Rookie Corner 030 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Rookie Corner 030

A Puzzle by Sprocker

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Today we have a second puzzle from Sprocker.  He hopes that this one is slightly easier to solve than his first effort.  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.  New or repeat entries are more than welcome.

A review of this puzzle by Prolixic follows.

A welcome return by Sprocker.  There were far fewer issues with this crossword and it was a more enjoyable solve.  My only concern was some of the containment indicators that were somewhat weak.  However, there were some very good clues here including my favourite – 8d.


1 Tagged broken device (6)
GADGET – An anagram (broken) of TAGGED.

4 Replace 18 inhibition (4-2)
HANG-UP – Double definition of what you would do with 18d having made a call and an inhibition.

9 Pallid when heavily disheartened (4)
ASHY – A two letter word for when followed by the outer letters (disheartened) of heavily.

10 That’s hilarious, grandma was given drug at informal concert (10)
HOOTENANNY – A four letter word meaning hilarious followed by a word for a grandma with the abbreviation for ecstasy (drug) inserted (was given). Given is a weak containment indicator. Swallowing drug might be stronger and maintain the surface reading.

11 Austere holy man miserable you finish with empty dish (6)
SADDHU – A three letter word meaning miserable followed by the final letter (finish) of you inside which (with) you add the outer letters (empty) of dish. I don’t think that with is really a containment indicator. The surface reading here is not the strongest.

12 Support a revolutionary with lumbago (8)
BACKACHE – A four word meaning support followed by the A in the clue and the well known South American revolutionary.

13 Guarantee support for the panel (9)
COMMITTEE – A word meaning guarantee or promise followed by the golfing support.

15 Strand which I should pull initially (4)
WISP – The initial letters (initially) of Which I Should Pull.

16 Produce fresh sweet (4)
MINT – A triple definition.

17 Dirty dishes becoming jetsam (7-2)
WASHING-UP – A double definition.

21 Fashionable glass bottle provides a snifter or two (8)
HIPFLASK – A three letter meaning fashionable followed by another word for glass bottle.

22 Unable to shift cloud of dust (6)
NEBULA – An anagram (to shift) of UNABLE.

24 Percussion groups send tables flying (5,5)
STEEL BANDS – An anagram (flying) of SENT TABLES.

25 Hit friends around (4)
SLAP – Reverse (around) a word for friends.

26 Led astray after signifying assent, did you use this? (6)
NODDLE – The head movement for signifying assent followed by an anagram (astray) of LED.

27 Holy man beheads serving girl and creates an almighty stink (6)
STENCH – The abbreviation for saint (holy man) followed by another word for serving girl with the first letter removed (beheads).


1 Secret police mixed up postage (7)
GESTAPO – An anagram (mixed up) of POSTAGE.

2 In a quandry? Address tree spirit (5)
DRYAD – The answer is hidden in QUANDRY ADDRESS. There is a problem with this clue that the correct spelling is quandary! Setters cannot mangle the spelling of words to make them fit the wordplay!

3 Tire comes off a car (7)
EXHAUST – A double definition, the second being the fumes emitted from a car.

5 Could be estate model? (6)
AGENCY – A word that could follow estate or model.

6 Degree ceremony without university giving degree (9)
GRADATION – Remove the abbreviation for university from the word that describes the ceremony at which degrees are awarded.

7 Uppercut and several similar (5-2)
PUNCH-UP – I can only guess that this is a mild cryptic definition as any other wordplay currently eludes me.

8 Causing an obstruction on the road – could this be muppet central! (6-7)
DOUBLE PARKING – The central letters (central) of muppet give an abbreviation that suggests the answer. As a proper noun, Muppet should be capitalised.

14 Bizarrely I need film of danger zone (9)
MINEFIELD – An anagram (bizarrely) of I NEED FILM.

16 Hydrate with Miso soup before eleven (7)
MOISTEN – An anagram (soup) of MISO followed by the integer that comes before eleven. Some editors will not accept a noun (soup here) as an anagram indicator.

18 Prepared after husband lost cable, perhaps for phone (7)
HANDSET – Remove the USB (a type of cable) from Husband and follow this with a word meaning prepared.

19 Release of french articles has messed up (7)
UNLEASH – The French masculine articles for A and The followed by an anagram (messed up) of HAS. Again, as a proper noun, French should be capitalised.

20 Caper sounds like a risky proposition (6)
GAMBOL – a homophone (sounds like) of gamble (a risky proposition).

23 Even-toed ungulate is rubbish having even toes backwards (5)
BISON – The even letters of toes reversed (backwards) inside a word meaning rubbish as in put it in the rubbish / ***.


18 comments on “Rookie Corner 030

  1. A very pleasant puzzle to solve. Not too tricky and lots to smile about. We think that 10a gave us the biggest chuckle so will nominate it for today’s favourite.
    Many thanks Sprocker.

  2. I like 8 down, which I only got after running through the names of all the muppets I could think of so I was completely misdirected. I also liked 6 and 16 down. I didn’t know the word at 26 across ( but the wordplay led me to it no problem) – I tend to use my noggin instead. Thanks and well done Sprocker.

  3. I was expecting something a bit tougher. It fun, though, and some nice smiley moments . I have lots of “like” check marks! I had to think about the parsing of 8D and 23A but that’s due to different countries, different words. I particularly liked 18D, but 10A was my favorite because it’s such a lovely word. Thanks, Sprocker!

  4. Thanks to everyone for all the nice comments – this time out I deliberately tried to aim at the gentler end of the Spectrum in terms of difficulty (kind of back pager early in the week standard), so I’m not surprised the regular’s here weren’t stretched – very pleasing to hear it was still enjoyable though :)

  5. I’m sure it shouldn’t but 5d is giving me grief – nudge, anyone?

    A very good offering – well done Sprocker.

    1. Estate and model, used adjectivally, are both examples (note the question mark) of the answer. Hope that helps. It was our last one to sort out too.

  6. Very enjoyable, I can’t pick a favourite because I liked all of them except 9a. Is that a word ? I have mislaid my BRB.I also didn’t understand 23d. 5d was my last in. Anyway, thanks Sprocker.

    1. I worked out 23D as a 3-leter word for where rubbish goes in the UK, having (containing) the even letters of toes backwards, the definition being an ungulate with four toes.

  7. Thanks very much for the review – absolutely kicking myself for having misspelled quandary (I think in future I’ll just run the clues wholesale through spell check!). Also I clearly need to pay a bit more attention to the capitalisation within the clues, and I definitely need to be more precise with the indicators I’m using.

    Just a minor clarification – for 7d I was going for a double definition – ‘uppercut’ being a slightly cryptic definition of the answer relating to a single blow, with ‘and several more’ providing the definition for a whole fight.

    1. Apart from the striping terror at 2d I thought that was the best of the rookies so far – imho of course.

    2. That’s how I parsed 7D. I’m far too embarrassed to admit how far off I was in my interpretation of 8D, though!

  8. You can find muppet, without a capital letter, in Chambers. Purists might disagree about the capital C, but I think Muppet Central would probably have been better

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