A Puzzle by Fidelibus
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Fidelibus’s puzzle has been written especially for the week of the Election and was offered to one of the National Daily newspapers – their loss is our gain. Those living outside the UK may need to use a search engine to confirm some of the content. 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 to Fidelibus with a corker of a crossword. There were a few minor points but this was one highly polished themed crossword. If he continues in this style, Elgar may have to cede his Vlad the Impaler boots to a new setter – indeed many of the clues had a distinctly Elgarish feel to them! In the interests of fairness in the week of the election, I should point out that other political leaders are equally gaffe prone.
1 See 10
5/22 OK, remove that twit, he gets stir, off with varlet’s head! wishes 11? (4,3,2,3,5)
TAKE HIM TO THE TOWER – … what the Queen may wish for a gaffe prone PM? An anagram (gets stir) of OK REMOVE THAT TWIT HE after removing the V (off with varlet’s head).
9 Upper-class twit putting foot in it may be this (5)
UNFIT – The letter representing upper-class followed by a three letter word for a twit inside which (putting) you add the abbreviation for foot. A reference to the person making the gaffes in this crossword? Without this link to the theme, the definition would be tangential!
10/1/12 Remark on ultra-quiet train? one 21 made re 11 (3,6,4,3,4)
SHE PURRED DOWN THE LINE – … 21’s indiscretion in revealing how the Queen responded to the result of the Scottish Independence referendum. How one might refer to a quiet train going down the tracks for one of the gaffes.
11 That lady Theresa, say, round joint established one in top job (3,7)
HER MAJESTY – The word meaning that lady followed by the surname of a person names Theresa (Home Secretary) around the abbreviations for joint (as in a spliff) and established.
12 See 10
14 21 said it to lady MP, clowned? drama unfolded (4,4,4)
CALM DOWN DEAR – An anagram (unfolded) of CLOWNED DRAMA. Another of the gaffes!
18 A male in charge, he’s snapped up by 21? It is rocket science! (6,6)
ATOMIC THEORY – The first word comes from the A from the clue followed by the name for a male cat and the abbreviation for in charge. The second word is the political allegiance of our 21 inside which (snapped up) you add the HE from the clue.
21 Sacked finally, what’s said to Maria? I’m boss (for now) (4)
DAVE – The final letter of sacked followed by the Latin for hail followed by Maria as the salutation to Mary given by the Angel Gabriel.
22 See 5
25 A hot, sweaty thing, back with medal, I hate going up (9)
AEROPHOBE – The A from clue followed by a reversal (back) of the abbreviation for hot and a part of the body that releases sweat and then the abbreviation for a type of medal or honour awarded by 11a.
26 21’s no idea how much this to buy this (5)
BREAD – A slang word for money used to buy a staple item of food whose price 21 could not remember.
27/19 Twitter’s foremost seem way OTT, no? They could make a  says 21! (3,4,6)
TOO MANY TWEETS – 21 once said the answer could make an unprintable word (represented by 13d). The answer comes from an anagram (they could make) of T (first or foremost letter of Twitter) SEEM WAY NO.
28 Don’t make cut after all, lad, for Top Gear? (7)
STETSON – The Latin for let it stand (don’t make the cut after all) and another word for a boy or lad.
1 Sad year following what’s needed to make 26 (6)
DOUGHY – … sad as in a cake that has not baked well may be. What is needed (and kneaded) to make the answer to 26 followed by the abbreviation for year.
2 Fights over further education – Corpus Christi? (6)
WAFERS – As consecrated in a service of Holy Communion. Another word for fights or battles goes around (over) the abbreviation for Further Education. I think that over in a down clue is better used for A on top of B but it is sometimes used in down clues. It use is justified that it works in the way that the clue is written across the page but as the answer in inserted down in the grid, I think it better reserve the use of words like “over” and “covers” in a down clue to the A on top of B construction.
3 With four tiny bits of H mad cats bear hit – H gone (10)
TETRABASIC – … an acid that has four replaceable hydrogen atoms. An anagram (mad) of CAT BEAR HIT without the H (gone).
4 Essence of ‘plebs’ issue is lost name bound to follow (5)
ENSUE – The central letter of “plebs” followed by the issue from the clue without the “is” around (bound) the abbreviation for name.
5 Majority once? cut that in time, I’m out (6-3)
TWENTY-ONE – A word meaning cut (as it departed or having left) and a word meaning that (as in that one over there) goes inside the time from the clue after removing the I’m (out).
6 Knot bank nurses tie… (4)
KNUR – The answer is hidden in (tie) BANK NURSES. I am not too keen on tie as a hidden word indicator and at the end of the sentence as it would need to be “ties” to indicate the containment.
7 …stars pull up old-timer, what? (8)
HEROINES – Reverse (pull up) a word for an old-timer (often followed by citizen) and an expression meaning what (as in say that again). I think that the definition here is a little loose.
8 One female up, one down, year’s over for loopy king (3,5)
MAD HENRY – Reverse (up) a word for a mother (female) and follow this with another going the right way (down) and a reversal (over) of another abbreviation for year.
13 Powerless to cover e.g. libel claim, subject to gag? (10)
UNWRITABLE – A word meaning powerless or incapable of doing something goes around (to cover) the legal document issued by the court to commence, for example, a libel claim. Again in a down clue, covers would usually mean A on top of B.
15 ‘Watch DC’s mate see about cutting what belongs to me and thee’ – Balls? (9)
MYTHOLOGY – Reverse the initials of the Chancellor of the Exchequer (DC’s mate) and a word meaning look or behold and put these letters in (cutting) a word meaning when belongs to me and a word meaning what belongs to thee. I think that requiring the solver to get from “DC’s mate to the initials of one of the members of the cabinet without further indication is a little unfair on the solver.
16 Water on tap, paintings? It’s heavenly destination? The opposite! (8)
HANDCART – The initials on taps in a kitchen or bathroom (I think that the clue should have taps in the plural as we want the initials on both) followed by a word that describes paintings. Does this clue refer to an article in the Guardian where 21 claimed that the Government’s policies would save a lot of lives that would otherwise go to hell in a ????????. If it does, it should have a clearer indication that it is linked into the theme. Otherwise, I cannot see how the definition is arrived at.
17 Desert for good limitless setting open to view (2,4,2)
GO OVER TO – Remove the last letter (limitless) from good and include (setting) a word meaning open to view or patent.
19 See 27 Across
20 What 21 did to 11’s toes, no doctor could treat, company’s parted (4,2)
TROD ON – An anagram (could treat) of NO DOCTOR after removing the letters in the abbreviation for company.
23 Husband onto slippery types, rogues (5)
HEELS – The abbreviation for husband follows by the name of slippery fishes.
24 Borrowing rises in each measure Israel takes (4)
EPHA – Reverse (rises) the abbreviation for Hire Purchase (borrowing) and include this in the abbreviation for each.