New Zealand v South Africa

Hemical

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I hope you enjoy solving the puzzles I shall be setting.

The clues are standard cryptic clues. My trusty band of test solvers make sure that I don't use English-only cultural references, although since Elizabeth II is head of the Commonwealth, "Queen" may well mean ER. My Western cultural bias means that the occasional reference to films or music will be to Hollywood, Beethoven and the Beatles rather than Bollywood and bhangra.

On the other hand, this is a cricket website, so you can expect clues to assume cricketing language and knowledge. "Point" could refer to a fielding position as well as a point of the compass, "spinners" can mean "spin bowlers" as well as "propellers", and "go in" can mean "bat" as well as "enter".

The puzzles all have themes, either explained by the title or becoming clear once a few clues have been solved. The themed clues may not be fully defined: in this first puzzle, players are defined as "bat" or "bowls" rather than "New Zealand opening batsman" or "South African spin bowler".

An unqualified "player" will refer to a cricketer (unless it's a musician or actor); where an indication of the era is necessary, "player" means currently in the team or likely to be, "recent player" to someone who hasn't retired from domestic cricket but is unlikely to play internationally, "former player" is someone who retired after about 1970, "old" about 1920 to 1970, and "very old" would be pre-WW1.

Comments are welcome, but please try not to spoil things for others by spelling out the answers

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Comments: 3 
Posted by DirkL on (March 2, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

Would it have terribly unfair to clue the first five letters of 11A as "what well-set batsman has"?

Posted by theon on (March 2, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

This was an enjoyable. Hoping that this continues. Though I must say, some of the references were too New Zealand Oriented for those who don't live there. Like me

Posted by Alberich on (March 1, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

It's very nice to see a crossword on this excellent site. This puzzle is just right - not too hard or specialist so it won't frighten off the average solver, but still challenging enough to give the brain a good session in the nets.

I'll admit some vested interest here, as Hemical published an excellent puzzle on my own crossword site last year as Alchemi and I'm glad to see him given an opportunity to show what he can do on ESPN Cricinfo. I understand that this will be a regular feature so those who love cryptic crosswords as well as cricket (both being civilised pastimes, the overlap is large) will have plenty to enjoy.

Congratulations to Hemical and as this is my first post, may I take the opportunity to thank the webmasters for an excellent, informative cricket site.

Alberich (setter for FT and Independent, as Klingsor).

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