Does this seem like a really weak crossword clue to you?

During my break this morning I was doing a corner of the World’s Most Ornery Crossword Puzzle in Games magazine (the latest issue, Dec. 2008). One of the clues is “Afraid (of)”.

The answer is IN FEAR. This just seems like a really lame clue/answer combination, especially for the Hard clues of TWMOCP.

Am I the only one for whom this just feels off, like it’s not up to Games’s usual 3-star clues for TWMOCP?

The Guardian crossword clues:

Gegs (9,4) Scrambled eggs

h,i,j,k,l,mm,n,o (5) Water (H2O!)

Yeah, but English crosswords are a whole other animal…

The weakest British cryptic clue ever (it’s also the first one I ever solved):

Go, man, go - but don’t forget the chutney (5)

Mango?

Wow. Even I got that, and I’m completely hopeless at cryptics!

A whole confused (with nothing missing) other animal? (5)

whale

From today’s Guardian:

ATM George misused as source of money

Mortgagee

Conundra with added social comment!

Speaking as someone who’s constructed a grid or two – and fixed about a bajillion – sometimes you’re just freaking stuck for a grid entry, and you’re left with something like [what you spoilered]. When there’s nothing to be done but use it, your first choice is to find a quote or title or suchlike so you can use a fill-in-the-blank clue (making it a trifle less obvious that you were backed into a corner). Otherwise, the kindest thing you can do is just clue it completely straightforwardly.

I was just surprised because Harvey Estes doesn’t usually write himself into a corner like that. And it was really only one clue that struck me like that. Everything else was definitely up to usual Most Ornery standards.

Gather around middle of day, anxiously (2, 4)

Nervously purify scramble (2,4)

In a cryptic in a Sydney paper:

_______________________ (7)"

missing

Years ago, in some simple crossword, the clue for a four letter word was “it can be floppy or hard.” I already had the first and last letters, d & k. It turned out the answer was disk, which was not my first guess.

I think you’re short on As and long on Es

Yes, of course. Excuse me.

I suddenly have visions of the Two Ronnies in a railway carriage.

Wow I feel sheltered. I read the first sentence and I was like, “It’s disk, right?”

Quick, answer this:

Clue: People who annoy you.

Answer: N _ G G E R S

And a few days ago:

________ (8)

clueless