4 Free by Penko
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The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
Penko makes a return to Rookie Corner with an intriguingly titled 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:
Welcome back to Penko with his second crossword. The title to the puzzle refers to the fact that there are no anagrams in the solutions – a device that Ray T sometimes uses when he sets Toughies as Beam.
There was a lot of good stuff to enjoy in here. As an overall comment, I would say that some of the surface readings need a bit of a polish as some of them are a little random in their meaning and care has to be take not to use the same indicator or wordplay more than once in a crossword.
1/15 Test spot with Chlorasil ends but not at home! (11,4)
EXCLAMATION MARK – … the definition is the punctuation at the end of the clue. An 11 letter word for a test includes (with) the outer letters (ends) of Chlorasil but omits the IN (not at home) and is followed by another word for a spot or stain. Chambers gives “containing” as a primary definition of with, but it is a weak containment indicator. As far as I can make out Chlorasil is not a proprietary acne product. Did Penko intend to use Clearasil?
7 Ms Rachel Mother-earth embraces tree (3)
ELM – The answer is hidden (embraces) in RACHEL MOTHER-EARTH. The Ms in the clue is padding and the surface reading is not the greatest.
9 The entire number is firstly not applicable to students (2,3)
IN ALL – The first letter of Is followed by the abbreviation for not applicable and the abbreviation for a student twice (as students is in the plural).
10 Post palindrome period (9)
AFTERNOON – A word meaning post or following followed by a word that is a palindrome. I am not keen on “palindrome” as the indicator for a word here.
11 Recorder Lyme-Booker followers are almost bloody (9)
REGISTRAR – The word that follows Lyme as a seaside resort and the letter that follows Booker to give the name of an American wrestler or musician (take your pick from either) and a word to describe bloody (as a steak might be cooked) with the final letter removed (almost). I think that the reference to Booker for the letter is a little obscure as neither the wrestler nor the musician are that well known.
12 The essence of a Mercian village smithy (5)
ANVIL – The answer is hidden (the essence of) in MERCIAN VILLAGE and the whole clue provides the definition.
13 Leon gets into cat holiday business (7)
TOURISM – The surname of Leon, the author of Trinity and Exodus goes inside a three letter word for a male cat. The name Leon could indicate one of many people so this should be indicated as a definition by example and as the pointer to an surname is vague, it would have been good to indicate that it was an author whose surname was required.
15 See 1
18 In the Raj a new girl discovered (4)
JANE – The answer is hidden (in) RAJ A NEW. Although the definition is not at the end of the clue, the structure “in this wordplay, the definition is found” works.
20 Tom’s not well-off I hear for an unwitting stooge (4-3)
CAT’S PAW – Another word for a tom (see 13a!) with the S from the “‘s” in the clue followed by a homophone (I hear) of poor (not well-off).
23 “Lout Youth of broken Britain” opine leaders (5)
YOBBO – The first letters (leaders) of the second to fifth words in the clue.
24 Balls to Calvin Klein with supplies in excess of demand (9)
OVERSTOCK – Another word for balls (as in cricket) the TO from the clue and the abbreviation (on underwear, clothes, etc) of Calvin Klein.
26 Arturo scored to fell reversal of homes (9)
TOSCANINI – The TO from the clue followed by another word for the name of a peak in the Lake District that is followed by fell and a reversal of the word for home doubled up (as homes is in the plural). The name of the peak is Scafell and to clue the sca as fell is as unfair, a bit like cluing post as Mark on the basis that there is a word postmark. Also as Arturo is an example of a first name leading to a surname, this should ideally be indicated as a definition by example. I am not sure about the function of “scored” in the clue. Also, as “home” has already been used as an indicator, a different indicator should have been used here.
27 Lop-sided like gardens (5)
ASKEW – A two letter word meaning like followed by the name of the SW London botanical gardens.
28 Spoil most of the planet (3)
MAR – Remove the last letter (most of) from one of the planets in the solar system.
29 Gets together American and Local Government Association friends (11)
AMALGAMATES – A two letter abbreviation for American followed by the abbreviation for Local Government Association and a word meaning friends. Sadly the wordplay leaves us with a missing A between the two abbreviations!
1 Go abroad to an Arab state with good Governor (8)
EMIGRATE – Another word for an Arab State including (with – used again containment indicator) the abbreviation for Good. The use of Governor in the clue seems superfluous.
2 Loud banging about monkey heard (8)
CLANGOUR – A one letter abbreviation for about followed by a homophone of Langur (a monkey).
3 Finally but not quite get back up top (5)
ATLAS – An expression 2,4 meaning finally without the final letter (not quite). I think the definition refers to the name of the top vertebrae in the spine. The link word here should be in the form wordplay gets definition.
4 Two animals after a mix-up (7)
ANAGRAM – The A from the clue followed by the name of a jaded horse and the name of a sheep. The crossword contains none of these.
5 In Word I am in betwixt and between period (7)
INTERIM – The IN from the clue and another word for a word including an I (I am in).
6 Country with desert animal (6,3)
NORWAY RAT – The name of a country famous for blue deceased parrots together with a word meaning to desert.
7 First Lady with heraldic charge to change over time (6)
EVOLVE – A three letter word for a heraldic charge or device goes inside (with – using the same containment indicator three times is rubbing it in!) the name of Adam’s wife.
8 I hear ringer caused much pain for Derek and Clive’s Aunty Mabel? (6)
MANGLE – A homophone of wringer gives the name of a laundry device in which (according to Derek and Clive) Aunty Mabel trapped a sensitive part of her anatomy!
14 Female lover in a mother smothering love rat (9)
INAMORATA – The IN A from the clue followed by a two letter word for mother around (smothering) the letter for love and the RAT from the clue.
16 Space rocket loses a wheel with teeth (8)
SPROCKET – Remove the card that is abbreviation as A from space rocket to find the answer,
17 They are first here – Russell Crowe and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for example (8)
TWOKIWIS – The nationality of the two stars in the clue gives the identity of early commentators on the Rookie posts.
19 Porn swaps Queen for Ten to get interesting things from faraway (7)
EXOTICA – Another word for porn has the R (for Queen) replaced by an X (for Ten).
20 Revolutionary arm for grinding (7)
CHEWING – A setter’s favourite revolutionary followed by another word for an arm or branch of something.
21 “Syria – stop formulated planned! (6)
SYSTEM – The international code for Syria followed by a word meaning stop. I don’t think that planned is a direct synonym for the answer. The answer is a noun and the definition is an adjective or verb.
22 He maltreats sailor and drug addict (6)
ABUSER – The abbreviation for an able seaman followed by another word for a drug addict.
25 Serious painful and sudden muscular leads to cramp (5)
SPASM – The initial letters (leads) to the first five words of the clue. The surface reading makes no sense as a sentence. Muscular what?