Happy New Year! by Beet
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have the last of three seasonal puzzles, this one, like the first, is by Beet. 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.
Beet makes a welcome return to the Rookie fold with a well constructed and inventive New Year’s themed crossword. Very little to comment on in terms of the wordplay other than that I enjoyed it. Perhaps five hidden word clues was a little on the high side for the crossword and I am not entirely sure about the cluing of the ‘N in 2d but these were minor points indeed. My favourite for the smile it induced was 32a/3d.
1 Nick has a whip-round for this flipping person (7)
ACROBAT – The A from the clue and another word for a whip go around a word meaning to nick or pinch something.
5 Someone who clears up rubbish left after New Year’s Day (7)
JANITOR – The shortened form of January 1 followed by a word meaning rubbish reversed (left).
9 Announce application for alimony (7)
EXCLAIM – Split 2-5, this would represent a demand made by a former spouse.
10 I like following creator of giant peach blossoms (7)
DAHLIAS – The surname of the author of James and the Giant Peach followed by the I from the clue and a two letter word meaning like.
11 Sound of Big Ben beginning to blast on midnight (4)
BONG – The first letter (beginning to) of blast followed by the ON from the clue and the middle letter of night (mid-night).
12 Hanging baskets? (4,5)
SLAM DUNKS – An elliptical reference to the means by which points can be scored by putting the ball through the hoop in basketball with a jumping shot referred to as hang time.
16 The closer one gets to one’s neighbours, the more likely things are to be tempestuous (6)
ISOBARS – A cryptic reference to the lines on a weather map which might, if close together, indicate stormy weather.
17 Overtone or under Dave, perhaps (8)
INNUENDO – You need a smutty mind to make Over tone or under Dave have sexual implications! Sometimes, commentators leave nothing to the imagination. In one snooker match, seeing Fred Davies difficulty in bridging to reach a ball, the commentator dryly remarked, “Fred Davies is getting too old to get his leg over so prefers to use his hand instead.”, etc.
21/29 Duly sang with elan when intoxicated (4,4,4)
AULD LANG SYNE – An all in one clue of what is sung when invariably drunk on New Year’s Eve – an anagram (intoxicated) of DULY SANG ELAN.
23 Knocked back the last of Champagne magnum (bubbly fizz) again because it aids digestion (6)
ENZYME – Reverse (knocked back) the final letters (last of) champagne magnum bubbly fizz again because.
24 Three quarters of audience is after something given out in New Year’s Honours List for doing as one’s told (9)
OBEDIENCE – The abbreviation for Order of the British Empire (something given out in the New Year’s honours list followed by ¾ of the word audience.
28 Tough guy with nothing to lose, changes sides and becomes sweetheart (4)
LAMB – Remove the O (with nothing to lose) from a tough guy from the movies played by Sylvester Stallone and change the initial letter from R to L (changes sides).
31 Whiskey (not whisky) and rye drunk on 31st December (4,3)
YEAR END – An anagram (drunk) of E (the remaining letter from Whiskey after the letters in whisky have been removed) AND RYE.
32/3 It sounds like my other half dropped the ball (6,1,4)
MISSED A BEAT – A homophone of Mister Beet – which assumes that the solver knows the setter is female!
33 “It offers respite from the din” – recommendation for The Listener (7)
EARPLUG – Split 3-4, a recommendation for the organ of the body, not the printed organ.
34 Paused around end of December and puckered (7)
CREASED – A word meaning paused or stopped goes around the final letter (end of) December.
1 Country where a zebra roams freely on New Year’s Day (10)
AZERBAIJAN – The A from the clue followed by an anagram (roams freely) of ZEBRA followed by a shortened form of 1 January (New Year’s Day).
2 Sex and drugs and….a fish sandwich? (4,1,4)
ROCK ‘N ROLL – The type of fish offered as a cod substitute in the fish and chip shop, an abbreviation of AND (implicit from the clue) and a type of sandwich. I did wonder if the answer referred to the fish in the sandwich but cannot see a justification of N as IN.
3 See 32 Across
4 So-called tiger is tame, but having had tail pulled then wild at heart (5)
TAMIL – The first three letters of TAME (having its tail pulled) followed by the central letters (at heart) of wild.
5/7 Mmmmm…form of cinematic psychological control it is.. (4,4,5)
JEDI MIND TRICK – A straight definition of something from the Star Wars films written in the style of those, like Yoda, who perform it.
6 Layer up with sport’s jacket (5)
NEHRU – Reverse the name of a bird that lays eggs and add the abbreviation for Rugby Union (sport).
7 See 5
8 User error or 7 (4)
RUSE – An anagram (error) of USER.
13 Group of birds who are game for New Year’s Eve initially (3)
NYE – … the collective noun for a group of pheasants. The initial letters of New Year’s Eve.
14 Globally held party (4)
BALL – The answer is hidden (held) in GLOBALLY.
15 Start to hope excessively for technology we’ve been led to expect in 2015 (10)
HOVERBOARD – … a reference to the technology expected in 2015 in Back the Future 2. The first letter (start to) of hope followed by a word meaning excessively.
18 Up to one’s elbow in plentiful narcotics (4)
ULNA – … the bone that goes up to the elbow from the wrist. The answer is hidden in PLENTIFUL NARCOTICS.
19 Party poopers weirdly stay in, giving it a miss on New Years (9)
NAYSAYERS – An anagram (weirdly) of STAY IN after removing the IT (giving it a miss) followed by an anagram (new) of YEARS.
20 Not the favourite place to tickle setter’s tummy (8)
UNDERDOG – A cryptic reference to the where the setter’s (animal) tummy is.
22 Add some colour to middle of coldest half of year (3)
DYE – The middle letter of coldest followed by the first two letters (half of) year.
25 Political leader overthrown in gladiatorial battle (5)
BLAIR – The answer is hidden and reversed (overthrown in) GLADATORIAL BATTLE.
26 Reside within the borders of Llandrindod Wells (5)
DWELL – The answer is hidden (within the boarders) of LLANDRINDOD WELLS.
27 For example, Russell Brand could be “The Dandy” (5)
COMIC – A double definition of a type of children’s magazine and a performer such as Russell Brand.
29 See 21 Across
30 Expression of appreciation found in concise edition (1,3)
I SEE – The answer is hidden in CONCISE EDITION.