A Puzzle by Mitz
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
The latest in the new Rookie Corner series introduces Mitz. Last October he thrust a puzzle into my hand at Elgar’s Birthday celebration in Sheffield. This is his latest puzzle. As usual, the setter will be delighted to receive feedback from you, the solvers. I do ask that you remember that for most setters this is a new experience, so please only offer constructive criticism.
A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.
Congratulations to Mitz for a challenging and enjoyable debut crossword in the Rookie Corner. There was some wonderful stuff here with only a few minor niggles in the wordplay. A couple of the surface readings could have been polished a bit but this did not detract from some excellent clues like 3d and 18d. There is a mini-theme in the crossword – look at the answers to 16a / 17a and 9d / 19d. Many of the other answers describe the potential effects of these, for example 1d / 2d, 24a, 7a or 18d.
7 Even sticky stuff left out twice when I enter weary (7)
FATIGUE – A word meaning even or level and a word for sticky stuff each have the L removed from them and an I is inserted.
8 1 at questionable holiday taken (7)
ATROPHY – Another word meaning the same as the answer to 1d. The AT from the clue is followed by a word meaning questionable with an H for holiday included. I don’t think that H for holiday is a recognised abbreviation.
10 Turn out a tent? (10)
ATTENDANCE – A reverse anagram clue. The first five letters of the answer followed by an anagram indicator would give the result A TENT.
11 Change every last friend’s dying seconds (4)
VARY – The second letters of eVery lAst fRiend’s dYing.
12 Highbrow partners get to the heart of phobia (4)
SNOB – Bridge partners followed by the middle letters (heart of) phOBia.
14 Permanence of talent for childish mocking of stupidity? (10)
DURABILITY – Split (3, 7) this might indicate the a childish talent for mocking people.
16 Sweet creamy yoghurt starters (5)
CANDY – Spell out the initial letters of Creamy and Yoghurt.
17 Vineyard should hope, initially, to do this to its produce (5)
CRUSH – A three letter word for a vineyard followed by the initial letters of Should and Hope
21 New City duo turned out across the region (10)
COUNTYWIDE – An anagram (turned out) of NEW CITY DUO.
22 ‘Ounds are slippery customers (4)
EELS – Remove the H from another word meaning hounds.
23 Caress, taking away the dread (4)
FEAR – Another word meaning caress removing the THE from the word. I think that the synonym for caress is a bit of a stretch and is not supported by Chambers as a primary meaning of the word.
24 Augment with lies, losing head about impulses (10)
ADDICTIONS – A three letter word meaning augment followed by a word meaning lies with the initial letter removed (losing head). I am not wild about “about” as the link word. Wordplay about Definition does not work well for me.
26 Thought through loads of great ideas, choosing a lulu initially (7)
LOGICAL – The initial letters of Loads Of Great Ideas Choosing A Lulu.
27 Flirt outrageously with guests, losing nerve over minutiae (7)
TRIFILES – An anagram (outrageously) of FLIRT followed by an ES (guests without guts – losing nerve!)
1 Coleen or Victoria, say, with returning infestation spending unwisely (7)
WASTING – The abbreviation for wives and girlfriends of footballers (Coleen or Victoria, say) inside which you include a reversed (returning) of an infection of the hair. I think “with” is a weak containment indicator here.
2 Interval with them I took part, in retrospect (4)
TIME – The answer is hidden and reversed (part, in retrospect) in THEM I TOOK.
3 Stick-in-the-mud finds Aussie bog amusing with a cold? (5-5)
FUDDY-DUDDY – How someone with a cold might say FUNNY DUNNY (amusing Australian bog).
4 Abscess leads to time being put into evacuation of monarch from island (4)
STYE – Remove the K (monarch) from the name of a Scottish island and replace it with the abbreviation for time.
5 Interfere with novel access point away from attempt to recover (10)
CONVALESCE – An anagram (interfere with) NOVEL ACCESS without the final S (point away).
6 Dry one-and-a-half score seconds in (7)
THIRSTY – The abbreviation for seconds goes inside a number equal to one-and-half score (where score is 20).
9 Hulk director on the line, like the subject matter! (5)
ANGRY – The first name of Mr Lee (director of the film Hulk) followed by an abbreviation for a railway line gives the demeanour of the Incredible Hulk.
13 Bob’s first and David’s last to lead precipitation of intellectual loss (5,5)
BRAIN DRAIN – The first letter of Bob and the last letter of David are each followed by a word meaning precipitation.
15 With the Spanish going up, just about firm: empty reason for short measure (10)
BARLEYCORN – A word meaning just or hardly has the EL (the Spanish) reversed inside followed by the abbreviation for company (firm) and the outer letters (empty) of ReasoN. I think that the “about” in the clue is misleading here as it suggests that a word meaning just goes around the reversal of E where you actually need to reverse two of the letters in the word meaning just.
18 Fill fat man’s chest up with raw indifference (7)
BOREDOM – A word meaning raw goes inside a reversal (up) of a slang for a fat man (a contraction of man boobs).
19 Rook offers out others like him (5)
BIRDS – A word meaning offers goes outside the abbreviation in chess for the rook.
20 Live with something missing inside, Romeo – it keeps you looking forward (7)
BLINKER – A two letter word for live includes a word for something that may be missing (in terms of evolutionary progress) followed by the abbreviation for Romeo.
24 A bird not known to change for heroes of Amsterdam (4)
AJAX – The A from the clue followed by a bird of the crow family with the Y changed to an X.
25 Providing empty fealty is questionable (4)
IFFY – A two letter word meaning providing followed by the outer letters (empty) of FealtY. A minor point but empty was used as the same indicator in 15d.