A Puzzle by Futhark
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have another puzzle from Futhark. Has he learned the lessons from comments on his debut puzzle? Now is the time to find out. 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.
Welcome back to Futhark with his second crossword in the Rookie corner. I thought that this was better than his first crossword with a definite improvement in the surface readings of the clues (with an honourable exception for 3d). There were still a few rough edges that I have indicated but these are usually the sort of things that get ironed out when a crossword is test-solved.
I counted 11 anagrams in this crossword. This is undoubtedly too high. A better balance of clues gives a more enjoyable crossword. The grid was unusual with three distinct diagonal sections. Although not wrong (and some papers use grids with four separate sections joined in the middle), it does not make life easy for the solver as there are fewer cross-checking entries between different parts of the grid if you get stuck for a solution.
5 Record is cut, containing LP, for example (4)
DISC – The answer is hidden in (containing) RECORD IS CUT
8 Delights to ensure trap is set (10)
ENRAPTURES – An anagram (is set) of ENSURE TRAP. A minor point, definition TO wordplay does not work. Wordplay TO definition or Definition from Wordplay is the usual order.
9 See 14 Down
10 Hot, in a queer sort of way? Queerly Homeric, too (10)
HOMOEROTIC – An anagram (queerly) of HOMERIC TOO. People have commented on whether this clue is appropriate. It could offend in two ways – those who do not like sexual references in clues and those who dislike the use of the word “queer” to refer to those who are lesbian, gay or transsexual. Unless you are setting the likes of a Private Eye crossword, it is probably better to avoid clues that are likely to offend.
11/15/24 Fantasy epic found in random ‘other things’ folder (3,4,2,3,5)
LORD OF THE RINGS – An anagram (random) of OTHER THINGS FOLDER.
12 Musical body part? (5)
ORGAN – A lightly veiled cryptic definition of part of the body that is also a word for a musical instrument.
13 Conservatives leading socialists into rocky gaps (6)
CLEFTS – An abbreviation for conservatives goes before (leading) another word for socialists. I think that socialists collectively are referred to as “the left” rather than lefts. Lefties would be the plural collective noun.
16 Nothing in title about this instrument (4)
OBOE – A O (nothing) goes inside an honour awarded by the Queen. I am not sure that an OBE is a title as such. It is an honour unlike a peerage or knighthood that confers a title on a person. The about is padding here – Nothing in title for this instrument would be better.
17 Punished for being intoxicated! (5)
CANED – A double definition.
18 Price of carbon and oxygen on the street (4)
COST – The chemical symbols for carbon and oxygen followed by the abbreviation for street.
19 Prevents political alliance of South Korea being reversed (6)
BLOCKS – Another word for a political alliance followed by a reversal of the abbreviation for South and Korea. I don’t think that this clue works with the final abbreviations. Although S can be used as the abbreviation for South, K is the abbreviation for Cambodia (formerly Kampuchea) not Korea. SK is the abbreviation for Slovakia.
20 Sneakily scuttle, start something then do nothing (5)
SIDLE – The first letter (start) of something followed by a word meaning do nothing. Am I a lone voice in believing that start on its own does not (in the cryptic grammar) mean the first letter? It should be “start of”.
21 Thick coat of tree, apparently (3)
FUR – A homophone (apparently) of FIR (tree). Apparently is not really used as a homophone indicator without adding some reference to hearing. Reportedly would be better.
22 Crazy for a filter on introductory discount (5,5)
TRIAL OFFER – An anagram (crazy) of FOR A FILTER.
24 See 11
25 Who let ants dance about in display of skill? (6,4)
TALENT SHOW – An anagram (dance about) of WHO LET ANTS.
26 Reclines dishonestly (4)
LIES – A double definition.
1 Early man, carelessly grooming, can drop short measure of gin (3-6)
CRO-MAGNON – A anagram (carelessly) of GROOMING CAN after removing the first two letters (short measure) of GIN.
2 Le Pen’s diseased 12 (6)
SPLEEN – A part of the body that is an answer to 12a. An anagram (diseased) of LE PENS.
3 ‘Greek spirit’ (or ‘French zoo’, for short) (4)
OUZO – The French for “or” followed by the first two letters (for short) of zoo. I am not sure that “for short” really indicates the removal of the last letter. Shortly or briefly would be better. As the surface reading does not make sense, a better way of cluing the word could be found.
4 For each one, gauges boundaries (10)
PERIMETER – A three letter word meaning for each, an I (one) and another word for gauges.
6 Silent confusion of the creeks (6)
INLETS – An anagram (confusion) of SILENT.
7 Secret enemy conceals Greek isle (5)
CRETE – The answer is hidden in SECRET ENEMY.
8 They log on, uncertainly, to study tribes (9)
ETHNOLOGY – An anagram (uncertainly) of THEY LOG ON.
13 Ruin each A.C. converter of mediaeval poet? (10)
CHAUCERIAN – An anagram (converter) of RUIN EACH AC.
14/9 Daft cow’s father lies in direct path! (2,3,4,5)
AS THE CROW FLIES – An anagram (daft) of COWS FATHER LIES.
15 See 11 Across
19 Sturdy shoe of second-rate ruffian (7)
BROGUE – A letter meaning second rate followed by another word for a ruffian.
20 Brief briefs (6)
SHORTS – A single definition of pants unless you have a better suggestion!
21 Frippery makes priest sick! (5)
FRILL – The abbreviation for Father (priest) followed by a word meaning sick.
23 Assist a wager (4)
ABET – The A from the clue followed by another word for a wager.