Having posted a contribution earlier today (about Marks and Spencer) intended only for British and Irish readers, this one is for non-Brits (and non-Irish) only. I would be grateful if the British and Irish would refrain from replying to this post, at least to the extent of not answering the crossword clues set out lower down the page.
About six weeks ago, on BBC Radio 4, there was a programme about the addiction of a substantial number of Brits to cryptic crossword puzzles. The word "cryptic" here has a very special British meaning, which I shall explain later(1). The programme made the claim that Britain and some parts of Ireland were the only countries in the world that do cryptic crosswords, in our sense of the word. The programme claimed that Americans (for example) do have crosswords, but the clues are always direct. For example, Clue : Vituperate, Answer : Inveigh.
The purpose of this post is to check the correctness of the programme's claim that "Only the Brits and the Irish do cryptic crosswords, a pleasure that is not practised anywhere else in the world". I invite all non-Brits and non-Irish to attempt the following clues.
NB Explanation. (5,3), for example, indicates that the answer is of two words, the first 5 letters long, and the second of 3 letters. I have put in letters that I had already obtained from solving clues in the other direction, at the point where I myself was able to answer the clue in question.
1. Bet others fall at this all in a heap, but her feet don't falter whenshe's well up on points. (4, 2, 3, 6)
A : O : : A
2. Fruit tree (4)
3. Fresh set in the plant, and regenerated (7)R D
4. Any pupil in the school can carry this out for himself (7) T L
5. No doubt it once added spice to the conflict (4)
6. The home all the quartet returned to (5) L
7. Stand the journey and do return (7)
If you are a non-Brit and can do, say, 50% of these clues, then we have proved the Radio 4 programme wrong. If you can answer any of these clues, please feel free to do so, but at the same time tell us your nationality and your previous experience of cryptic crosswords. To emphasise the point, I repeat my plea that the British and Irish should not answer these clues.
(1). Cryptic, in the British crossword sense, means not straightforward, and often tortuous. Although tortuous, the answer is usually self-evident when you have finally worked out what it is.
The answer to the clue might be an anagram of some of the words that are used contiguously within the clue, but they do not tell you which words to make your anagram from. The answer might simply be a pun, based either on the words used in the clue, or on the word that is the answer to the clue. The answer to the clue might be (for example) the last 2 letters of one word, and the first 5 letters of the next word within the clue. And there are a host of other tricks that the crossword compiler has up his sleeve. For each clue, you need to work out which of these tricks the compiler might be using, because he does not tell you which trick he is using.

Richard Chambers Leeds UK.
1 2 3 4
About six weeks ago, on BBC Radio 4, there was a programme about the addiction of a substantial number of ... that is not practised anywhere else in the world". I invite all non-Brits and non-Irish to attempt the following clues.

I have better things to do than try the puzzle, but I can refute the claim anyway. I've certainly seen cryptics here in America, both in periodicals and collected in books. For example, the New Yorker had one for a while, a few years back. (I have no idea if they still run it.) They're probably not as possible as straight crosswords, but they do exist.

Aaron Davies
Opinions expressed are solely those of a random number generator. "I don't know if it's real or not but it is a myth." -Jami JoAnne of alt.folklore.urban, showing her grasp on reality.
About six weeks ago, on BBC Radio 4, there was a programme about the addiction of a substantial number of ... parts of Ireland were the only countries in the world that do cryptic crosswords, in our sense of the word.

Not so. I would recommend a visit to rec.puzzles.crosswords where you will see that cryptics exist elsewhere, notably in North America, most particularly the New York Times. And that there are enthusiastic solvers all over the world, many of whom subscribe to the Guardian and/or Times and/or Telegraph on-line puzzles. Prominent amongst them Uncle Yap who lambasts fainthearts from the depths of Hong Kong and who gets irate if the Guardian Crossword doesn't appear on-line as promised at midnight GMT.
What does seem to be the case is that cryptic crosswords are very much a specialism of English speakers. I'm not aware of any other language in which cryptic puzzles of the Guardian / Times calibre are produced although some would fit a very mild definition of "cryptic". The crossword craze began in the USA, of course, though triggered by an expat Brit.

John Dean
Oxford
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The purpose of this post is to check the correctness ... invite all non-Brits and non-Irish to attempt the following clues.

I have better things to do than try the puzzle, but I can refute the claim anyway. I've certainly seen ... have no idea if they still run it.) They're probably not as possible as straight crosswords, but they do exist.

The New Yorker dropped its cryptic (which was quite easy to solve) soon after it dropped Tina Brown. The Atlantic has a good variety cryptic each month. Henry Hook has published whole volumes of variety cryptics, and they tend to be quite devilish. I myself frequently work the cryptics from The Toronto Globe & Mail and the Grauniad. I even constructed (UK: set) a couple, but the American market for such things is quite small and mine weren't good enough to sell.
I don't have time to work on the clues in Richard's original post, but I'll take a shot at them later.

Liebs
1. Bet others fall at this all in a heap, but her feet don't falter when she's well up ... : O : : A

STAR OF THE BALLET
Many years ago, I subscribed to GAMES magazine, which had a cryptic crossword in every issue. It was one of my favorite features.

Off to work on the other clues.
The programme made the claim that Britain and some parts of Ireland were the only countries in the world that do cryptic crosswords, in our sense of the word.

Canada too. I swear it (though I abominate the damned things).

dgb
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The programme made the claim that Britain and some parts ... world that do crypticcrosswords, in our sense of the word.

Canada too. I swear it (though I abominate the damned things). dgb

Yes. The Globe and Mail does one every day (except Sunday, when it isn't published).
Cheers, Sage
The programme made the claim that Britain and some parts
of Ireland were the only countries in the world that do cryptic crosswords, in our sense of the word.

Most Australian broadsheet newspapers carry a cryptic crossword.

Here's one example. Follow the links:
http://www.theage.com.au /
If you are a non-Brit and can do, say, 50% of these clues, then we have proved the Radio 4 ... cryptic crosswords. To emphasise the point, I repeat my plea that the British and Irish should not answer these clues.

My wife is the crossword fan in the family, but I doubt I could drag her away from the Formula I qualifiers for long enough to try the cryptic clues (she's also the sports fan in the family). But I'll ask her.

But I can assure you that cryptic crosswords are comon in South Africa, and some newspapers publish them with two sets of clues, cryptic and straightforward (for busy people who have short commuter journeys).

Later...
I did ask my wife, and she asked me to print your message out, so she could gibve more thought to it, but she said they are standard crossword puzzle clues. But right now she's more eager to see Michael Schumacher come short.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
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