Rookie Corner 032 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Rookie Corner 032

Holidays by CW

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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.

Today we have CW’s third puzzle.  Although there is a theme, the puzzle can be solved without reference to it.  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 by Prolixic follows.

CW is coming on leaps and bounds in his setting.  It has been quite a few weeks since his last crossword but this was worth waiting for.  The French theme (and some other holiday destinations) came through well in the clues and the answers.  Only a few minor issues on the clues arose when reviewing the crossword.


1 Pleasant place in France… (4)
NICE – Double definition, the second being a city on the French Riviera.

4 … in favour of another nearby French department (8)
PROVENCE – A three letter word meaning in favour of followed by the name of a commune nearby the city in the answer to 1a.

10 Departed – by the guillotine? (6,3)
HEADED OFF – What the guillotine may have done to capital assets!

11 Records shown at festival in Cannes? (5)
FILMS – A double definition continuing the French theme.  The famous festival in Cannes shows these records.  The two meaning here are very similar, one being a verb used to describe the production of the noun.  Covers what is shown at a festival in Cannes might have provided more separation between the two definition.

12 Beauty on radio – a girl (6)
GLORIA – A homophone (on the radio) of a word meaning beauty or splendour followed by the A from the clue.

13 Pious platitudes in a bar (7)
CANTINA – A four letter word meaning pious platitudes followed by the IN A from the clue.

15 At airport and in Heather’s journey (7,5)
LANDING STRIP – Put the AND from the clue inside another word for heather retaining the ‘S and follow this with a word for a journey.  A personal dislike of mine is prepositional definitions where phrases such  as “at airport” or “in India” are used to indicate places. 

18 Honour old Frenchman mostly grasping tamper where there are plays of passion? (12)
OBERAMMERGAU – A three letter word for an honour followed by another word for the old French inhabitants with the final L removed (mostly) around (grasping) another word for a tamper.

23 Wind upsetting slim tar (7)
MISTRAL – An anagram (upsetting) of SLIM TAR.

24 Touching dark French painter (6)
RENOIR – Another word for touching, on or about followed by the French word for dark.

26 Shore glide (5)
COAST – A double definition.  The surface reading here is not the most polished.

27 Troubled – enact sins without end (9)
INCESSANT – An anagram (troubled) of ENACT SINS.

28 French nature park flower. Discuss. (8)
CAMARGUE – A three letter university river (flower) followed by a word meaning discuss or debate.

29 Take notice of backward college (4)
NOTE – Reverse (backward) a well known public school.


2 American statesmen in a house with papers and a couple of poles outside. (8)
IDAHOANS – Another word for papers, the second A from the clue and the abbreviations for the north and south poles go around (outside) the first A from the clue and the abbreviation for house.

3 Métier I adapted for retired professors (7)
EMERITI – An anagram (adapted) of METIER I.

4 Two thirds of real thing needed to make boat go (4)
PROP – Two thirds of word meaning real or correct.

5 Cover required when thermometer registers just above freezing? (6,4)
OFFICE TEMP – An oblique way of describing the temperature of water just before it freezes to give a worker who provides cover.

6 Doesn’t start to upset, that is, upset about Eastern European noble (7)
EFFENDI – Remove the first letter from a word meaning upset and put around this a reversal (upset) of the abbreviation for that is.  To describe the Ottoman Empire from where the word is derived as Eastern European is slightly misleading.

7 Short change around the French Island port (7)
CALAIS – Put a four letter word for change or money with the final letter removed (short) around the French feminine form of the and the abbreviation for island.

8 A little Cha-Cha gal loves impressionist (7)
CHAGALL – The answer is hidden inside (a little) CHA-CHA GAL LOVES.

9 I polish off spiritual island? (5)
ISLAY – … the spirit here being whiskey.  The I from the clue followed by a word meaning polish off or kill.

14 Easter game – for example – turn up inside horse? (3,7)
EGG ROLLING – The abbreviation for “for example” followed by a two letter description of a horse used mainly by young children inside which you add a word meaning turn up or arrive (4.2) often used when someone comes back late and drunk.

16 Unaware of technology containing negative in relation (8)
IGNORANT – A two letter abbreviation for information technology around (containing) a word indicating a negative response which as being put inside the name of a female older relative.

17 Mexican sandwich has rough edge with nothing under it (7)
BURRITO – A four letter word for a rough edge followed by the IT from the clue and the letter representing nothing.

19 Top gear for priest sober after rage in airline (7)
BIRETTA – Add a word meaning rage or anger and the abbreviation for teetotal (sober) inside the abbreviation for British Airways (airline).

20 American essayist took European boy round French sea (7)
EMERSON – The abbreviation for European and another word for a boy go around the French word for the sea.

21 Laughs at bottom rising in article of clothing (5)
SMOCK – Move the S at the bottom of a word meaning laughs or scorns to the top (rising).

22 Spaniard calls home up during a nap – see? (6)
ESPANA – The answer is hidden and reversed inside (up during) A NAP SEE.

25 A round about on area (4)
ACRE – The A from the clue followed by the abbreviation for circa (round about) and a two letter word meaning on or about.

18 comments on “Rookie Corner 032

  1. Really good fun. Several, for example 18a and 14d, were clues where the answer came quite easily and then it took some time to work out the wordplay. Well worth the effort though as they were clever constructions. Much appreciated.
    Thanks CW.

  2. Nice one. 2D took me far too long to see, particularly as there’s been a similar clue recently. Still sorting out the wordplay for 18A. I rather liked 10A and 9D. Thanks CW.

  3. Most entertaining. The standard of these so-called ‘Rookie’ puzzles gets better each week (imho). I prefer some of them, including this one, to those on offer from the professionals (excluding Rufus, Cephas & Virgilius of course).

  4. I agree with the previous comments – good fun.
    I’m stuck now, though – can’t get 2d and have an almost completely blank top right corner. I can see what 4a ought to be but can’t see why apart from the first three letters – haven’t put it in – maybe it’s wrong.
    I like 10 and 28a and 5 and 9d.
    Thanks and congratulations to CW.

    1. For 2d, we recently, in another crossword, had Nevadan as an answer to a similar clue. Think along those lines and then put several Lego bits together for the word play. 4d: the answer is the first 4 letters of a synonym for ‘real’ and is the short form of what may stick out of the back of a boat

      1. Thanks – got 4d – it’s the 4a that’s giving me grief. I SO know what I want to make it but . . .
        . . . and still can’t do 2d – will work on all of it . . .

        1. For 2D, take the letter ‘a’ plus the usual 2-letter abbreviation for house, and put that inside the usual 2-letter abbreviation for papers and the letter ‘a’ followed by the first letters of the two poles of the earth. The answer is people who live in a particular American State well known for growing spuds.

          1. Thanks – that’s what I’ve been trying to make it all afternoon. Should have asked Mr Google in the first place – I’ve never heard of it, but he has. Oh dear!

    2. 4A is a 3-letter word meaning in favor, followed by 5-letter word which is another example of an area of the France .

  5. I appreciated this level, not particularly easy but not too obscure.I really liked 10d, 5d, 18a, and 26a. As for 28a, on the radio, groan .15a was very clever. My only beef, 6d is not european (and never will be I hope. If they do become members, I’m moving to the UK and voting Ukip ) , it isTurkish.Thanks CW.

  6. Mr first Rookie Corner and my hat off to CW. I would have never got 2d in a million years but serious pat on back for 18a. I will definitely be printing RCs off from now on. Back to pub quiz questions as venue now set for just into New Year, serious fund-raising for young friend who has chosen to dash up and down Kilimanjaro.

  7. Well done to CW on an enjoyable puzzle and thanks to Prolixic for the write-up.
    Even though I completed the puzzle yesterday without noticing it (and no-one else seems to have noticed) the enumeration for 7d is incorrect.

  8. Thanks for all the comments. Think I should clear up 6dn which is still used as an honorific in Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey. Rather than European as in the EU, Eastern Europe is the eastern part of the European continent which I think covers these countries – well that’s what I undertand from wikipedia anyway!

    1. You are super brave to compile a crossword, when I had my cataracts done the surgeon and I had an indepth discussion about compiling and came to the coclusion that you all deserved a gold medal for bravery.

  9. Had a bit of trouble sorting out my spellings for priests’ hats, Mexican sandwiches and the location for the Passion plays, but got there in the end (electronic help for 18a!).

    Very well done, CW – I second Hilary’s comments.

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