A Puzzle by Unable Panda
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Unable Panda has set the latest Rookie puzzle – this time with a more friendly grid than before. 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 the Unable Panda who has produced a tricky crossword – in part from some horrendous words in the grid that and secondly from some obscure wordplay. There were lots of promising clues here too, such as 15a .
1 Point and bend leg first to get trained fighter (8)
GAMECOCK – A slang word for a lady’s leg goes before (first) a point of the compass and a word meaning bend (as a dog might do with its leg).
5 Another no ball is part of this male organ (6)
STAMEN – Take the O (ball) from another to give part of the male reproductive organ of a plant that forms the answer.
9 Effeminate? An Italian bloke with feverish flu (8)
UNMANFUL – One of the Italian indefinite articles followed by another word for a bloke and an anagram (feverish) of FLU. The question mark is presumably there to indicate that this is not a real word! Chambers give unmanlike as the adjectival form and unmanfully as the adverbal form.
10 Endless rumour about expression of frustration in East End lizards (6)
GECKOS – One half of the word gossip around how a cockney would pronounce heck. Endless to indicate removing half a word is not fair on the solver.
12 Career cannot inspire alumni (13)
PRINCETONIANS – … alumni of an American university. An anagram (career) of CANNOT INSPIRE. A technical point here. As career is an intransitive verb, you cannot grammatically have career X as the anagram indicator.
15 North-east Manx mountain possesses foremost peak in country (5)
NEPAL – The abbreviation for North East followed by another name for a mountain with the final letter removed (Manx – as in a Manx cat with no tail) inside which (possesses) you include the first letter (foremost) of peak.
16 Covering in gold again, say, a lord imprisoned by mob (9)
REGILDING – Inside another word for a criminal group or mob include the abbreviation for “say”, another letter for A (one) and the abbreviation for Lord.
17 Trace offence, say, as far as centre of fraud (9)
SCINITILLA – A homophone of sin (offence) (my personal preference is for the resulting homophone to be a word in its own right not a collection of syllables but I am in a minority here) followed by another way of saying until or as far as and the central letter of fraud.
19 Deface sound jacket with light stimulation (5)
LASER – Remove the first letter or front (deface – nothing wrong with this as an instruction) from a homophone of blazer (sound jacket).
20 Ominous antics make one morally superior (13)
SANCTIMONIOUS – An anagram (make) of OMINOUS ANTICS. The reverse applies here. As a transitive verb it should grammatically MAKE X into the solution.
22 Reject nasal mucus and cut suffering in lymphoid tissue (6)
TONSIL – Reverse (reject) a word for nasal mucus and add a word meaning suffering or unwell with the final letter removed (cut).
23 On Sunday I gather books in return for change in Sofia (8)
STOTINKI – On the abbreviation for Sunday or Sabbath add a reversal of the I from the clue a word meaning gather (as in form wool into a network) and the abbreviation for the older part of the Bible.
25 In various games I find a type of prejudice (6)
AGEISM – An anagram (various) of GAMES I.
26 Arrange for school boy to take second half of module (8)
SCHEDULE – An abbreviation for school followed by a diminutive form of the name Edward and the second half of the word module.
1 Discontentment shown by upset partners, one afternoon, cutting short break (10)
GRUMPINESS – The best I can make of this is to reverse three bridge players, the I for one and PM for afternoon inside SURGE with the final letter removed. I cannot see that surge means to break. Partner’s would imply NS or WE or combinations. On their own, they are bridge players not partners.
2 Either way silent (3)
MUM – A word that is a palindrome that means silent.
3 Charming young nymphos; I can arrange lascivious introductions? Doubtful! (7)
CYNICAL – The first letters (introductions) of the first seven words of the clue.
4 Responses to secret plans with bar charts (12)
COUNTERPLOTS – Another word for a bar or place where food or drink is served followed by another word for charts.
6 In conclusion, no measure requires end of digit (7)
TOENAIL – Another word meaning the conclusion or end of something includes a letter meaning no (I am not sure of the provenance of this letter meaning no – nothing is the usual indicator) and a printer’s measure. I am not completely happy with the construction wordplay requires definition. Surely to get to the definition you require the wordplay!
7 Ozzie giant, perhaps, I must sock horribly before knock out (2,9)
MT TKOSCIUSKO – An anagram (horribly) of I MUST SOCK followed by the abbreviation for knock out. A point in compiling the grid where I would have started again in that corner to get something more reasonable as a solution.
8 Return of one’s present needs conditional order (4)
NISI – … a conditional order granted before a divorce is made absolute. Reverse (return) I’S (one’s) and a word meaning present or at home. Again, the construction wordplay needs definition seems to me to be the wrong way around. Also the answer on its own is not the order, it describes an order or decree.
11 A jerk imprisons an aged NY relative – needs sorting! (12)
ANAGRAMATIC – The A from the clue and a word for a jerk or muscular spasm goes around how someone from New York might pronounce a North American Grandma.
13 Panic misuse produces powerlessness (11)
IMPUISSANCE – An anagram (produces) of PANIC MISUSE.
14 I’ve gone under a horse on consecutive Saturdays. That’s brutal! (10)
AGGRESSIVE – The IVE from the clue goes underneath the A from the clue, a two letter repeated syllable that sounds like gee-gee (horse) a word meaning on or about and the abbreviation for Saturday repeated (consecutive). The abbreviation S for Saturday is not one recognised by Chambers.
18 Couple’s sandwiches acceptable? Empty naan needs tuna (7)
TUNNIES – A word meaning couples or fastens together goes around (sandwiches) a letter meaning posh or acceptable and the outer letters (empty) of NaaN. I protest at the misleading punctuation here. Couple’s is not the same as couples and it is unfair to mislead in this way. The construction wordplay needs definition has been commented on before.
19 Arched glass bottle; last third holds a French dry (7)
LUNETTE – The final two letters or third or bottle includes (holds) the French feminine form of A and the abbreviation for dry or teetotal.
21 Raise stake for volcano (4)
ETNA – Reverse a word for a stake for an Italian volcano.
24 American college found in Canadian Yukon (3)
NYU – The answer is hidden in CANADIAN YUKON.