A Puzzle by Sprocker
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today’s puzzle comes from Sprocker. 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.
Thank you to Sprocker for an interesting crossword. I suspect that the average solver would have been completely flummoxed by the use of in-house crossword jargon but as a crossword for this blog, it is fair to use jargon that regular readers will know – though Big Dave strives to avoid jargon such as fodder and anagrind in the explanations of the clues. There were a few rough edges in the crossword that I have indicated.
8 Mortgage starts to hurt and it leaves emotional mess (4,4)
HOME LOAN – The first letter (starts to) of hurt followed by an anagram (mess) of EMOTIONAL after removing the IT. Two points to note. The first is that to indicate the selection of a single letter it should be “start to” as “starts to” indicates two or more letters. The second is that where you are to delete letters from the wordplay before making an anagram, unless the letters are removed in order, some editors prefer a secondary anagram indicator.
9 Unconcern when a bit of animal poo is found in the hay – messy! (6)
APATHY – Another name for the faeces produced by a cow, say, goes inside (is found in) an anagram (messy) of HAY.
10 Journalist tailed a vehicle and got injured (6)
ABUSED – The A from the clue is followed by a public service transport vehicle and the abbreviation for editor (journalist).
11 Psychotic computer infects home worker with aerosol perhaps (8)
INHALANT – The name of the computer in 2001 – A Space Odyssey goes inside (infects) a word meaning home and an insect worker.
12 Nearly puke, losing heart, with mangled gear – have to regain power (8)
RECHARGE – Remove the central letter (losing heart) from a word meaning almost be sick and follow this with an anagram (mangled) of GEAR. The link word here should be “has” as in wordplay has definition. Wordplay “have” definition breaks the cryptic grammar.
13 Whilst on board, ask for assistance to find showers (6)
SPRAYS – A word meaning to ask for assistance, perhaps when you kneel and put your hands together, inside SS (on board meaning in the abbreviation for a ship).
14 Cross with these words? Is it crossword’s complicated construction? (11,4)
COMBINATION CLUE – Another word for a cross or hybrid followed by a description of the words you are reading.
18 No litter (6)
REFUSE – A double definition. No as a noun is a refusal, not refuse. Refuse is a verb and you cannot clue a noun with a verb. Although refuse can be used as a noun, in the context in which it is used it does not mean no.
20 That’s concerning, newborn‘s born on a volunteer unit and left (8)
NEONATAL – A two letter word meaning born, the ON from the clue, the name of the former volunteer army unit and the abbreviation for left.
23 Holding helpful letters (8)
CHECKING – A word meaning holding or restraining is used for the helpful letters that a solver may rely on to find the solution in a crossword. Rather like 18a, the answer here gives an adjective describing the letters but the definition gives a noun and one cannot be used to define the other.
24 Contaminate seabed by mistake (6)
DEBASE – An anagram (by mistake) of SEABED.
25 Thoughtless heartless embrace (6)
CARESS – Remove the central L (heartless) from a word meaning thoughtless. If you use a word like heartless, it must mean removing the central letter or letters. Here, in the wordplay, it is not the exact central letters that are being removed.
26 Grind grain in and around design to give two samples (8)
ANAGRIND – An anagram (grind) of GRAIN goes inside the AND from the clue. Around and Design are two words that may be used to indicate anagrams and are examples of the solution. It is a real shame that the final five letters of the clue are also the anagram indicator used at the beginning of the clue. Mill grain in… would have worked here.
1/19 I’ve given you no reason to copy Cockney’s guesses! (6,6)
DOUBLE UNCHES – You won’t find that Sprocker has given us any in this crossword. Another word meaning to copy or duplicate followed by a word meaning guesses without the leading H (Cockney). I am not sure that “I’ve given you no reason” really defines the answer.
2 Married European woman in India will bash mime about (8)
MEMSAHIB – An anagram (about) of WILL BASH.
3 Possibly after mix-up, ‘Foxtrot Oscar’ said theologian to the Queen (6)
FODDER – … the letters used to make up an anagram. The letters represented by Foxtrot and Oscar followed by the abbreviation for Doctor of Divinity (theologian) and the abbreviation for the reigning monarch. The fodder is the letters before they are mixed up to give the answer, not after mix up.
4 Credit in cardinal sin? (8,7)
INDIRECT ANAGRAM – The cardinal sin for crossword setters is to create one of these. The answer is an inverse clue where you have to make up an clue that would recreate CREDIT IN. If an inverse clue is being used, some indication that this is what is required should ideally be given. It may result in credit in cardinal sin…”
5 Manliness dictates that high speed’s the standard practice (8)
MACHISMO – A word for high speed (travelling at the speed of sound) retaining the ‘s from speed’s) followed by the abbreviation for modus operandi, the standard way someone works.
6 Might we think that only the Queen is more common than this traveller? In the main (6)
SAILOR – My best guess is that this is a play on COARS-ER (more common) as a homophone for corsair. I did ask the setter if this was the correct parsing but received a rather terse reply suggesting that I was solving the wrong crossword – at which point, I lost interest in finding the correct parsing.
7 Express gratitude that a bit of jiggery-pokery stays on tour? Almost (5,3)
THANK YOU – Inside the first three letters (almost) add half of hanky panky (jiggery-pokery). There are a few problems with this clue. “A bit of” usually used to indicate the first letter and not half the word. Also, in a down clue I cannot see that “stays on” is an insertion indicator.
15 O listen! (but not on purpose) (8)
OVERHEAR – One of the words for which O is an abbreviation followed by a word meaning to listen results in a word meaning to listen or eavesdrop but not on purpose.
16 Born to die, holy woman is the most demanding (8)
NEEDIEST – A word meaning born (also used in the masculine form in 20a) followed by the DIE from the clue and the abbreviation for a saint or holy woman.
17 Judge’s office has our rule-book (8)
CHAMBERS – Double definition of where a judge can sit and a dictionary beloved of crossword solver and setters. I would not describe Chambers as a rule-book in the context of Cruciverbalism.
19 See 1
21 Pop pensioner perhaps (3,3)
OLD MAN – Another word for a father or pop is also indicative of a pensioner.
22 Allow bum in American hospital department (6)
ASSENT – ASS (bum in American parlance) + ENT (hospital department).