The King Cricket crossword by Bert

Posted by
2 minute read

Bert writes

It’s time to move on. I’m bored with shenanigans. There’s only a certain amount of shenanigans a man can put up with. We need to get back to what unites us, which is cricket, not what divides us, which is, er, cricket. Anyway, I don’t want to see any more cross words.

Therefore, here is a crossword.

All cricket fans like crosswords. It’s one of the things that goes into the rucksack for the day – flask, sun cream, flick-knife, newspaper with crossword. You sit, glance at the cricket, ponder the crossword awhile, glance up, wish you’d watched that hat-trick, then shrug and write REREDOS in 19 across as compensation. This one’s even better, because it’s a special King Cricket themed crossword. Solving it requires a combination of general cricket knowledge and a deep understanding of this website, plus the twisted mentality bordering on madness of a cryptic crossword solver. In other words, it’s for YOU LOVELY PEOPLE. I hope you enjoy it.

There is NOT a FANTASTIC PRIZE for the first correct entry.

The King Cricket crossword by Bert


1 Ensuring Cinders stays at home (7,3,5)
7 De Villiers and crew outside party showing midriff (7)
8 Dance as SA left in a mess (5)
10 Kiwi, bespectacled and befuddled (3)
12 Two tests were linked (4)
13 Right dolt manoeuvred to have the money to buy the true home of cricket (3,8)
16 Disagree with “No run”, getting into fevered state (4)
17 Deceive about what Mitch invariably does with a ball (9)
18 Useful, short, and in charge of England (4)
21 Relative to a small mass, insect is the biggest thing on the web (4,7)
24 See 16d
27 Hear Brett in meadow (3)
28 Young and without news from Melbourne (2,3)
29 Star batsman, to be frank (7)
30 In acts, animals behaving as we have come to expect (11,4)


1 Execute gamespace skillsets! Where can we find such meaningless drivel? (5,2,6)
2 Not out! Trueman was in a league of his own (6)
3, 20 Cricket is not a chance occurrence (4,2,5)
4 Placed inside batting glove to improve bat control (4)
5 See 17d
6 Keeping Peter Willey’s crack partner (7)
7 First half of one day game changed, but it’s still a positive point (5)
9 Separated from nation’s First Couple – Princess reportedly attracted composer (6,7)
11 A right arse, making single innings deficit (6)
14 Point comes in to dislodge bail – a rapid descent follows (6)
15 Throw, leading to brief affair (5)
16, 24 Skated around scorer’s position
17, 5 Mary’s confused by initial explanation – is Giles the right man for English cricket? (2,4)
19 Charlton is King! Now see how he dismisses us (7)
20 See 3
22 Kent taking drug brought shame to English cricket (6)
23 Make bat advertisement in paper (6)
25 Singular leaves, but still gets to run through (4)
26 Cute, short short message from chatty cricketers (4)

An Excel version of this crossword can be downloaded here. Answers to follow at some point.

The answers can be found on this page.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. Although it won’t download which is disappointing as there is nothing I want to do more right now than solve it.

  2. Great stuff, Bert. Although the excel version seems to be absent.

    I can’t imagine anyone will solve the whole thing.

    1. As we say, there is NOT a fantastic prize, so you should probably just frame your handiwork or something like that.

  3. I’m, wringing my hands with the prospect of this. Bert has a track record of immacualte cryptic clue crafting.

  4. How y’all getting on? Just curious. I do hope none of you is allowing “work” to get in the way of doing a crossword.

    1. Working through it. There are some corkers in there, although some (e.g. 13 across) do require some prior knowledge of the compiler’s predjudices.

  5. I’ve managed to solve 27 across and possibly 26 down across and as that’s two more cryptic clues than I usually manage I’m happy.

    1. yes. I’ve solved 7 across and that is one more cryptic clue than usual. This is like a scene from dangerous minds where Michelle Pfeiffer makes education ‘fun’.

  6. 17, 5 Mary’s confused by initial explanation – is Giles the right man for English cricket? (2,4)


    Hats off!

  7. Stuck on last bit of 1 down and 24 across. Otherwise I think I’m done, although I’m a bit dubious about a couple of other answers.

  8. I’ve got about 2/3 through. Employment, parenthood and husbandness have prevented me giving it the attention it deserve. There are some lovely clues, though.

  9. I’ve been unable to even glance at this until now, bogged down with the drudgery of attending cricket at Lord’s (Sunday, Tuesday) and the Paralympics (Monday).

    I used to do cryptic crosswords myself (sometimes compiling as well as completing). But in latter years I have graduated to the glass bead game and eschew less cerebral puzzles such as crosswords.

    Those are my excuses, anyway.

    Your crossword looks very good, Bert.

    1. Excuses rejected. Get on with it, man!

      (In an early draught you were in it – Nicked off two of the faithful (5) – or something like that.)

  10. BTW, I realise that very many here are cruciverbalists, but that not everyone is. So on the off-chance that you want to have a bash at the crossword but don’t know where to start, here is a pointer.

    Most cryptic clues are divided into two parts, the word play and the definition, in either order. Sometimes there’s a link word in between, like “giving” or “yielding”. The word play is normally a method of generating a set of letters. The definition is normally a straight definition of the answer. These two halves should match. Take the clue above:

    Nicked off two of the faithful (5)

    In this case, the clue divides like this, with the definition first:

    Nicked off / two of the faithful (5)

    “The faithful” refers obliquely to the commenters here, two of whom are GED and ED. Put them together and you get GEDED. Or, if you prefer, EDGED, which is what stupid cricket commentators should say instead of saying “Nicked off”.

    The point of the clue is to have a superficial and misleading meaning, in this case something like “Stolen from two people”, which has nothing to do with the answer. In this crossword, all the clues bar two have word play and definition parts.

    Hopefully that wasn’t in any way patronising, children.

    1. If it were patronising, it probably wouldn’t have required us to concentrate so hard when reading it.

    2. Where I come from, the pseudo-verb “Geded” means “stolen from”. I have no idea why. So that particular clue is ambiguous in its ambiguity, making it an unsatisfactory clue.

      OK, I just made all of that up, but your explanatory comment put us all through agony, Bert, so I thought I should return the favour.

    3. These are all very good, Ged, Scott, Daneel. I had several clues for King Cricket themed answers that just wouldn’t fit into the grid, and so were sadly rejected. My version of Scott’s (that would have Ximenes turning in his grave):

      A rash, tipsy Trott heard snuggling up to inter-county shooter (5,10)

      I haven’t worked your one out yet, KC. Something about a Green Card, maybe?

    4. If we start seeing numbers within parentheses appearing in comments on other posts, we are not going to be happy.

    5. Scott, Bert – I like that one (two)! Took me far longer than it should have…

      Admirably restrained bloke order confused after reports of cheap housing (8,10).

  11. My favourite (non cricket) clue:

    H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O (5)

    I’ll admit – I heard this on the radio. Clues above – struggling.

    1. Yep, a lovely clue that one. My favourite:

      He floated the company using the double entry system (4)

      Answer – Noah

Comments are closed.