A Puzzle by Sprocker
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Today we have a terrific puzzle by Sprocker – look very closely and you will know why I like 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 puzzle by Prolixic follows.
Welcome back to Sprocker with an accomplished and entertaining crossword. It contains a Nina (read clockwise around the perimeter of the grid to see a message. There was some tight and imaginative cluing and excellent surface readings.
8 He makes dough with a bit of corn and celeriac hearts (6)
EARNER – A three letter word for part of a corn plant followed by the central letters (hearts) of aNd and celERiac.
9 Hauls up for arsing about around artist (8)
ARRAIGNS – An anagram (about) of ARSING goes around a two letter abbreviation for an artist.
10 Flat note male Geordies start to trill (8)
TENEMENT – A two letter note of the musical scale followed by (2-3) a phrase that might mean men from the North East of England (male Geordies) and the first letter (start to) of trill.
11 Quote setter back? Makes one want to puke (6)
EMETIC – Reverse (back) a word meaning quote and a two letter word indicating the setter of the crossword.
12 What I do eat, eccentrically, I salt! (6)
IODATE – … a salt of Iodine. An anagram (eccentrically) of I DO EAT.
13 Dressed more smartly for this joint? That’s right out of line (8)
SPIFFIER – A word for a cannabis joint followed by the abbreviation for “that is” (that’s) and the abbreviation for right from which the abbreviation for line has been removed (out of line).
15 Some mechanics do a cut and shut with stable plastics (7)
STATICS – Remove the inner letters (do a cut) from STABLE PLASTICS and close the gap (shut).
17 Pill lacking active chemicals – effective, but only superficially (7)
PLACEBO – The initial letters (superficially) of the first seven letters of the clue with the whole clue providing a definition of the answer.
20 Brothel is identified by a silly doorbell (8)
BORDELLO – An anagram (silly) of DOORBELL.
22 Checks dishevelled lepers (6)
REPELS – An anagram (dishevelled) of LEPERS.
23 Leaders of the Spanish back hunt for aliens (6)
ELITES – The Spanish for “the” followed by a reversal (back) of the abbreviation for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. A very minor point but back has already been used as a reversal indicator in 11a.
25 Exposed models are almost cute when surrounding road (8)
CUTAWAYS – The first three letters (almost) of CUTE followed by a word meaning when that goes around (surrounding) a three letter word for a road.
26 Take what beans produce and cultivate for green energy source (4,4)
WIND FARM – Another word for flatulence (what beans produce) followed by a word meaning to cultivate.
27 Reprobate flips loudly out – take cover (3,3)
LIE LOW – Reverse the words (flips) in a two letter word for a reprobate (3,4) and then remove the F (loudly) from the second word.
1 Walking like a Hobbit, show off bottom (8)
BAREFOOT – … the Hobbits wear no shoes apparently! A word meaning to show something off followed by another word for bottom.
2 Communicated how Italian side behaved (10)
INTERACTED – The name of an Italian football team followed by another word meaning behaved.
3 Garlic, oddly, makes First Lady cry (6)
GRIEVE – The odd letters of garlic followed by the name of Adam’s wife in Genesis. I am not sure about the makes in this clue.
4 Strangest day – New York Times containing article by British newspaper (7)
DAFTEST – The abbreviation for day followed the abbreviation for time zone in which New York is inside which you add an indefinite article and the abbreviation of a daily financial newspaper. Another minor point, but I feel Times in the plural does not sit well with the singular used by the time zone.
5 Main antenna covering East and West Timor (8)
ARTERIAL – Another word for an antenna goes around the last letter (East) and first letter (West) of Timor.
6 Disgusting, wicked top to bottom (4)
VILE – A word meaning wicked has its first letter moved from the top to the bottom of the word.
7 Full with balls (6)
ENTIRE – A word meaning not castrated (used of horses) and a word meaning full or whole. The two meanings are very similar here.
14 Make up silly farce about Prisoner-of- War’s daring escape initially (4,6)
FACE POWDER – An anagram (silly) of FARCE around (about – again) the abbreviation for Prisoner of War followed by the first letters (initially) of daring escape.
16 Huge defeat sustained by company man (8)
COLOSSAL – The abbreviation for company and a two letter shortened man’s name go around a word meaning defeat. I am not convinced that sustained is a containment indicator. It means to hold up or as in an injury to suffer or bear something.
18 Oh boy! Mix up involving everyone has caused a commotion (8)
BALLYHOO – An anagram (mix up) of OH BOY includes a word meaning everyone.
19 Divided by four, 1,000,900 megabytes is dandy! (7)
COXCOMB – Split the number 100/0/900/0 (divided by four – better would be divided into four) and convert the numbers into Roman numerals. Add the abbreviation for megabytes.
21 Lubricate gear for drilling platform (3,3)
OIL RIG – A word meaning lubricate followed by a word meaning kit or gear.
22 Described again how I’m missing the crazy old-timer (6)
RETOLD – An anagram (crazy) of OLD TIMER after removing (missing) the IM
24 Solo love is outstanding (2-2)
TO-DO – A word meaning solo followed by the letter representing zero or love.