A Puzzle by Froy
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
The puzzle is available by clicking on the above grid.
I am please to be introducing Froy with his debut 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.
Prolixic has prepared a document entitled “A brief guide to the construction of cryptic crossword clues” which can be downloaded, in pdf format, from the Rookie Corner index page or by clicking below.
A belated review by Prolixic follows.
It is good to welcome Froy into the Rookie Corner with an accomplished debut. There were only a few minor niggles with the clues. As others have commented, putting the two intersecting answers in the grid meant that there were very few checkers for the solution (only a quarter of the letters could be obtained from the crossing letters) and this is less than ideal.
8 Drunk swallows first couple of mojitos. Hello! ‘e’s after another drink! (8)
SMOOTHIE – A three letter word for a drunk includes (swallows) the first two letters (couple) of mojitos followed by a two letter word meaning hello and the E from the clue.
9 Start to examine damaged tile for crack (5)
ELITE – The first letter (start to) of examine followed by an anagram (damaged) of TILE.
10/2 Two cows but only half the ewes, reportedly, provide staple diet (8)
COUSCOUS – Repeat (two) the first two letters (but only half of) cows and a homophone of the letter (in the plural) that sounds like ewe.
11 Upset tory banker after Iain Duncan Smith reshuffle (10)
DISCONCERT – An anagram (reshuffle) of the initial by which Ian Duncan Smith is sometimes known followed by a three letter word for the Tory party and a four letter word meaning a banker or something sure to happen. Where you are using initial letters as anagram fodder, you need something that it very clear that the initial letters can be used – I am not sure that this clue strictly passes this test.
12 Foxes, when play’s finished for the day (6)
STUMPS – A double definition, the second being a reference to what are drawn at the end of a day’s cricket.
14 Dwarf stripped off in Bilbo’s territory to find something to set in the ring (8)
SAPPHIRE – The central letters (stripped off) of one of the seven dwarves inside the area inhabited by the Hobbits in Tolkien’s imaginary world.
15 Seven, oddly, to finally get this Bolshevik revolutionary (7)
TROTSKY – The odd letters of the answer to seven down followed by the final letters of geT thiS BolsheviK revolutionarY. This clue mixes the wordplay with the definition but does not qualify as an all in one or semi all in one clue. Usually, clue numbers are referred to by numerals but I do not see this as an absolute rule and my first instinct was to look at the answer to seven down.
17 Head of CID sounds more hopeful for bent staff (7)
CROZIER – The first letter (head of) CID followed by a homophone (sounds) of rosier (more hopeful).
20 Risqué introduction by Mussorgsky? (8)
IMMODEST – You need to know the first name of Mussorgsky. He might introduce himself I’m ***.
22 See 25
23 Bad similes may be used in evidence (10)
ADMISSIBLE – An anagram (may be) of BAD SMILES. There is a slight overlap between the worplay and the definition as the answer means that something may be used in evidence but the may be is also functioning as the anagram indicator.
24/24D Ignores audible symbols (4-4)
HIGH HATS – A double definition, the second being another word for the cymbals in a drum set (audible symbols). The first part of the definition is a little used phrase and perhaps a more well known synonym would have made this a little easier given the dearth of checking letters given the intersecting answers.
25/22 Spooner’s shortage of pastries is completely made up (1,4,2,4)
A PACK OF LIES – Said by Spooner, this may come out as a lack of pies (shortage of pastries).
26 Rear end of horse letting off gas displays equestrian discipline (8)
EVENTING – The final letter (rear end) of horse followed by a word meaning letting of gas.
1 Rogue setter’s after gold (8)
IMPOSTOR – A word meaning the setter is followed by a four letter word meaning after and a two letter word for gold.
2 See 10 Across
3 Foreign character of the French island (6)
RHODES – A letter of the Greek alphabet (foreign character) followed by the French plural for of the.
4 Carry on being cheeky about short relative (7)
PERSIST – A four letter word meaning being cheeky goes around a diminutive form of sister (short relative).
5 Out of sorts but doing well on sandwich course (5,3)
BELOW PAR – A double definition, the second being a good score on a golf course (sandwich). The convention is that you can capitalise a common noun to mislead but you cannot put a proper noun into lower case to do so.
6 Type of nut-bearing branch lopped for medicinal purposes (5-5)
WITCH-HAZEL – A type of nut goes under (bearing) another word for a branch with the first letter removed (lopped). The word for used for branch means, according to Chambers, a long flexible twig, which is something less than a branch!
7 Retro design featuring Lagerfeld’s central bête-noire (6)
TERROR – An anagram (design) of RETRO includes the central letter of LageRfelds
13 Orderly is strangely hot during examination (10)
METHODICAL – An anagram (strangely) of hot goes inside the type of examination your doctor might perform.
16 Preserves headless fish as a memento (8)
KEEPSAKE – A five letter word meaning preserves followed by a type of fish with the first letter removed (headless).
18 Get-together held by hospital department is coming up (8)
EMERGENT – A word meaning amalgamate or get together goes into a three letter abbreviation for a hospital departments.
19 Desk in Sunday School where string’s kept (7)
STABLES – You need to know the collective noun for horses. Another word for a desk goes inside the abbreviation for Sunday (or Sabbath) and School. Chambers does not give the abbreviation of S for School or SS for Sunday School.
21 Fruit making a comeback in horticultural demonstration (6)
MEDLAR – The answer is hidden and reversed (making a comeback in) in HORTICULTURAL DEMONSTRATION.
22 Exam taken in school Evelyn Waugh attended? (1,5)
O LEVEL – The answer is hidden (taken in) in SCHOOL EVELYN. Depending on the editor, the superfluous words “Waugh attended” may not be permitted in the clue as they are padding and do not contribute to the wordplay or definition.
24 See 24 Across