A Puzzle by Imsety
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Imsety seems to have caught the setting bug and makes a speedy return with this, his third, 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.
If you have a puzzle you would like to see published here then why not write to me, using the contact page. The cupboard is looking very bare at the moment, so new or repeat entries are more than welcome.
Imsety is setting the standard for our Rookie setters. This was another highly polished crossword with some excellent surface readings and clever misdirection. Only a couple of comments on the clues which indicates the standard that he is aiming for is being reached.
1 Set off blast in US’s capital city (8)
ISTANBUL – An anagram (set off) of BLAST IN U, capital being an indication to take the first letter only of US.
6/9 Where landlords are sometimes locked up (6,4)
BEHIND BARS – A double definition with the landlords being publicans.
10 Vessels remain at sea, caught by small vehicle sailing west (10)
SUBMARINES – Reverse (sailing west) S (small) and the name of a public service vehicles and include (caught by) an anagram (at sea) of REMAINS.
11 Department store carries queen and tiny amount of twin beds (6)
BERTHS – The abbreviation for British Home Stores (department store) holds (carried) the usual two letter abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth and the first letter (tiny amount of) twin.
12 Royal Mail chases international package couriers, finally getting some replies (8)
RIPOSTES – An R for Royal followed by another word for mail inside (chases) the abbreviation for international and the last letters (finally) of package couriers. R for Royal is not a recognised abbreviation. It involves a two stage solving process – Royal could be king or queen, the abbreviation for which can be R. Although Royal is abbreviated as Royal in RAF, it is not permitted to use part abbreviations like this. To chase something is to engrave it. Engraving is cutting into something so chase just about works as an insertion indicator even through the cutting / engraving is on the outside!!
14 Side level after Pele’s header – he works so well with his colleagues! (4,6)
TEAM PLAYER – Another word for a team or group of players followed by the first letter (header) of PELE and another word for a level.
16 Long throw lacks power (4)
ITCH – Remove the P (power) from the front of a word meaning throw or toss something.
18 Celebrity‘s somewhat bitter at Strictly rejection (4)
STAR – The answer is hidden (somewhat) and reversed (rejection) inside BITTER AT STRICTLY.
19 Opinion of anti- Semite showing love for English organisation? (10)
ESTIMATION – An anagram (organisation) of ANTI-SEMITE after replacing one of the Es (English) with an O (love). Some editors will not allow organisation (a noun) to be used as an anagram indicator.
21 Highlights in son’s hair (8)
STRESSES – The abbreviation for son followed by another word for hair (particularly long hair).
23 Principal ingredients of newly updated tikka masala, for example spice (6)
NUTMEG – The first letters (principal ingredients of) Newly Updated Tikka Masala followed by the abbreviation for “for example”.
25 Its use divided many (10)
GUILLOTINE – A cryptic definition of the device used to remove peoples heads during the French Revolution.
27 Study register (4)
READ – A double definition. A dial or gauge will read or register (show) a value.
28 Key goal at the conclusion of game? (6)
LEGEND – Another word for a goal or objective goes after (at the conclusion) of another word for game in a competition or series of games.
29 Complains when good doctor breaks laws (8)
GRUMBLES – The abbreviation for good followed by an abbreviation for doctor inside (breaks) another word for laws.
2 Perhaps Washington intended to leak a report (9)
STATEMENT – A constituent part of the USA of which Washington is an example followed by a homophone (to leak) of meant (intended).
3 Beast of burden gets unlimited strength (5)
ASSET – Another word for a beast of burden followed by the inner letters (unlimited) of gETs.
4 Popular books by 1960s’ footballer and actor (4,7)
BEST SELLERS – The 1960’s Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer (first name George) and the actor first name Peter) who played Inspector Clouseau.
5 Terribly upset to lose the last of our freedom (7)
LIBERTY – An anagram (upset) of TERRIBLY after removing an R (last of our).
6 Fashion accessory conceals half of straw hat (3)
BOA – Half of a Boater (straw hat).
7 A garment made from Harris Tweed is initially worn around hospital (4,5)
HAIR SHIRT – An anagram (worn) of HARRIS TI (tweed is initially) around the abbreviation for Hospital.
8 Bring up Europe with a German relative? (5)
NIECE – Reverse (bring up) the abbreviation for European Community and the German indefinite article.
13 Type of drink on menu at a fancy gastropub, for example (11)
PORTMANTEAU – a word coined from two or more other words … A type of fortified wine (drink) followed by an anagram (fancy) of MENU AT A.
15 Hurt by phrase heard in French metropolis (9)
MARSEILLE – A three letter word meaning hurt or injure followed by a homophone (heard) of SAY (phrase – as in to speak or enunciate something). A personal preference when solving and (usually) when setting is that homophones give a proper word as part of the solution, not a series of letters that sound like the wordplay indicator.
17 Craftsman had to work with others (2-7)
CO-OPERATE – Another word for a barrel maker (craftsman) followed by another word meaning had (as in I had a meal).
20 Quiz in the middle of Telegraph is difficult (7)
TESTING – A four letter word for a quiz followed by the IN from the clue and the middle letter of telegraph.
22 Ceasefire Palestine’s backing after short uprising (5)
TRUCE – The final letter (backing) of Palestine follows (after) a reversal (uprising) of a word meaning short or brusque.
24 Detailed article about gold and British pound (5)
THROB – Remove the final letter (detailed) from THE and follow this with a reversal (about) of a two letter word for gold and the abbreviation for British.
26 Rum contributing to blood disorder? (3)
ODD – The answer in hidden inside (contributing to) BLOOD DISORDER.
A common and useful cluing device is the deletion clue. Imsety uses these effectively in this crossword. A deletion clue requires the solver to delete one or more letters from the wordplay to give part of the solution. The reason for the versatility of this cluing device is the ways in which deletions can be used.
Delete the first letter of a word
Removing the first letter of a word can leave useful letters for the remainder of the wordplay. Deletion indicators for the first letter are usually of the form headless, lead free, decapitated, topless (in a down clue), scratching the first, or anything that indicates that the beginning of the word is omitted.
Deleting the last letter of a word
Deleting the last letter of a word can be indicated in one of two ways. Sometimes the instruction is clear such as tailless, scratching the bottom or other indicators that suggest the final letter is omitted. A more subtle indicator is to indicate that the wordplay is curtailed in some way such as words suggesting that a word is taken briefly or is abridged.
Deleting the first and last letters of a word
Deleting the first and last letters can be indicated by words such as endlessly (lacking both ends) or shelled to leave the central letters.
Deleting the inner letters of a word
Indicators can suggest that you remove one or more of the central letters of a word. Indicators such as heartlessly, gutted, etc might suggest removing one or more of the central letters. One of the benefits is that the setter can indicate the removal of one or more letters with the same letters. Heartless rogue might indicate either roué (the G being removed) or RE, the OGU being remove. The only thing to remember is that you must be fair. Heartless rouge could not be used to indicate RGE as the OU to be removed are not at the heart of the word.
Deleting one of two central letters
Where the word has a double consonant or vowel in the middle, half-hearted or similar indicators can suggest taking only one of the double letters. Half hearted pop-group might give ABA from ABBA.
Deleting specific letters
Specific letters can be deleted from a word. Lacking love, for example might indicate removing an O from word or timeless might indicate removing a T. This type of deletion can be used well with abbreviations.