to throwing insults instead. Very sad. Human nature I guess.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Wow...!

No, they’re not throwing insults. They’re throwing shit. I wouldn’t call what they wrote insults. Where I come from, insulting someone is an art-form and what darryl et al did…is NOT.

Now darryl, I have to admit – I too found this a bit beyond me. What I didn’t do is turn up on the comments and fling my feces around, bemoaning that fact. By constantly complaining about it, you’ve only driven more attention to your single digit IQ.
You did not have to even attempt this little puzzle. Since you found it too hard, you then didn’t have to screetch about it. Drop it and move on. But no, I forget. This is Techdirt, where the trolls have OCD times infinity.

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