A Puzzle by Silvanus
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Silvanus returns to provide this week’s entertainment 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.
A crossword does not need to be difficult to be enjoyable as this outing from Silvanus shows us. A lot of attention has been paid to the wordplay and (usually) the surface readings.
1 Knock down bridge for access over track (5,8)
LEVEL CROSSING – A word meaning knock down or raze something following by another word for a bridge.
9 Demanding half-sister seized by purpose (9)
INSISTENT –Half of the word sister goes inside (seized by) a word meaning purpose
10 Time Switzerland was placed last after record “nul points” (5)
EPOCH – A type of old vinyl record followed by the letter representing 0 or “nul points” and the IVR code for Switzerland.
11 Muse or ponder a topic a little (5)
ERATO – The answer is hidden in (a little) PONDER A TOPIC.
12 Purchaser announced for cowshed (4)
BYRE – A homophone of buyer (purchaser).
13 Conduct dodgy deal (4)
LEAD – An anagram (dodgy) of DEAL.
15 Turned uneven tart to be finished off (7)
TRENDED – The odd (uneven) letters of TaRt followed by a word meaning to be finished off. Chambers gives the turned as a synonym for the answer.
17 Source guarded by the German resident (7)
DWELLER – A source of water or oil has one of the German words for “the” around it (guarded by).
18 Accounts for explosive noises (7)
REPORTS –A double definition.
20 Face the wrong way before endless street of eucalyptus, for instance (7)
GUMTREE – Reverse (the wrong way) a three letter informal word for the face and follow this with the inner letters (endless) of street. Chambers gives the answer as 3,4. Also, you can use definition OF wordplay in a clue but wordplay of definition is not universally approved of.
21 Rosemary exemplifies a lady’s ultimate aplomb (4)
HERB = Another word for “a lady’s” followed by the last letter (ultimate) of aplomb. I think that definition is exemplified by wordplay works better than definition exemplifies wordplay which seems to me to put things in the wrong order. The “a” could be have omitted from the clue but including the indefinite article is not a problem with clues.
22 Essex chap losing his head making comeback as a female singer (4)
DIVA – Remove the first letter (losing his head) from the singer (***** Essex) and reverse (making a comeback) the remaining letters.
23 React poorly to keyboard symbol (5)
CARET – An anagram (poorly) of REACT.
26 Pop up again, freed from meagre current (5)
RECUR – The answer is hidden (freed from) MEAGRE CURRENT.
27 Penetrate what Derek may do too well, say (5,4)
DRILL INTO – This is a homophone (say) of “What derrick may do to well”. I like the idea of the homophone applying to more than one word in the wordplay. Sadly, Chambers defines derrick as the framework that supports the boring apparatus, not the apparatus itself.
28 Rely on written interpretation to find one’s numbers have come up (7,6)
LOTTERY WINNER – An anagram (interpretation) of RELY ON WRITTEN.
1 Hunt county for cheese list I err in misplacing (14)
LEICESTERSHIRE – … a county once associated with fox hunting. An anagram (misplacing) of CHEESE LIST I ERR. The construction definition for wordplay is back to front as the usual order is wordplay for definition.
2 Holy man occupying Roman thoroughfare is quite a prospect! (5)
VISTA – The abbreviation for saint (holy man) goes inside a Latin word for a road.
3 Final call for unusual lard stores? (4,6)
LAST ORDERS – An anagram (unusual) of a LARD STORES. The surface reading here is not the most convincing.
4 Broadcast study of river floor and important wetland feature (4,3)
REED BED – A homophone (broadcast) of read (study) followed by another word for the floor of a river.
5 Took action about upset routine. It’s all sewn up! (7)
SUTURED – A word meaning took legal action goes around a reversal (upset) of word for routine.
6 Mountain goat on island is cross (4)
IBEX – The abbreviation for island followed by a word meaning to exist (is) and the letter representing a cross. I don’t think that be and is are precise synonyms but are close, is a conjugation of the verb to be.
7 Forgetting keys, woodcutter is a crawler (9)
GROVELLER – A five letter word for a wood or glade followed by another word for a cutter with two keys or musical notes removed from the beginning (forgetting keys). As there is one key or musical note at the end of the word for a wood, this is perhaps slightly unfair as not all the keys are lost.
8 Immediately prior to daybreak, proverbially, Theo heard Turks cavorting (3,7,4)
THE DARKEST HOUR – An anagram (cavorting) of THEO HEARD TURKS.
14 Back sick vicar to trap rodents with pasta (10)
VERMICELLI – Reverse (back) ILL REV (sick vicar) and include (to trap) a word for rodents.
16 Based on experience I nearly telephone leading large organisation, which is pointless (9)
EMPIRICAL – Remove the final letter from I CALL (In nearly telephone) and ahead of this (leading – Yoda like applied to the words that follow) a word for a large organisation with the final E removed (which is pointless). I don’t think that leading here works well because A leading B does not save in a very strained way mean B before A. Also, it is not made explicit which of the cardinal points is to be removed from the word for a large organisation.
19 Breeze from the south facing the French cheat (7)
SWINDLE – The abbreviation for south followed by a word for breeze followed by the French masculine for “the”.
20 The importance of physical attraction (7)
GRAVITY – Double definition, the second in the Newtonian sense of the word.
24 Rush home to an altercation (3,2)
RUN IN – A word for rush followed by a word for home.
25 Worry that pink sheets are covering soldiers (4)
FRET – The shortened form of the pink financial newspaper around (covering) the abbreviation for the sappers (soldiers). In a down clue, A covering B usually means A on top of B.