Our Bare Bones Crossword is unique because you have to complete the grid – numbers and squares – as well. We have inserted four black squares and four clue numbers to get you going. The crossword has a four-way symmetry: both top and bottom and left and right match, so you can fill in 12 more squares straight away. There is a prize of a Collins Pocket Thesaurus. Send your solution to: Bare Bones Puzzle No.609, The Irish Mail on Sunday, PO Box 5332, Cardiff Lane, Dublin 2. Entries must arrive by Friday (photocopies not accepted). The winner of Bare Bones No.608 is Doireann Casey, Bailick Road, Midleton, Co. Cork.
7 Pressure to get a French joke 8 Sycophant found in the slow lane 10 Spinning around a pub 11 Natter about finding iodine in fertilizer 12 City that’s most important for money 13 Soldier finds a book huge 14 Poet gets point of simple disguise 19 Playing golf with a politician – that makes things clearer (two words) 20 Successor finds lease includes European ship 21 Grounded creature loses itself in the music 22 Towel used by church that’s not very advanced (two words, hyphenated) 23 Forest contains raw material
1 Small tree forms part of the book 2 No particular object getting objection? Hardly (two words) 3 Graduate set to roll 4 Determined courage to play the guitar 5 Beer with some fruit that’s soft (two words) 6 Fish in the corner 8 Links letters to some flexible protection (two words) 9 Help rinse out and fill again 15 Propose to take front off money box 16 Second piece contains some eggs 17 Form of lightning seen on the bed? 18 Something of value, as arranged