A Puzzle by Cyborg
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Although Cyborg has published a few puzzles on his own website, this is his first Rookie puzzle. 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.
Our thanks to Cyborg for a stunning debut crossword. The idea of have pairs of linked clues with minor variations was a clever one. In one or two cases, it caused the cryptic reading of the clues to suffer a little but this was, nevertheless, an accomplished first outing. To have made the crossword a pangram too using all the letters of the alphabet in the solutions is an added bonus.
1 One absorbed in a change for birdhouse (6)
AVIARY – The A from the clue and another word for change or alter includes the letter representing one as Roman numeral.
4 Principle of justice imposed by fear’s stripped with awful sin (8)
FAIRNESS – An anagram (stripped / awful) of FEARS SIN. Although necessary to maintain a degree of correspondence between the paired clues, the use of two anagram indicators is perhaps unfairly misleading as it indicates that you have an anagram of FEAR followed by an anagram of SIN. I am not keen on the use of imposed as a link word in Definition imposed by Wordplay.
10 Hiker may contact Signal Corps for secure comms device (7)
RAMBLER – This word for a hiker when added to (contact) the abbreviation for Signal Corps gives the name of a secure comms device.
11 Road enters boundless saurian republic (7)
AUSTRIA – The abbreviation for street (road) goes inside (enters) the inner letters (boundless) of saurian.
12 Modern times require cunning exterior, unfortunately (5)
SADLY – The abbreviation for Anno Domini has a word for cunning around it (exterior). The cryptic grammar does not quite work here as the clue deconstructed is “an abbreviation for modern times requires a word meaning sly around it.” so the requires needs to be in the plural.
13 Edited tapes show workplace with appalling conditions (9)
SWEATSHOP – An anagram (edited) of TAPES SHOW.
15 Turn pale and squeal upon expiring (8)
ELAPSING – An anagram (turning) of PALE followed by a word meaning to squeal or rat on. The link word “upon” does not work particularly well as wordplay upon definition.
17 Nick stationery (4)
CLIP – A double definition giving a word meaning to cut or nick something and an item of stationery that holds things together.
20 Pore over “aimed item” to make it right afterwards (4)
EDIT – The answer is hidden (pore over) in AIMED ITEM. Not too keen on pore over as a hidden word indicator here.
21 Broken gear after half yard produces anger from driver (4,4)
ROAD RAGE – An anagram (broken) of RAGE goes after the word that (as an abbreviation) is the final two letters (half) of yard.
23 El Salvador aircraft receives notice at waterfront (9)
ESPLANADE – The IVR code for El Salvador followed by another word for an aircraft containing (receives) an abbreviation for an advert (notice). Wordplay at Definition does not work very well and a better link word would be helpful here.
27 Question length put down (5)
QUELL – The abbreviation for question followed by an old measurement for the length of cloth.
28 Pay compliment to green thus: it is better laid? (7)
FLATTER – A golfing green would be thus if it had been better laid? I think that the wordplay is a little loose as the green on a golf course in not intended to be completely flat, only smooth. The green may have a slight slope or camber to test the skill of the golfer when putting.
29 Quietly takes overdue gold to high level area (7)
PLATEAU – The musical notation for quietly followed by a word meaning overdue and the chemical symbol for gold.
30 Record collectors pasted on fragments (8)
NOTEPADS – An anagram (fragments – as a verb meaning breaks up) of PASTED ON.
31 Hard, in spiteful surroundings, to be talkative (6)
CHATTY – The abbreviation for hard (as used in pencils) goes inside (in … surroundings) a word meaning spiteful.
1 Nicked stationary (8)
ARRESTED – A double definition for being apprehended by the police and not moving. I think that the two meaning are a little too similar for a true double definition.
2 Pour over “aimed item” to make it right afterwards (9)
IMMEDIATE – An anagram (pour over) of AIMED ITEM. Again although require to maintain parity between the paired clues, the “it” in this clue is out of place and needs to be ignored completely. Also would right afterwards mean immediately rather than the answer?
3 Pass on place again (5)
RELAY – A double definition of pass on as you might a message and put back in place.
5 Stagger in a complicated path (5)
AMAZE – The A from the clue and a complicated path of the sort you might find at Hampton Court.
6 Restore default temperature before lighting component is relocated (9)
RESETTLED – A word meaning restore default (as you might do so software settings) followed by an abbreviation for temperature and a type of lighting component that emits light from a diode.
7 Near the core in the planet (5)
EARTH – The answer is hidden in (core in) NEAR THE. The “The” in this clue could have been omitted.
8 Rapid as paparazzi? (6)
SNAPPY – … on the basis that the paparazzi take lots of photographs.
9 Boats communal areas not opened (4)
ARKS – Remove the initial P from a word for communal areas found in towns and cities. The surface reading (but not the cryptic reading) requires an apostrophe but this could have been avoided as an issue by “Communal areas not opened for boats”.
14 Pay complement to green thus: it is better-laid? (7)
WAGERED – A word for pay or salary followed by a complementary colour to green. I don’t think that the definition here means the same as the solution.
16 Turn key before father rises for medical procedure (6,3)
SPINAL TAP – A four letter word meaning turn followed by a type of key on a computer keyboard and a reversal (rises) of a two letter word for father.
18 Temporary job site gets workers on time (9)
PLACEMENT – A word for a site or location followed by a word for workers and the abbreviation for time.
19 Principal of justice imposed by fear stripped with awful sin (8)
JEALOUSY – The first letter (principal of) justice followed by the inner letters (stripped) of fear and a word meaning awful.
22 Make a racket and feel briefly bad (6)
DEAFEN – An anagram (bad) of AND FEE (briefly indicates removing the last letter from feel).
24 Hairstyle where it’s under part loops across at first (5)
PLAIT – The IT from the clue goes underneath the first letters (at first) of Part Loops Across.
25 Having sharp smell removed by air conditioning (5)
ACRID – A word meaning removed after the abbreviation for air-conditioning. As by (alongside) works best in an across clue, this could have been saved by a “?” to give AC-RID as a fanciful way of saying removed by air-conditioning.
26 Sexy spot delimited for large exhibition (4)
EXPO – The inner letters (delimited) of SEXY and SPOT.
27 Half of Quaker’s initially have to overrule (5)
QUASH – The first three letters half of “Quaker” followed by the S (from the ‘s in the clue) and the first letter (initially) of have. The apostrophe in the surface reading is out of place and although it is required in the cryptic grammar, I am not keen on an instruction that tells you to take half a word ignoring the “‘s” and then add the s back on to what remains.